Bridging the Gap Between Media Synchronicity and Task Performance: Effects of Media Characteristics on Process Variables and Task Performance Indicators in an Information Pooling Task
S. Münzer, T. Holmer - Bridging the Gap Between Media Synchronicity and Task Performance: Effects of Media Characteristics on Process Variables and Task Performance Indicators in an Information Pooling Task - COMMUNICATION RESEARCH, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2009, pp. 76-103
The study examines effects of media synchronicity in a group problem-solving task. The
media characteristics of parallelism, immediacy of feedback, and reprocessability are
varied within text-based computer-mediated communication. The hidden profile task
requires groups to exchange unshared pieces of information and to integrate them.
Contrary to expectations, asynchronous media characteristics do not support the
production of unshared information. Furthermore, asynchronous media characteristics
result in higher engagement in integrating information during discussion. Asynchronous
media characteristics decrease the coherence of the discourse and increase the mental
effort of the participants. Since coherence and mental effort indicate that asynchronous
media characteristics impede the information integration process, the higher engagement
in information integration is interpreted as compensatory effort.