Instant messaging or face-to-face? How choice of communication medium affects team collaboration environments

Tang, Chun M., and Bradshaw, Adrian (2020) Instant messaging or face-to-face? How choice of communication medium affects team collaboration environments. E-Learning and Digital Media, 17 (2). pp. 111-130.

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Working on team projects is a common feature in higher education as a way to foster team learning and collaboration. For a team to work well towards achieving project objectives, it is important that there is effective team communication. Conventionally, face-to-face interactions allow students to interact with each other in multiple communication channels, simultaneously sending and receiving verbal and nonverbal messages in real time. Today, modern mobile technology offers students a variety of alternative digital communication media for collaboration. Unlike a full-channel communication medium such as the face-to-face interaction, a digital communication medium like instant messaging does not normally transmit nonverbal cues. As a result, to compensate for insufficient nonverbal cues, users of instant messaging services have to put more effort and time into understanding each other. If more effort and time is required to understand each other better, then why is it that today’s students prefer instant messaging to face-to-face interactions for collaborative project work? To answer this question, this study conducted a questionnaire survey to collect responses from university students who have been involved in team projects. This study analysed students' copresence (a second-order formative construct consisting of two first-order constructs: self-copresence and partner-copresence) and its relationships with media satisfaction and communication effectiveness. It investigated whether these relationships differed between the students who used instant messaging and those who used face-to-face interactions. In addition, this study also examined whether media satisfaction played a mediating role between copresence and communication effectiveness. The findings of this study could help explain how different communication media can facilitate teamwork in collaborative learning environments.

Item ID: 62218
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2042-7530
Keywords: collaborative learning, copresence, digital communication media, efficiency framework, media satisfaction, communication effectiveness
Copyright Information: (C) The Author(s) 2020
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2020 03:42
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education @ 40%
46 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 4609 Information systems > 460909 Information systems philosophy, research methods and theory @ 40%
46 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 4608 Human-centred computing > 460803 Collaborative and social computing @ 20%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes @ 50%
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