Instant Messaging Usage and Academic and Social Integration
Wood, Kia Jannelle
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Research suggests that college students persist in college when they feel connected to something or someone at their institution. These connections are often established through academic and social engagement. Tinto (1987) described these concepts as academic integration and social integration. Much research has been done regarding the importance of academic and social integration. Some have looked at technologyâ s impact on the ways in which students achieve social and academic integration. However, there has been little research regarding how the current student population uses Instant Messaging to supplement traditional behaviors associated with academic and social engagement. The present study was designed to address these gaps in the present literature on social and academic integration. The purpose of this study was to examine how college students use Instant Messenger (IM). Specifically, the present study explored if college students use IM to supplement traditional behaviors associated with academic and social integration. Data were collected from emailed IM conversations, logsheets submitted by the participants, and answers to IM survey questions. The results of the analysis of these data were compared to Gatzâ s (1998) lists of traditional behaviors associated with academic and social integration. Results seem to suggest that college students use Instant Messaging for primarily social purposes. When students engage socially through IM, it is most often used to connect or stay connected with friends. Interestingly, the majority of the friends college students are Instant Messaging are fellow students from their home institution. When students do use IM for academic purposes, it is most often used to set up project meeting times or ask questions about a class.
- Masters Theses