Dr. Diane F. Witmer, APR
|Course Goals||Texts & Materials||Course Activities||Additional References|
|Tentative Reading Schedule|
|January 13||January 20||January 27||February 3||February 10|
|February 17||February 24||March 3||March 10||March 17|
|March 24||March 31||April 7||April 14||April 21|
|April 28||May 5||
Course Goals:In this seminar, we will survey current theory, research, and methods for research in computer-mediated communication (CMC). General topics of inquiry will include how the technology is adopted in organizations, group dynamics in the computer-mediated environment, interpersonal relationships, collaborative processes, and methodology.
By the end of the semester, students will be able to:
- Describe and critique current theoretical foci (e.g., critical, functionalist, cultural) in computer-mediated communication research.
- Discuss various ways in which the nature of the electronic environment creates and/or constrains human communication.
- Access on-line research resources.
- Develop meaningful research in CMC.
Texts and Study Materials:We will utilize both traditional and on-line resources, including the World Wide Web, Internet news lists, ftp sites, and USENET newsgroups. Readings will include studies on organizations, group processes, psychological processes, feminist critiques, ethics, and methodology. Basic materials for this course include:
- Ess, C. (Ed.). (1996). Philosophical Perspectives on Computer-Mediated Communication. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
- Jones, Steven G. (Ed.). (1995). CyberSociety. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Sproull, Lee & Kiesler, Sara (1993). Connections: New Ways of Working in the Networked Organization. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Gaffin, A. (1995). EFF's Guide to the Internet, v. 3.11 (formerly The Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet)
- A variety of on-line articles and resources.
- Course reading packet.
Available in my office:
- Lea, M. (Ed.). (1992). Contexts of Computer-mediated Communication. Herts, England: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
You also will need:
- The ability to access and download readings via the Internet (ftp).
- The ability to access and navigate the World Wide Web.
- The ability to utilize subscription lists (e.g., Listserv lists) and Usenet newsgroups and/or local electronic bulletin boards (BBSs).
- Preferred but not required: Membership in a BBS Chat Room, MUD, MOO, or MUSH.
- Plenty of 3-1/2 inch diskettes, formatted for the Macintosh.If you are uncertain of your skills for using Internet and Web technology, you will want to spend the first week or so of the semester reading and completing the lessons and exercises in:
Levels of Internet
Other Mail Servers
Spamming & Urban Legends
+ Flame War
Telnet (Part One)
Telnet (Part Two)
FTP (Part One)
FTP (Part Two)
FTP File Compression
Gopher (Part One)
Gopher (Part Two)
Bookmarks & Booklists
WWW (Part One)
WWW (Part Two)
Address Searches & Finger
to Check Out
on the Internet
& Other Talkers
Your final course grade will be based on your participation in class activities. Each activity is weighted as follows:
- Article review & presentation 20%
- Five Reaction papers 20%
- Ongoing electronic discussions 10%
- Project & presentation 50%Article Review & Presentation (20%):
For this assignment, you will select an exemplary article on any aspect of CMC that you believe will pertain to your final paper. The purpose of this assignment is twofold: 1) It should help get you started on your research for your final paper in this course, and 2) it will help you develop experience in the critical review and evaluation of scholarly research. Obviously, your review will also require research, since you will have to support your arguments. Your review paper and in-class presentation should: 1) summarize the article, 2) explicate the theoretical grounding of the research, 3) describe the strengths of the piece, 4) provide suggestions for improvement, and 5) discuss the contribution you believe it makes to current scholarship. Be sure to attach a copy of the article to your paper.
Reaction Papers (20%):
You will have an opportunity to write several brief reaction papers throughout the semester. Each of these pieces will focus on an assigned topic that corresponds with the assigned readings.
Electronic Discussions (10%):
A major source of learning in this course will be your weekly participation in a class Listserv discussion. This will enable you to share your personal observations and experiences about CMC with your via CMC. You are encouraged to comment on the regular assignments that are posted to the list, and to bring to the discussion your own questions, related readings, thought-provoking cases, and your analyses of the course concepts.
