Perceived values of computer-mediated communication use for business instruction
Gillispie, Cynthia Carlton
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A number of benefits have been associated with using computer mediated communication (CMC) to improve instruction. CMC is a blend of computer and telecommunication networks, which are used to compose, store, deliver, and process communication. CMC has the potential of becoming a powerful means of merging information from a variety of sources. CMC is relevant to collaboration, student participation, and individualized instruction. It can be used for daily information exchange among colleagues, between faculty and their students, among students, for delivering distance education, and for providing access to resources and information. The purpose of the study was to determine the perceived values of CMC use for instructional purposes, perceptions of its use as they relate to Rogers' theory, and extent of its use as reported by business faculty at four North carolina universities. The population for the study consisted of all business faculty from four colleges or schools of business at North Carolina universities. Business deans at these four universities provided 290 names of business faculty. Of these, 172 (59%) responded to the survey, 121 (42%) indicated that they used computer-mediated communication, and 51 (17%) indicated they did not use CMC for instructional purposes. Demographically, randomly selected non-respondents and randomly selected late respondents were similar to randomly selected early respondents. The Diffusion of Innovations Theory provided the theoretical framework or paradigm for the study. Developed by Rogers, it was used to evaluate the extent to which computer-mediated communication was accepted by business faculty for instructional use. Data were collected by a mail survey. The findings revealed that for business faculty to adopt CMC in their instruction, they need adequate support, training, equipment, and software. Business faculty's perceptions of CMC, as it relates to Rogers' five characteristics (compatibility, complexity, observability, relative advantage, and triability), show that complexity, observability, and triability are the least important in their adoption of CMC use for classroom instructional purposes. Most business faculty made limited use of CMC for instructional purposes. Their main uses of CMC were personal messaging and conducting research.
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