Instructional Science

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 141–185 | Cite as

Review of computer mediated communication research for education

ReviewPaper

Abstract

This research review examines recent developments in computer-mediated communication (CMC) research for educational applications. The review draws on 170 recent research articles selected from 78 journals representing a wide range of disciplines. The review focuses on peer-reviewed empirical studies, but is open to a variety of methodologies. The review is divided into two sections addressing major areas of current research: (a) general CMC research in education, and (b) factors affecting computer-mediated learning. The review covers a variety of key research areas revolving around CMC in education, including, media effect and comparison, on-line courses and networks, course and program evaluations, learning and learning processes, problem solving, writing, decision-making, argumentation, group decision-making, group dynamics, peer evaluations, gender differences, anonymity, teaching practice effects, technology integration, teacher styles and characteristics, socio-cultural factors, and professional development effects. Findings suggest partial advantages of CMC in writing, task focused discussion, collaborative decision-making, group work, and active involvement in knowledge construction during group interactions. Other research findings revealed influences of peer interaction, group composition, group cohesion, goal commitment, group norm development, and process training, mixed-sex groups, and virtual cross-functional teams. Mixed-findings are revealed for performance advantages of computer-mediated versus face-to-face learning environments on various tasks and for the presence of gender differences in computer-mediated environments.

Keywords

collaborative learning computer-mediated communication instruction online learning 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CommunicationUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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