Electronic communication technology, media channel selection, media richness, and learning style
Lynn S. Rex, California School of Professional Psychology - Berkeley/Alameda, United States
California School of Professional Psychology - Berkeley/Alameda . Awarded
This study examined relationships between learning style and media channel preferences. Questions for inquiry pertained to media richness theory and involved correlations among eight variables. There were three major research questions. (1) In what ways does the media richness theory provide for the complexity of individual preference when face-to-face is not available? (2) In what ways can consideration of learning style provide a clearer picture about what is perceived as most appropriate and effective? (3) Based on selection of media channels, what are the implications upon media richness theory when learning style is considered?
Sixty-one employees from a San Francisco Bay Area community college district completed the Learning Styles Inventory (LSI), an established instrument, and the Media Preference Survey (MPS), a questionnaire designed for this study.
Statistically significant correlations (p < .05) were obtained between the two instruments as evidence for relationships between learning style and media channel preference. Specifically auditory learning style had a significant relationship to voice mail selection and use. E-mail was the most preferred media channel, which was a departure from the expectations laid out by the criteria for the media richness continuum.
The implications of the findings for media richness theory, the media richness continuum, and new media were discussed. Findings for auditory learning style indicated there may be reason to believe a clearer picture about what media channel is perceived as most appropriate and effective can be pursued by considering learning style. The findings open up further discussion of contingent approaches to media richness theory, utilizing subjective rather than objective criteria. The argument for further evaluation of objective criteria used in media richness theory to establish relative richness of particular media channels on the media richness continuum is raised chiefly in an attempt to begin to consider the current advancements in electronic communications and new media to address how those new emerging channels for organizational communication may fit into media richness theory.
Rex, L.S. Electronic communication technology, media channel selection, media richness, and learning style. Ph.D. thesis, California School of Professional Psychology - Berkeley/Alameda.
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