A study assessing the effects of synchronous and asynchronous computer-mediated communication on subsequent face-to-face discussions was conducted. Participants were asked to read a short article about internet censorship. Then they were randomly assigned to one of three groups: a synchronous (internet chat) group, an asynchronous (internet discussion board) group and a control group. Both the internet chat group and the internet discussion board group engaged in an on-line dialog about the article they read. They then followed the on-line dialog with a face-to face discussion. The control group had no on-line discussion but instead immediately began a face-to-face discussion. Finally, all completed a questionnaire about their experience. The results showed that face-to-face discussions preceded by either synchronous or asynchronous computer-mediated communication were perceived to be more enjoyable and include a greater diversity of perspectives than face-to-face discussions not preceded by computer-mediated communication. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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