Socialization in the "virtual hallway": Instant messaging in the asynchronous web-based distance education classroom

S. Nicholson




Students in online and distance courses lack many of the social contacts and interactions that face-to-face and in-person students have. This missing social aspect of the classroom may be solved by implementing an instant messaging (IM) tool into courses. The author suggests that IM can be either incorporated using in-platform IM or external IM systems either hosted by the school or outside corporate partners.

One drawback to using IM in courses would be the inconvenience of needing to be online at the same time as classmates in order to gain the most benefits from the tool. However, IM may also allow online students to form a better sense of community and belonging with the added social benefits.

About the Study

Links to Article
Mode Online
Publication Type Journal Article
In Publication The Internet and Higher Education
Type of Research Quantitative
Research Design Action research
Intervention/Areas of Study
Level of Analysis Student-level
Specific Populations Examined
Peer-Reviewed Yes
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest 2-year institution
Specific Course or Program Characteristics
Outcome Variables of Interest Other
Student Sample Size 0-99
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