Sequential incoherence in a multi-party synchronous computer mediated communication for an introductory Health Informatics course.

Publication Date



American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium Proceedings


Online courses will play a key role in the high-volume Informatics education required to train the personnel that will be necessary to fulfill the health IT needs of the country. Online courses can cause feelings of isolation in students. A common way to address these feelings is to hold synchronous online "chats" for students. Conventional chats, however, can be confusing and impose a high extrinsic cognitive load on their participants that hinders the learning process. In this paper we present a qualitative analysis that shows the causes of this high cognitive load and our solution through the use of a moderated chat system.