Group communication media choice and the use of information and communication technology to support learning: A case study

Nor Shahriza Abdul Karim, Robert Heckman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose - This paper reports a study conducted longitudinally to investigate group communication media choice and the use of a web-based learning tool, as well as other types of communication media, such as e-mail, telephone, and face-to-face, for communication and collaboration to complete given tasks. Design/methodology/approach - This study was designed following the case study research methodology and design of Yin. Longitudinal observation was made on groups in their naturalistic research setting. Twenty-three groups of four or five students working on five similar tasks were selected as the unit of analysis. Findings - The findings showed that groups' choice-making process of communication media evolved over a period of time. A pattern of group communication emerged, namely face-to-face, virtual, and mixed (the use of both face-to-face and virtual communication). The three group communication categories were significantly different in performance, with the mixed category performing the highest in terms of grade. Research limitations/implications - The limitations of this study are related to the case study methodology and the subjectivity of some interpretations. Practical implications - The findings should assist in the design of both on-campus and distance learning course modules to facilitate learning through group project or assignment. The findings should also assist the design and implementation of the e-learning systems and tools that are acceptable to users. Originality/value - The study provides insight into how such ICT applications can be made useful and effective, and why, when given the freedom to choose, the use of a web-based tool is the least attempted for communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-42
Number of pages15
JournalCampus-Wide Information Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005


  • Communication technologies
  • Information media
  • Learning
  • Performance management
  • Team working
  • Worldwide web

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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