Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Communication Preferences of the Net Generation

Further to the previous post on the BCIT research, we also examined our students' communication preferences. We wanted to find out how they were using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to communicate with their peers and with their instructors. We were also interested in finding out if there were any differences in ICT use and age.

Our survey of a random sample of over 400 BCIT students did find some statistically significant differences but overall, we found that net generation and non-net gen students were not using ICTs more than face to face communication to interact with their peers.

We found that net gen students were more likely to use instant messaging, text messaging, Facebook/MySpace and phone to communicate with peers than non-net gen students.

However, when communicating with instructors, the only significant difference in use of ICTs between net gen and non net gen was with WebCT. Non-net gen students were more likely to use WebCT than net gen students.

By far the most common mode for communicating with instructors for both net gen and non net gen sudents is talking in person.

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