CCE Theses and Dissertations


The Effects of Instant Messaging on Performance and Communication Apprehension in a Business Computer Application Class

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Steven R. Terrell

Committee Member

Maxine S. Cohen

Committee Member

Timothy Ellis


Computers are a part of everyday life, and to be effective, one should be proficient with and recognize the uses of computers. A myriad of college courses are offered to provide students with this essential background. Some students have difficulty in learning to use a computer and its applications. Some of the difficulty may stem from the failure of students to pose questions in class during lecture or demonstration of applications. In a traditional class, an instant messaging system would provide a means of communication during class without the anxiety of speaking in front of others. Other students would not have to wait for a time to ask questions but could ask throughout the class period. Questions could lead to discussions and clarifications that may not have taken place otherwise. This research focused on augmenting in-class instruction in a college business computer applications class with the use of an instant messaging service, AOL Instant Messenger, as a means to increase student participation during class lectures; thus, instant messaging provided an alternative way of communicating which may directly increase student performance and communication apprehension. The results of this study showed no significant difference in the performance and communication apprehension between the experimental and control group. There was an increase in both groups in performance of course content knowledge and hands-on software application ability.

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