Exploring Adult Learners Usage of Information Communication Technology during a Virtual Peer Coaching Experience

Richard Ladyshewsky, Ronald G. Pettapiece


The purpose of this study was to explore how post-graduate students in a fully online business course used information communication technology during a virtual peer coaching experience. In this exploration of technology use it was found students required additional guidance in the use of technologies such as email, telephone calling, and more media rich tools such as Skype and Blackboard Collaborate during a virtual peer coaching session. They did not fully understand how to use these different mediums to guide and structure the coaching experience. They were frustrated by the lack of media richness when using tools with low levels of audio-visual connectivity. The findings suggest that the increasing use of technology in education does not necessarily mean that students will use it appropriately, even if they are adept at learning online or use the technology in their daily lives. Therefore, instructors cannot make assumptions about students’ technological literacy even though these same students may appear to have a high level of competency learning online. Guidelines for using ICT in virtual peer coaching are provided as a result of this exploration.


Peer coaching; technology literacy, information communication technology

Full Text:



Akin, L., & Hilbun, J. (2007). E-mentoring in Three Voices. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 10(1), 1.

Aoun, S., Osseiran-Moisson, R., Shaid, S., Howat, P., & O'Connor, M. (2012). Telephone Lifestyle Coaching: Is It Feasible as a Behavioural Change Intervention for Men? Journal of Health Psychology, 17, 227.

Arbaugh, J. (2005). Is There an Optimal Design for On-Line MBA Courses? Academy of Management Learning & Education, 4(2), 135-149.

Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching Smart People How to Learn. Harvard Business Review, 69, 99-109.

Bart, M. (2011). Teaching with Technology; Tools and Strategies to Improve Student Learning Faculty Focus Special Report (Vol. January, pp. 1-18). Wisconsin.

Baym, N. (2009). A Call for Grounding in the Face of Blurred Boundaries. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14(3), 720-723.

Bierema, L., & Merriam, S. (2002). E-mentoring: Using Computer Mediated Communication to Enhance the Mentoring Process. Innovative Higher Education, 26(3), 211-227.

Biggs, J. (2003). Teaching for quality learning at university (2nd ed.). Buckingham: Open University/Society for Research into Higher Education.

Boud, D. (1988). How to help students learn from experience. In K. Cox & C. Ewan (Eds.), The Medical Teacher (2nd ed., pp. 68-73). London: Churchill Livingstone.

Boud, D., & Edwards, H. (1999). Learning for practice: promoting learning in clinical and community settings. In J. Higgs & H. Edwards (Eds.), Educating Beginning Practitioners: Challenges for Health Professional Education (pp. 173-179). Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Boyce, L., & Clutterbuck, D. (2011). E-Coaching: Accept it, It's Here, and It's Evolving! In G. Hernez-Broome & L. Boyce (Eds.), Advancing Executive Coaching: Setting the Course for Successful Leadership Coaching (pp. 285-315). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Boyce, L., & Hernez-Broome, G. (2010). E-Coaching: Consideration of Leadership Coaching in a Virtual Environment. In D. Clutterbuck & Z. Hussain (Eds.), Virtual Coach, Virtual Mentor (pp. 139). USA: Information Age.

Byrne, M. (2009). Evaluating the findings of qualitative research. AORN Journal, 73(3), 703-706.

Clutterbuck, D. (2010). Welcome to the World of Virtual Coaching and Mentoring. In D. Clutterbuck & Z. Hussain (Eds.), Virtual Coaching, Virtual Mentoring (pp. 3). USA: Information Age.

Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications Inc.

D'Abate, C., Eddy, E., & Tannenbaum, S. (2003). What's in a name? A Literature-Based Approach to Understanding Mentoring, Coaching, and Other Constructs That Describe Developmental Interactions. Human Resource Development Review, 2(4), 360-384.

Daft, R., & Lengel, R. (1986). Organizational Information Requirements, Media Richness and Structural Design. Management Science, 32(5), 554-571.

Davis, F. (1989). Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease and Use and User Acceptance of Information Technology. Management Information Systems Quarterly, 13, 319-349.

Eisenhardt, K. (1989). Building theories from case study research. Academy of Management Review, 14(4), 532-550.

Golafshani, N. (2003). Understanding reliability and validity in qualitative research. The Qualitative Report, 8(4), 597-607.

