New technologies have provided new tools we may use as finance professors to communicate with our students. Instant messaging (IM) has become a common communication tool in industry and among students. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the use of IM as a communication tool in finance courses.
After reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of IM, the students were surveyed to determine how they viewed IM in comparison to other communication techniques.
The paper finds that 50 per cent or students use IM at any time (not just for class). The majority of the IM users, use it several times a day and have used it for two to three years. Only about 15.7 per cent of our students have used IM for our classes. The range of IM usage in the classes is 7‐25 per cent. Of those students who have used IM for our courses, they have used it 2‐5 times during the semester and almost all students found it useful. Students were asked to rate various methods of professor/student communication. The students strongly like face‐to‐face communication, followed by (in order of preference) email, IM, and telephone. Students disagree with the statement that IM is a substitute for face‐to‐face interaction and agree that IM is a supplement to face‐to‐face interaction.
The findings suggest ways to improve communications with students and other persons.
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