This exploratory study reports on term-long use of a discussion-based GSS by 137 undergraduate business students in a case-based core MIS course. We develop a model of student participation in case-based learning environments and examine the role and impact of technology on participation. Overall participation increased dramatically as students became more comfortable and adept with the technology. The GSS appeared to provide marginalized students with a ?voice? in the classroom, and allowed prolific participators an additional outlet. However, we observed some potentially negative consequences, such as a decline in the proportion of messages containing novel ideas, examples, information requests, and references, and some students expressed difficulty with multitasking ? simultaneously typing and listening. As a result, we advocate further exploration of this technology in the classroom and suggest that its use be more structured, dividing class time into ?technology? (GSS only) and ?human? moments (oral discussion).
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