This assignment is designed to help you answer the questions you have about CMC that may not be specifically covered in this course. It is divided into three stages: 1) an Annotated Bibliography, 2) a Proposal, and 3) your Final Report and In-Class Presentation. It may focus on any aspect of CMC and use any theoretical grounding that you wish.
Notes:Naturally, I expect everyone in this class to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct, and to demonstrate at all times personal and academic integrity.
Please keep a copy of all work you turn in to me--just in case!
CCMC = Contexts of Computer-Mediated Communication.
PRCMC = Philosophical Perspectives on Computer-Mediated Communication.
Intro & Course Overview Getting Around on the 'Net
Crispen, D.P., (1994) ROADMAP Workshop.
Ess, C. (1996). Introduction: Thoughts along the I-way: Philosophy and the emergence of CMC. (PRCMC).
Gaffin, A. (1995). EFF's Guide to the Internet, v. 3.11
Jackson, M. (1995). The Meaning of "Communication Technology": The Technology-Context Scheme. In B. R. Burleson (Ed.), Communication yearbook, 18 (pp. 229-267). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Kolb, D. (1996). Discourse across Links. (PRCMC).
Lea, M. (1992). Introduction: Re-contextualizing computer-mediated communication. (CCMC).
Shank, G. & Cunningham, D. (1996). Mediated phosphor dots: Toward a post-Cartesian model of CMC via the semiotic superhighway. (PRCMC).
MLK Jr Birthday: NO CLASS MEETING
Conducting Research in and on CMC
Self Intro Due on Listserv
Babbie, E. (1990). Survey Research Methods, 2nd Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Chapter 2, pp. 19-35.
Barker, D. A., & Barker, L. L. (1989). Survey research. In P. Emmert, & L. L. Barker, (Eds). Measurement of communication behavior. (pp. 168-196) New York: Longman.
Hughes, J.A., Randall, D., & Shapiro, D. (1992). Faltering from ethnography to design. CSCW 92 Proceedings, 115-122.
Jones, R. A. (1994). The ethics of research in cyberspace. Internet Research, 4(3), 30-35.
Kaid, L. L., & Wadsworth, A. J. (1989). Content analysis. In P. Emmert, & L. L. Barker, (Eds). Measurement of communication behavior. (pp. 197-217) New York: Longman.
Rice, R. Contexts of research on organizational computer-mediated communication: A recursive review. (CCMC)
Rice, Ronald E. (1989). Issues and concepts in research on computer-mediated communication systems. In J.A. Anderson (Ed.), Communication yearbook, 12, (pp. 436-476). Newbury Park: Sage.
Communicative Behaviors in CMC
Reaction Paper #1 Due
Fulk, J., Schmitz, J.A., & Schwarz, D. (1992). The dynamics of context-behaviour interactions in computer-mediated communication. (CCMC).
Kiesler, S., Siegel, J. & McGuire, T.W. (1984). Social psychological aspects of computer-mediated communication, American Psychologist, 39(10). 1123-1134.
Lea, M., O'Shea, T., Fung, P., & Spears, R. (1992). 'Flaming' in computer-mediated communication: observations, explanations, implications. (CCMC).
Rice, R. & Love, G. (1987). Electronic emotion: Socioemotional content in a computer-mediated communication network. Communication Research, 14. 87-108.
Schaefermeyer, M.J. & Sewell, E.H., Jr. (1988). Communicating by electronic mail. American Behavioral Scientist, 32(2). 112-123.
Smolensky, M.W., Carmody, M.A. & Halcomb, C.G. (1990). The influence of task type, group structure and extroversion on uninhibited speech in computer-mediated communication. Computers in Human Behavior, 6. 261-272.
