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Title: A Study of Private Messaging Within an Asynchronous Discussion Environment
Authors: Hewitt, Jim
Brett, Clare
MacKinnon, Kim
Issue Date: Jun-2013
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences
Citation: Hewitt, J., Brett, C., & MacKinnon, K. (2013). A Study of Private Messaging Within an Asynchronous Discussion Environment. In Rummel, N., Kapur, M., Nathan, M., & Puntambekar, S. (Eds.), To See the World and a Grain of Sand: Learning across Levels of Space, Time, and Scale: CSCL 2013 Conference Proceedings Volume 2 — Short Papers, Panels, Posters, Demos & Community Events (pp. 46-49). Madison, WI: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: The study focused on students' use of private messaging as an adjunct form of communication in online courses. Interviews revealed that learners used private messaging to coordinate activity on group projects, request help from each other, and seek reassurance when uncertain about their performance in the course. Public computer conferences, on the other hand, were used for more formal types of academic discourse. Quantitative comparisons of public and private texts revealed that learners wrote longer, more sophisticated and academically rich messages when contributing to the public, class-wide conferences. In comparison, private messages between individuals contained simpler sentences, were easier to read, and were more likely to use jargon. The two forms of communication appeared to serve different purposes. It is proposed that private messaging may help foster a sense of mutual trust among students, which may, in turn, be a necessary precursor to community-building.
Appears in Collections:CSCL 2013

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