ERIC Number: ED351713
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-May
Reference Count: N/A
A Socio-Technical View of COMCONF.
A study examined the socio-technical impact of computer-mediated communication (CMC) on students' attitudes towards computers, CMC, and their classes. Five classes at universities across America (119 students and faculty) participated in COMCONF, a BITNET computer conference which provided a unique laboratory for observations of CMC processes in an actual application of the technology to specific and practical ends. In addition, each class was administered a follow-up questionnaire at the end of the term to evaluate on-line education, learning styles, life satisfaction, and fun in the classroom. Results indicated that despite differences in class content, instructional methodologies, and CMC technologies, there appear to be no discernable characteristics which clearly distinguish the class studied during the COMCONF exercise. Results showed, however, that the truly distinguishing characteristic of the COMCONF users was the way they separated into the "work mechanics" vs. "organizational straphanger" categories. Finally, results suggest that the degree of integration of CMC into the class requirements as a fundamental part of the classroom process, and the degree of freedom that the students had for choosing classes, were both positively correlated with the emergence of work mechanics as opposed to straphangers in the class. (Six tables of data and three figures are included.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: BITNET; COMCONF; Computer Mediated Communication
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (42nd, Miami, FL, May 20-25, 1992).