Goodhue, D., & Thompson, R. (1995). Task-technology fit and individual performance. Management Information Systems Quarterly, 19(2), 213-236.

Hall, R., Watkins, S., & Eller, V. (2003). A Model of Web-based Design for Learning. In M. Moore & W. Anderson (Eds.), Handbook of Distance Education (pp. 367-376). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Harris, A., & Rea, A. (2009). Web 2.0 and Virtual World Technologies: A Growing Impact on IS Education. Journal of Information Systems Education, 20(2), 137-144.

Haythornwaite, C. (2011). Social Networks and Internet Connectivity. Information, Communication and Society, 8(2), 125-147. doi: 10.1080/13691180500146185

Headlam-Wells, J., Craig, J., & Gosland, J. (2006). Encounters in Social Cyberspace: E-mentoring for Professional Women. Women in Management Review, 21(6). doi: 10.1108/09649420610683471

Honey, P., & Mumford, A. (1987). A Manual of Learning Styles. Maidenhead, UK: Honey Publications.

Kerka, S. (1996). Journal writing and adult learning. Available: ERIC Digest 174.

Khan, A. (2010). Virtual Mentoring: A Quantitative Study to Measure the Effectiveness of Virtual Mentoring Versus Face-to-Face Mentoring. (Ph.D.), Capella University, Ann Arbor, MI. (UMI 3404631)

Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Ladyshewsky, R. (2007). A Strategic Approach for Integrating Theory to Practice in Leadership Development Leadership and Organization Development Journal., 28(5), 426-443.

Ladyshewsky, R. (2010). The Manager as Coach as a Driver of Organizational Development. Leadership and Organizational Development Journal, 31(4), 292-306.

Ladyshewsky, R., & Ryan, J. (2006). Peer Coaching and Reflective Practice in Authentic Business Contexts: A Strategy to Enhance Competency in Post-Graduate Business Students. In A. Herrignton & J. Herrington (Eds.), Authentic Learning Environments in Higher Education (pp. 61-75). Hershey PA: Idea Group Publishing.

Ladyshewsky, R., & Varey, W. (2005). Peer Coaching: A practical model to support constructivist learning methods in the development of managerial competency. In M. Cavanagh, A. Grant & T. Kemp (Eds.), Evidence-Based Coaching: Volume 1; Theory, research and practice in the behavioural sciences (pp. 171-182.). Bowen Hills, Qld: Australian Academic Press.

Meister, J., Kaganer, E., & Von Feldt, R. (2011). 2011: The Year of the Media Tablet As a Learning Tool. Training and Development, 65(4), 28-31.

Meredith, J. (1998). Building operations management theory through case and field research. Journal of Operations Management, 16(4), 441-454.

Moreme. (2013). White Paper on Virtual Coaching and Mentoring: The value of coaching and mentoring over distance. https://www.moreme.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/White-paper-Virtual-Coaching-Final.pdf

Murphy, W. (2011). From E-Mentoring to Blended Mentoring: Increasing Students' Developmental Initiation and Mentors' Satisfaction. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 10(4), 606-622.

Pittaway, S., Downing, J., & Osborne, P. (2010). Guidelines for Online Facilitation. In U. o. Tasmania (Ed.), (pp. 1-10). Tasmania: Univesity of Tasmania.

Proserpio, L., & Gioia, D. (2007). Teaching the Virtual Generation. . Academy of Management Learning & Education, 6(1), 69-80. doi: 10.5465/AMLE.2007.24401703

Purcell, K. (2004). Making e-mentoring more effective. American Journal of Health-Systems and Pharmacy, 61(February), 284-286.

Quinn, R., Faerman, S., Thompson, M., McGrath, M., & St. Clair, L. (2011). Becoming a Master Manager: A Competing Values Approach (5th ed.). New Jersey: Wiley.

Rowland, K. (2012). E-Mentoring: An Innovative Twist to Traditional Mentoring. Journal fo Technology Management and Innovation, 7(1), 228-237.

Schon, D. (1991). The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. London: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

Yin, R. (1994). Case Study Research Design and Methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications.

Zey, M. (2011). Virtual Mentoring: The Challenges and Opportunities of Electronically-Mediated Formal Mentor Programs. Review of Business Research, 11(4), 141-152.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v19i2.520

Copyright (c)