Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Dynamics of Student-to-Student Interpersonal Communication Motives and Communication Styles in Asynchronous Higher Education Environments
by Basso, Jeremy J., Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2017, 231; 10797861
Abstract (Summary)

This research study examines the dynamics of student-to-student interpersonal mediated communication motives within asynchronous discussion forums. The objective is to determine the interpersonal mediated communication motives and communicator style of students enrolled in fully asynchronous community college courses with the intention to supplement, enhance, and refine the existing research in online education through the application of relevant theories and methods from the field of communication studies. Specifically, the study seeks to determine students' communication motives for consensus-building and agonistic oriented purposes. A mixed methods approach has been utilized through the implementation of a 5-point Likert scale survey, comprised of forty questions, which was provided towards the end of a traditional 16 week semester to 125 students enrolled in five fully asynchronous courses. In an attempt to discover whether students respond to their classmates' asynchronous discussion forum posts for consensus-building motives or for purposes of engaging in agonistic confrontations, a discourse analysis of various forum responses was performed after completion of the asynchronous courses. Previous studies of community building within asynchronous contexts and interpersonal communication motives research suggest that students enrolled in fully asynchronous courses will engage in student-to-student interpersonal mediated communication for the purpose of pleasure, affection, inclusion, control, companionship, habit, receiving information, participation and functional purposes. Through the implementation of the 5-point Likert-scale survey, I discovered six interpersonal mediated communication motives (inclusion, participation, affection, receiving information, functional and pleasure) of student-to-student responses within fully asynchronous discussion forums and four communicator styles (friendly, attentive, communicator image and impression leaving). The findings from the discourse analysis overwhelmingly revealed that the student-to-student interpersonal mediated communication motive for responding to discussion forum posts was most frequently correlated with the students' rationale for consensus-building as opposed to exhibiting a rationale for agonistic pluralism.

Key words: interpersonal mediated communication motives, communicator styles, asynchronous discussion forums, higher education, consensus-building, agonistic confrontation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Voparil, Christopher
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 79/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication, Technical Communication, Higher education
Keywords: Agonistic Pluralism, Asynchronous Discussion Forums, Communication Styles, Consensus-Building, Higher Education, Interpersonal Communication Motives
Publication Number: 10797861
ISBN: 978-0-355-75914-3
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