Thompsen, P.A., & Foulger, D.A. (May, 1993). Effects of pictographs and quoting on flaming in electronic mail. Paper presented to the International Communication Association, Washington, D.C.
Interpersonal Relationships in CMC
Annotated Bibliography Due
Danielson, P. (1996). Pseudonyms, mailBots, and virtual letterheads: The evolution of computer-mediated ethics. (PRCMC).
Matheson, K. & Zanna, M.P. (1988). The impact of computer-mediated communication on self-awareness. Computers in Human Behavior, 4. 221-233.
McCormick, N.B. & McCormick, J.W. (1992). Computer friends and foes: Content of undergraduates' electronic mail. Computers in Human Behavior, 8. 379-405
Spears, R. & Lea, M. (1992) Social influence and the influence of the social in computer-mediated communication. (CCMC).
Walther, J.B. (1996). Hyperpersonal interaction. Communication Research, 23. 3-43.
Walther, J.B. (May, 1995). "On the Internet, Nobody knows you're a dog": Sociotechnical effects on the construction of intimacy in computer-mediated communication. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Albuquerque, NM.
Walther, J.B. & Burgoon, J.K. (1992). Relational communication in computer-mediated interaction. Human Communication Research, 19. 50-88.
Gender and Identity in CMC
Bruckman, Amy. (1993). Gender swapping on the Internet.
Ebben, M., & Kramarae, C. (1993). Women and information technologies: Creating a cyberspace of our own, Introduction to the Women, Information Technology, and Scholarship (WITS) colloquium, sponsored by the Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Jaffe, J.M. & Lee, Y-E., Huang, L., & Hayg, O. (1995). Gender, Pseudonyms, and CMC: Masking Identities and Baring Souls. Paper presented to the 45th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, 1995, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
Matheson, K. (1992). Women and computer technology: Computing for herself. (CCMC)
Olaniran, B.A. (1993). Individual differences and computer mediated communication: The role of perception. Electronic Journal of Communication. Available by sending e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org the command: send OLANIRAN V3N293.
Gender and Power in CMC
Reaction Paper #2 Due
Adams, C. J. (1996). "This is not our fathers' pornography": Sex, lies, and computers. (PRCMC).
Balka, E. (1993). Women's access to on-line discussions about feminism. Available on-line by sending e-mail to email@example.com the command: send BALKA V3N193.
Herring, S.C. (1996). Posting in a different voice: Gender and ethics in CMC. (PRCMC).
Matheson, K. (1991). Social cues in computer-mediated negotiations: Gender makes a difference. Computers in Human Behavior, 7, 137-147.
Spears, R. and Lea, M. (1994) Panacea or Panopticon?: The Hidden Power in Computer Mediated Communication. Communication Research, 21(4), pp. 427-459.
Yoon, S-H. (1996). Power online: A poststructuralist perspective on CMC. (PRCMC).
Group Processes in CMC
Adrianson, L. & Hjelmquist,E. (1991). Group process in face-to-face and computer-mediated communication. Behaviour & Information Technology, 10. 281-296.
Dubrovsky, V.J., Kiesler, S., & Sethna, B.N. (1991). The equalization phenomenon: Status effects in computer-mediated and face-to-face decision making groups. Human-Computer Interaction, 6. 119-146.
Gallupe, R.B., Dennis, A.R., Cooper, W.H., Valacich, J.S., Bastianutti, L.M., & Nunamaker, Jr., J.F. (1992). Electronic brainstorming and group size. Academy of Management Journal, 35 (2). 350-369.
Poole, M. S., & DeSanctis, G. (1989). Understanding the use of group decision support systems: The theory of adaptive structuration. In J. Fulk, & C. Steinfeld (Eds.), Organization and communication technology (pp. 173-193). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Smilowitz, M., Compton, D.C., & Flint, L. (1988). The effects of computer mediated communication on an individual's judgment: A study based on the methods of Asch's social influence experiment. Computers in Human Behavior, 4. 311-321.
