Class Participation in Online Learning Environments - The Role of the Psychological Contract in Determining Use of Computer-Mediated Communication

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Renee M. E. Pratt, Department of Management Information Systems, College of Business, Florida State University


Online educational offerings are becoming increasingly commonplace. At the same time, relatively little is understood about the factors contributing to studentsĀ“ participation in computer-mediated communication (CMC) in such environments, which ultimately affects student satisfaction with the online learning experience. In this paper, I propose a model that examines the relationship between an individualĀ“s psychological contract and CMC contributions. Individual differences and course structure are proposed to influence the development of the psychological contract. Felt social presence is proposed to mediate the relationship between the psychological contract and CMC contributions, while social influence moderates the relationship. Implications for research and practice arising from the theoretical model are also discussed.


Psychological Contract, Online/Distance Learning, Social Presence, Social Influence, Computer-mediated Communication



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