Use of instant messaging communication in teaching and learning

Francis Yue
SCOPE, City University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong SAR, China

The use of mobile digital devices among students studying in Hong Kong tertiary education institutions is very popular. In fact, many local undergraduate students possess their own mobile digital devices (such as smartphones) for communication purposes. It is widely known that instant messaging is one communication tool used heavily by undergraduate students in their daily lives. As a communication tool, the advantage of instant messaging over traditional electronic mail is that the latter does not occur in real time. Instant messaging is one type of synchronous communication.

Text messaging and electronic mail are currently employed in many local educational institutions. This paper examines the possibility of using instant messaging to enhance the teaching and learning experience of some undergraduate students. It explores the additional ways of using instant messaging in supervising undergraduate students who are working on their final-year dissertation projects.

This qualitative research study began by obtaining views from potential participants, and that led to the construction of a measuring instrument (a questionnaire) for the subsequent survey. In this study, the use of instant messaging will be compared with traditional methods of electronic mail and text messaging in teaching and learning. In addition, it will compare the views of two different groups of students (who are working on their dissertations in different business areas) on the use of instant messaging.