NO CLASS MEETING
Group Decision Making in CMC
Reaction Paper #3 Due
Hiltz, S.R., Johnson, K., & Turoff, M. (1986). Experiment in group decision making communication process and outcome in face to face vs. computerized conference. Human Communication Research, 13. 225-252.
Kiesler, S. & Sproull, L. (1992). Group decision making and communication technology. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 52. 96-123.
Lea, M. & Spears, R. (1991). Computer-mediated communication, de-individuation and group decision-making. Special Issue: Computer supported cooperative work and groupware. International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 34. 283-301.
McGuire, T. W., Kiesler, S., & Siegel, J. (1987). Group and computer-mediated discussion effects in risking decision making. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52. 917-930.
Rafaeli, S., Sudweeks, F., Konstan, J., & Mabry, E. (1994). ProjectH Overview: A quantitative study of computer-mediated communication.
Sudweeks, F. & Rafaeli, S. (1995). How do you get a hundred strangers to agree: Computer mediated communication and collaboration. In T.M. Harrison & T.D. Stephen, (Eds.). (pp. 115-136.) Computer networking and scholarship in the 21st century. New York: SUNY University Press.
Valacich, J. S., Paranka, D., George, J. F., & Nunamaker, Jr., J. F. (1993). Communication concurrency and the new media: A new dimension for media richness. Communication Research, 20(2). 249-276.
CMC in Organizations
Article Review Due
Danowski, J.A. & Edison-Swift, P. (1985). Crisis effects on intraorganizational computer-based communication. Communication Research, 12(2). 251-270.
Eisenberg, E.M., Monge, P.R., & Miller, K.I. (1983). Involvement in communication networks as a predictor of organizational commitment. Human Communication Research, 10(2). 179-201.
Garton, L., & Wellman, B. (1995). Social impacts of electronic mail in organizations: A review of the research literature. In B. R. Burleson (Ed.), Communication yearbook, 18 (pp. 434-453). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Rice, R.E., Grant, A.E., Schmitz, J., & Torobin, J. (1990). Individual and network influences on the adoption and perceived outcomes of electronic messaging. Social Networks, 12. 27-55.
Schmitz, J. & Fulk, J. (1991). Organizational colleagues, media richness, and electronic mail: A test of the social influence model of technology use. Communication Research, 18 (4). 487-523.
Smith, R. (1996, November). Home alone: An ethnography of communicative behavior enacted by telecommuters. Paper presented to Speech Communication Association, San Diego, CA.
Wambach, J.A. (1991). Building electronic mail coalitions: Network politics in an educational organization. Paper presented to Western States Communication Association, Phoenix, AZ.
CMC and Organizing
Dibbell, J. (1994). A rape in Cyberspace. The Village Voice, 39(41).
Sproull, Lee & Kiesler, Sara (1993). Connections: New Ways of Working in the Networked Organization. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Religion, Culture, and Community in CMC
Reaction Paper #4 Due
Jones, Steven G. (Ed.). (1995). CyberSociety. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
O'Leary, S. D. & Brasher, B. E. (1996). The unknown god of the Internet: Religious communication from the ancient Agora to the virtual forum. (PRCMC).
Mullins, P. (1996). Sacred text in the sea of texts: The Bible in North American electronic culture. (PRCMC).
CMC in the Public Arena
Collins-Jarvis, L. (1993). Gender representation in an electronic city hall: Female adoption of Santa Monica's PEN system. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 37. 49-66.
Feenberg, A. (1992). From information to communication: the French experience with videotex. (CCMC).
Garramone, G.M., Harris, A.C., & Anderson, R. (1986). Uses of political computer bulletin boards. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 30(3). 325-339.
Hiltz, S.R. (1992). Constructing and evaluating a virtual classroom. (CCMC).
Lapham, C. (1994). Beyond the press release: The Web as a campaign tool. Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine, 1(8).
