Are you still waiting for an answer? The Chronemics of Asynchronous Written CMC

Yoram M Kalman, Gilad Ravid, Daphne R Raban Sheizaf Rafaeli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This study examines the chronemics (time related messages) of response latencies in asynchronous computer-mediated communication (CMC) by analyzing three datasets comprising a total of more than 150,000 responses: email responses created by corporate employees, responses created by university students in course discussion groups, and responses to questions posted in a public, commercial online information market. Mathematical analysis of response latencies reveals a normative pattern common to all three datasets: The response latencies yielded a power-law distribution, such that most of the responses (at least 70%) were created within the average response latency of the responders, while very few (at most 4%) of the responses were created after a period longer than 10 times the average response latency. These patterns persist across diverse user populations, contexts, technologies, and average response latencies. Moreover, it is shown that the same pattern appears in traditional, spoken communication and in other forms of online media such as online surveys. The implications of this uniformity are discussed, three normative chronemic zones are identified, and a quantitative definition for online silence is
proposed. Implications for educators and administrators working with online students and with online teaching staff are discussed.
Original languageEnglish GB
Title of host publicationChais Conference on Instructional Technologies Research, Raanana, Israel
StatePublished - 2007


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