Student Perceptions of the Use of Multimedia for Online Course Communication

Jaclyn Krause, Laura Portolese, Julie Bonner


A great deal of research exists in the use of multimedia communications in online classrooms as a means of furthering student engagement. However, little research exists that examines the perceptions of students when such technologies are used. Additionally, it is unclear that students are likely to engage in the use of such technologies when available. This research explores the perceptions of 69 students taking both online and hybrid undergraduate project management courses. Specifically, the study seeks to explore how students experienced the use of multimedia by their instructor and classmates in both online announcements and discussions, as well as whether these same students used or would be likely to use multimedia for similar communications. Finally, student perceptions of social presence, the degree to which one is perceived as a real person in computer-mediated communication (Gunawardena, 1995), are examined. The results of the study indicate that while students overwhelming enjoy the instructor’s use of multimedia communication, they are unlikely to engage in using these technologies themselves. A discussion of these results and recommendations for further research complete this paper.


online classes; multimedia communications; social presence

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