Extending the understanding of online discussions: a replication of online students’ perceptions of identity and helper heuristics

Patric R. Spence, Renee Kaufmann, Kenneth A. Lachlan, Xialing Lin, Stephen A. Spates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research applied an affordance approach to the literature in instruction and pedagogy. Because of the continued trend in online instruction and course management, there exists a need to study the impact of technological affordances and communication in learning management systems. The current study replicates and extends research investigating the responses of undergraduate students to discussion comments on a course management page, in which the presence or absence of peer identity and the helper heuristic of fellow students were manipulated. Results suggest that the act of being helpful (through the helper heuristic) positively impacted source credibility, perceptions of an assignment-related message, and computer-mediated competence. Findings for student rapport and task attraction did not replicate. Furthermore, identity cues continue to be unrelated to the variables of interest. Findings are discussed in terms of both theoretical and instructional relevance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-381
Number of pages15
JournalCommunication Education
Volume72
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 National Communication Association.

Keywords

  • helper heuristics
  • identity heuristics
  • learning management systems
  • online discussion boards
  • source credibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics

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