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GroupMe: Investigating Use of Mobile Instant Messaging in Higher Education Courses


In this study, the use of the mobile instant messaging (MIM) tool GroupMe was explored in the higher education context. The tool was used to facilitate online course discussions, small group work, and other course communications in face-to-face and online sections of two graduate educational technology courses. Over 900 postings were generated from 29 participants, then coded and analyzed by the researchers. Qualitative data was also obtained through an e-mail follow-up questionnaire. Findings indicate that the MIM platform afforded students opportunities to engage in productive course-relevant conversations and provided additional ways for learners to exhibit online social presence through tool features. Recommendations for the use of MIM to support teaching and learning and suggestions for further scholarly inquiry are discussed.

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Correspondence to Susie Gronseth.

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Ethical Approval

This study was approved by the researchers’ Institutional Review Board, and all procedures involving human participants were in accordance with these ethical standards.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was waived per the IRB approval as this was retrospective.



Table 2 GroupMe Posting Analysis Instrument

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Gronseth, S., Hebert, W. GroupMe: Investigating Use of Mobile Instant Messaging in Higher Education Courses. TechTrends 63, 15–22 (2019).

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  • Mobile instant messaging
  • Online discussion
  • Higher education
  • Instructional technology