Communication Privacy Disclosure Management: An Empirical study of socialization support in a Pseudo-Online Course
This study investigated the boundaries of online learners' information disclosure, relationship building, interpersonal integration, and motivation by drawing upon the theoretical frameworks of the social information processing and communication privacy management theories and the hyperpersonal model. A total of 103 students from a higher education institution participated in the study. Results indicated that participants were willing to share their social information with others, but in varying degrees depending on the audiences, indicating that they were balancing privacy and disclosure as described in the communication privacy management theory. It was also witnessed that participants not only concealed sensitive information, but also in some cases fabricated them as explained in the hyperpersonal Model. The use of the experimental communication privacy and disclosure management system, however, did not affect participants’ interpersonal integration and motivation, thus it failed to support the social information processing theory. Overall, considering the fact that today’s students are conscious about their social information disclosure and are willing to share information, a systematic approach to social information sharing that will facilitate online learning communities is recommended.