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Communication Overload in Online Communities in Higher Education: A Case Study

Communication Overload in Online Communities in Higher Education: A Case Study
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Author(s): Joao Batista (ISCA, Digimedia, University of Aveiro, Portugal), Helena Santos (University of Aveiro, Portugal) and Rui Pedro Marques (ISCA, University of Aveiro, Portugal)
Copyright: 2022
Volume: 18
Issue: 1
Pages: 16
Source title: International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction (IJTHI)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Anabela Mesquita (ISCAP/IPP and Algoritmi Centre, University of Minho, Portugal) and Chia-Wen Tsai (Ming Chuan University, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/IJTHI.293194

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Abstract

This paper presents part of a research project on the use of information technology by students and teachers to communicate with each other in online community contexts of higher education institutions. The part of this project which investigated whether the number of messages exchanged, and the effort required to process them are a source of communication overload is the focus of the paper. The research was conducted at a Portuguese university, was supported by an analysis model, and data were collected through an online questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and inference tests were used to analyse a validated data sample of n = 570 students and n = 172 teachers. The results show that students and teachers generally perceive communication overload when using communication technologies to communicate with each other. This perception is particularly relevant when using email, and inference tests show that it is higher for teachers than for students

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