Computer facilitation of communication within professional communities
- Cite this article as:
- Zinn, K.L. Behavior Research Methods & Instrumentation (1977) 9: 96. doi:10.3758/BF03214481
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This report is based on several projects at the University of Michigan. The software used is CONFER, a computer-augmented conferencing program. Access is provided nationally through TELENET data services. The paper describes hardware and software for information systems at the University of Michigan, the development of CONFER, and a rationale for computer-aided communication within professional communities. Six applications of this particular software and system are summarized: national committees, regional planning groups, on-campus working groups, and user consulting services. One innovative application (support of an international congress held recently in Ann Arbor) is described in detail. Computer-based conununications were used for sending messages, adjusting schedules, planning additional sessions and trips, and developing written material through computer-mediated caucuses on specific topics. Contributions of computing to professional communications are summarized, with particular attention given to projected impact on teaching and research in universities.