O'Sullivan, P. B. (1995). Computer networks and political participation: Santa Monica's teledemocracy project. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 23, 93-107.
April 21: Guest Lecture, CDA Debate Video
Security and Privacy Issues
Reaction Paper #5 Due
Elgesem, D. (1996). Privacy, respect for persons, and risk. (PRCMC).
Ess, C. (1996). The political computer: Democracy, CMC, and Habermas. (PRCMC).
Keppel, B. (May 23, 1990). Electronic mail stirs debate on the privacy issue. Los Angeles Times, 109, D1.
White, G. (January 8, 1991). Suit says Nissan fired pair over privacy issue. Los Angeles Times, 110, D3
Witmer, D.W. (In press.). Practicing safe computing: Why people engage in risky computer-mediated communication.. In F. Sudweeks, S. Rafaeli, & M. McLaughlin, (Eds.). Network and Netplay: Virtual groups on the Internet. Menlo Park, CA: AAAI/MIT Press.
Additional reading at Electronic Frontier Foundation
April 28: Guest Lecture
Freedom of Speech and Policy Issues
Final Paper & Presentations Due
Batterson, D. (1994). Young gay chat rooms on America Online. Computer Underground Digest, 6(41).
DeLoughry, T.J. (1994, November 16). Carnegie Mellon eliminates 3 bulletin boards with sexual themes from its computer system. The Chronicle of Higher Education. A 22-24.
DeLoughry, T.J. (1994, November 23). Gatekeeping on the Internet. The Chronicle of Higher Education. A 22-24.
Godwin, M. (1994). Prodigy stumbles as a forum...again.
Godwin, M. (1993). Internet libel: Is the provider responsible? Internet World
Pulling the plug on porn. (January 8, 1996). Time. 62.
Riddle, M.H. (1990). The electronic pamphlet--computer bulletin boards and the law.
Text of S. 314, the Communications Decency Act
Turner, J.A. (Sunday, October 20,1991). Messages in questionable taste on computer networks pose thorny problems for college administrators. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 36(19). a13.
Related readings at EPIC, Washington, D.C. (including the CompuServe decision to ban certain newsgroups, the Prodigy suit, etc.)
Beamish, A. (1995). Communities On-Line: Community-Based Computer Networks. Masters Thesis, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Fulk, J. & Steinfield, C. (1990). Organizations and communication technology. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Hiltz, S.R. and Turoff, M. (1993). Network Nation. Revised Edition. Cambridge, MA; MIT Press.
Kollock, P. & Smith, M. (Eds.). (In press). Communities in Cyberspace. Berkeley: University of California. (Abstracts available on-line)
Orlikowski, W. J. Yates, J., Okamura, K., & Fujimoto, M. (1994). Shaping electronic communication: The metastructuring of technology in use. MIT Sloan School working paper #3611-93.
Reid, E. (1991) Electropolis: communication and community on Internet Relay Chat. Honors Thesis, University of Melbourne, Department of History.
Reid, E. (1994) Cultural Formations in Text-based Virtual Realities. Master's Thesis, MIT.
Rheingold, H. (1993). The virtual community: Homesteading on the electronic frontier. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Available on-line:
Sproull, L. & Kiesler, S. (1986). Reducing social context cues: Electronic mail in organizational communication.Management Science, 1492-1512.
Star, S. L. (Ed.) (1995). The cultures of computing. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
Turkle, S. (1984). The second self: Computers and the human spirit. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Van Alstyne, M. & Brynjolfsson, E. (1996). Could the Internet balkanize Science? Science, 274(5292). 1479-1480.
Wambaugh, J. (1995) Network politics in an educational organization. Behavior and Information Technology, 14(3), pp. 183-195.
Yates, J. & Orlikowski, W. J. (1993). Knee-jerk anti-LOOPism and other e-mail phenomena: Oral, written, and electronic patterns in computer-mediated communication. MIT Sloan School working paper #3578-93.