Source: Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, Volume 25, No. 1. 15-21. Fall 2008.
The study examined student perceptions of using instant messaging software for online interactive chapter discussions in a graduate teacher educational technology course. The criterion instrument was a 47-item scale that measured Chickering and Gamson’s (1987) first four principles for good practice in undergraduate education, yielding reliabilities ranging from .837 to .895. Students rated the course significantly higher than their regular classroom courses. The results indicate stronger effects on perceptions of student cooperation and active learning, and weaker effects on perceptions of instructor contact and feedback. These findings support the proposition that instant messaging may be used as a technique to increase dialogue. Hence, It reduces transactional distance, especially among students, in an online course environment.
Chickering, Arthur W., and Zelda F. Gamson. March 1987. "Seven Principles for Good Practice." AAHE Bulletin 39: 3-7. ED 282 491. 6 pp. MF-01; PC-01.