Document Type: Research Paper


University of Guilan


For the last two decades, computers have entered people’s lives in an unprecedented manner in a way that almost everybody considers life without them rather impossible. In recent years, researchers and educators have been trying to discover how computers and the Internet technology can maximize the quality of language instruction. As such, the present experimental study sought to investigate the impact of Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication (SCMC) on Iranian EFL learners’ collaboration. To this end, 26 upper-intermediate female students were randomly chosen from a language institute and then they were randomly assigned to one control (Face-to-Face) and two experimental groups (Internet Relay Chat and 2 Dimensional modes). Then, they were taught how to write for ten sessions. The two experimental groups were instructed over the net with two different SCMC modes while the control group was given instruction in a conventional classroom context. Quantitative data regarding the students’ collaboration were collected via Haythornthwaite’s (2000) three-part Likert-scale questionnaire after being tested for its reliability and validity for the present context. The results of one-way ANOVA showed no statistically significant differences between the experimental and control groups in terms of collaborative learning, class interaction, and students’ impression. The results also suggested that mode of instruction might not be a determining factor as far as the amount of students’ collaboration, interaction and impressions are concerned.


Abe, Y. (2005). Japanese EFL learners’ patterns of interaction in two synchronous discussion modes. TCC 2011 Proceedings, Hiroshima, Japan, 169-185.
Asterhan, C. S. C., & Eisenmann, T. (2009). Online and face-to-face discussions in the classroom: A study on the experiences of 'active' and 'silent' students. Paper presented at the 8th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, CSCL'09, Rhodes, Greece. Retrieved June 5, 2014, from
Becker-Beck, U., Wintermantel, M., & Borg, A. (2005). Principles of regulating interaction teams practicing face-to-face communication versus teams practicing Computer-Mediated Communication. Small Group Research, 36(4), 499-536.
Chapman Parr, P., & Krashen, S. D. (1986). Involuntary rehearsal of second language in beginning and advanced performers. System, 14(3), 275-278.
Cho, H. J. (2011). Negotiation of meaning in synchronous computer-mediated communication in relation to task types. Doctoral Dissertation, Indiana University. Retrieved June 20, 2014, from
Chou, C. C. (2002). A comparative content analysis of student interaction in Synchronous and Asynchronous learning networks. Paper presented at the 35th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences: IEEE Computer Society, Hawaii. Retrieved June 15, 2014, from
Clark, L. A., & Watson, D. (1995). Constructing validity: Basic issues in objective scale development. Psychological Assessment, 7(3), 309-319.
Colon, V. A. (2011). Using web 2.0 tools in a foreign language classroom: Motivating students through virtual social interaction to improve reading and writing skills (Doctoral Dissertation, University of Georgia). Retrieved June 7, 2014, from
Darhower, M. (2002). Interactional features of synchronous computer-mediated communication in the intermediate L2 class: A sociocultural case study. CALICO Journal, 19(2), 249-277.
Fjermestad, J. (2004). An analysis of communication mode in group support systems research. Decision Support Systems, 37, 239-263.
Goda, Y., & Yamada, M. (2013). Application of CoI to design CSCL for EFL online asynchronous discussion. In Akyol, Z., & Garrison, D., R. (Eds.) Educational Communities of Inquiry: Theoretical Framework, Research and Practice (pp. 295-311). Canada: IGI Global.
Harstinski, S. (2006). Introducing an informal synchronous medium in a distance learning course: How is participation affected? Internet and Higher Education, 9, 117-131.
Harstinski, S. (2007). Participating in synchronous online education. Lund, Sweden: Lund University. Retrieved June 18, 2014, from
Haythornthwaite, C. (2000). Online personal networks: Size, composition and media use among distance learners. New Media & Society, 2(2), 195-266.
Hoven, D. L. (2006). Communicating and interacting: An exploration of the changing roles of media in CALL/CMC. Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium Journal, 23(2), 233-256.
Hubbard, P. (2009). Computer Assisted Language Learning: Critical Concepts in Linguistics. London: Rutledge.
Ingram, A. L., Hathorn, L. G., & Evans, A. (2000). Beyond chat on the internet. Computers & Education, 35, 21-35.
Jeong, E. (2010).  Comparison between the effects of SCMC and SCMC with peer feedback on EFL writing. Multimedia-Assisted Language Learning, 13(2), 81-103.
Jeong, N. (2011, October). The effects of task type and group structure on meaning negotiation in synchronous computer-mediated communication. Proceedings of the 2009 Second Language Research Forum: Diverse Contributions to SLA (pp. 51-69). MA, USA. Retrieved June 5, 2014, from
Krashen, S. D. (1985). The input hypothesis. London: Longman.
Krashen, S. D. (1991). How much comprehensible input did Heinrich Schliemann get? System, 19(3), 189-190.
Krashen, S. D. (1996). The case for narrow listening. System, 24(1), 97-100.
Lantolf, J. P. (2009). Knowledge of language in foreign language teacher education. The Modern Language Journal, 93(2), 270-274.
La Pointe, D. K. (2005). Effects of peer interaction facilitated by computer-mediated conferencing on learning outcomes: A story of developing, testing, and refining a model to understand the relationship between peer interaction and learning outcomes. Paper presented at 19th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning, Madison, Wisconsin, USA. Retrieved July 5, 2014, from http//
Little, D. (1995). Learning as dialogue: The dependence of learner autonomy on teacher autonomy. System, 23(2), 175-181.
Mahmoud, A. B., & Auter, P. J. (2009). The interactive nature of Computer-Mediated Communication. American Communication Journal, 11(4). Retrieved July 7, 2014, from
Mangubhai, F. (2001). Book floods and comprehensible input floods: Providing ideal conditions for second language acquisition. International Journal of Educational Research, 35(2), 147-156.
Pellettieri, J. (2010). Online chat in the foreign language classroom: From research to pedagogy. MEXTESOL Journal, 34(1), 41-57.
Puri, G. (2012). Critical success factors in E-learning – An empirical study. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 2(1), 149-161.
Pui-Shan, C. S. (2003). Using computer-mediated communication (CMC) to enhance student participation in group discussion, Postgraduate Thesis, the University of Hong Kong. Retrieved June 10, 2014, from     
Rezai, A. A., & Zafari, N. (2010). The impact of Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication (SCMC) on the oral proficiency of Iranian EFL learners. IJAL, 13(2), 101-119.
Rodrigo, V., Krashen, S. D., & Gribbons, B. (2004). The effectiveness of two approaches to foreign language instruction at the intermediate level. System, 32(1), 53-60.
Smith, B., Alvarez-Torres, M. J., & Zhao, Y. (2003).  Features of CMC technologies and their impact on language learners’ online interaction. Computers in Human Behavior, 19, 703-729.
Storch, N. (2002). Patterns of interaction in ESL pair work. Language             Learning, 52(1), 119-158.
Yilmaz, Y. (2008). Collaborative dialogue during tasks in Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication (Doctoral Dissertation, Florida State University). Retrieved    June      10, 2014, from
Ziegler, M. (2013). Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication and interaction: A research synthesis and meta-analysis, Doctoral Dissertation, Georgetown University. Retrieved July 8, 2014,   from