Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Communication Teacher 17:2 (Winter 2003) pp. 11–13. Copyright © 2003 National Communication Association; published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. Used by permission.


In today’s technologically advanced business world, organizations are increasingly relying on computer-mediated communication (CMC) in their day-to-day operations. Employees are teleworking instead of commuting to the office, business travel is being replaced by videoconferencing, and problem-solving sessions are moving from conference rooms to computer monitors. This major shift in how business is conducted in the “real world” poses a new set of challenges for effective group communication—challenges for which communication instructors should prepare their students. This activity offers one way in which communication instructors can address the challenges of CMC and achieve the goals of CMC education identified by Witmer (1998): to help students develop a conceptual and linguistic understanding of CMC, to help students develop rudimentary skills in CMC applications, and to show students how to use CMC in everyday work. Specifically, through this activity, students use CMC to achieve specific communication goals, practice their problem-solving skills, and analyze the underlying group communication principles involved in the process.

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