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What does the ‘chat’ tell us about participation and engagement in online video conferencing?

Stokoe, Elizabeth ORCID: 0000-0002-7353-4121, Win See Wong, Jessica, Pedersen Belisle Hansenc, Jessica, Roland, Damian and Davies, Tessa (2024) What does the ‘chat’ tell us about participation and engagement in online video conferencing? Learning, culture and social interaction, 45. ISSN 2210-6561

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.lcsi.2024.100803


Although much is known about the experiential nature of online conferencing, we know less about actual participation and engagement. This paper investigates delegate interactions in the “parallel chat” function of a video platform during an online medical education conference. We collected 813 unique messages, posted while speakers presented on a digital stage. We used descriptive statistics to summarize message/chat content in terms of participant categories and topic. 23% of delegates posted in the chat. However, to go beyond these dimensions, we used conversation analytic methods to identify the actions accomplished in messages and their interconnectedness. We developed a coding scheme to report this analysis across the complete dataset. We found that messages mostly comprised positive assessments (“Wonderful talk!”) and appreciations (“Thank you!”). ‘Second’ messages were more common than initiations or ‘first’ messages, indicating extensive engagement between participants. Few messages received no response. Delegates also formulated what speakers said to develop ‘learning moments’ in the chat. Overall, we argue that a richer and more precise understanding of participation and engagement in video conferencing can be achieved by analysing actual participation and its content, rather than relying only on post-hoc reports and surveys. Data are in British English.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author(s)
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: H Social Sciences
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2024 10:42
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 18:15

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