Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

John Flach (Advisor), Valerie Shalin (Committee Member), Wayne Shebilske (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Asynchronous group communication refers to the activity of multiple people communicating when they are separated by both time and space. Online groups (OG) and email are two settings that facilitate these interactions. While both of these settings accomplish this task, they do so in slightly different ways. Email organizes all of the posts by putting the new posts on the top of the display and the older posts towards the bottom. The OG interface uses a tree structure; putting the new posts in a subordinate post relationship to a previous post. How these two technologies present the posts to the user was felt by the experimenter to cause quantifiable differences. Twenty asynchronous conversations (10 from email, 10 from OG) were collected and analyzed. Significant differences were seen between the two interface conditions that would suggest that interface influences how asynchronous conversations develop.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded