Skip to main content

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

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

References

  • Bailey, C. J., & Card, K. A. (2009). Effective pedagogical practices for online teaching: Perception of experienced instructors. The Internet and Higher Education, 12(3), 152–155.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bouhnik, D., & Deshen, M. (2014). WhatsApp goes to school: Mobile instant messaging between teachers and students. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 13, 217–231.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Carpenter, J., & Green, T. (2017). Connecting and engaging with students through Groupme. TechTrends, 61, 1–4. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-016-0149-x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cheng, C. K., Paré, D. E., Collimore, L.-M., & Joordens, S. (2011). Assessing the effectiveness of a voluntary online discussion forum on improving students’ course performance. Computers & Education, 56(1), 253–261. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.Compedu.2010.07.024.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chickering, A. W., & Ehrmann, S. C. (1996). Implementing the seven principles: Technology as lever. AAHE Bulletin, 49, 3–6.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chickering, A., & Gamson, Z. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 39, 3–7.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dalelio, C. (2013). Student participation in online discussion boards in a higher education setting. International Journal on E-Learning, 12(3), 249–271.

    Google Scholar 

  • Devers, C. J., Conrad, J., Devers, E. E., Cook, M. E., & Alayan, A. J. (2016). Video and written discussion. Proceedings of the EdMedia International Conference, 2016, 1039–1042.

    Google Scholar 

  • Goel, L., Zhang, P., & Templeton, M. (2012). Transactional distance revisited: Bridging face and empirical validity. Computers in Human Behavior, 28, 1122–1129.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Goggins, S., & Xing, W. (2016). Building models explaining student participation behavior in asynchronous online discussion. Computers & Education, 94, 241–251. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2015.11.002.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gronseth, S., & Zhang, H. (2018). Advancing social presence, community, and cognition through online discussions. In M. Marmon (Ed.), Enhancing social presence in online learning environments (pp. 117–140). Hershey: IGI Global.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Harris-John, M. (2006). Creating meaningful online discussions. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 1(2).

  • Lauricella, S., & Kay, R. (2013). Exploring the use of text and instant messaging in higher education classrooms. Research in Learning Technology, 21.

  • Moore, M. (1993). Theory of transactional distance. In D. Keegan (Ed.), Theoretical principles of distance education (pp. 22–38). New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nitza, D., & Roman, Y. (2016). WhatsApp messaging: Achievements and success in academia. International Journal of Higher Education, 5(4), 255–261.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rovai, A. P. (2001). Building classroom community at a distance: A case study. Educational Technology Research and Development, 49(4), 33–48.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • So, S. (2016). Mobile instant messaging support for teaching and learning in higher education. Internet and Higher Education, 31, 32–42.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tang, Y., & Hew, K. F. (2017). Is mobile instant messaging (MIM) useful in education? Examining its technological, pedagogical, and social affordances. Educational Research Review, 21, 85–104.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thomas, J. (2013). Exploring the use of asynchronous online discussion in health care education: A literature review. Computers & Education, 69, 199–215. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.Compedu.2013.07.005.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Timmis, S. (2012). Constant companions: Instant messaging conversations as sustainable supportive study structures amongst undergraduate peers. Computers & Education, 59(1), 3–18.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wang, L.-C. C., & Morgan, W. R. (2008). Student perceptions of using instant messaging software to facilitate synchronous online class interaction in a graduate teacher education course. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 25(1), 15–21.

    Google Scholar 

  • Winiecki, D. J. (2003). Instructional discussion in online education: Practical and research-oriented perspectives. In M. G. Moore & W. G. Anderson (Eds.), Handbook of distance education (pp. 193–215). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Susie Gronseth.

Ethics declarations

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.

Appendix

Appendix

Table 2 GroupMe Posting Analysis Instrument

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gronseth, S., Hebert, W. GroupMe: Investigating Use of Mobile Instant Messaging in Higher Education Courses. TechTrends 63, 15–22 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-018-0361-y

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-018-0361-y

Keywords

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