Paper Title
Student Perceptions of Group Discussion Through Face-to-Face and Mobile Instant Messaging in an Economics Subject

This qualitative study explores student perceptions of group discussion in an economics subject. Students complete a group task by examining the competitive behavior of businesses in a specific market structure. Based on Vygotsky’s socio-cultural constructivism, the study as designed strives to understand student discussion in groups through face-to-face and mobile instant messaging. Data were collected through interviews of forty-six business students who volunteered for this study. Even though the study found that students highly value the significance of both face-to-face and mobile instant messaging, the immediacy and dynamism of the face-to-face environment, and the interactive dialogue of face-to-face discussion are viewed more favorably by students than mobile instant messaging as the sole means of discussion. The convenience and ease of organizing meetings through mobile instant messaging was highlighted by students as one area where mobile instant messaging was practical as precursor to face-to-face discussions. This study can contribute to literature by providing insights to instructors in the discipline of economics on how to support student discussions in groups. Index Terms - Economics, face-to-face discussion, group discussion, mobile instant messaging