A Quantitative Study of Youth Employees' Use of an Informal Chatting Tool at a Workforce Training Program

Foad Hamidi, William Easley, Amy Hurst

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Understanding the uptake and use of digital coordination and communication tools by youth trainees would inform the creation of effective technical training approaches for preparing the next generation of the future workforce that often need to draw on these skills to do their jobs in hybrid working contexts. Despite growing research on the use of informal communication methods, such as chatting, in the workplace, little is known about how youth who have grown up with access to interconnected technologies encounter them in workplace training contexts and how they can be supported in using them effectively. In this study, we investigated youth employees' use of Slack, a popular workplace chatting tool, in an after-school 3D print shop. Using primarily quantitative data from workplace chat logs and participant and direct observations, we looked into youth employees' Slack adoption and use in a technical training context. Our findings show that while the youth used Slack for coordinating print jobs and troubleshooting, they faced a number of challenges preventing them from substantially and consistently using the tool. Furthermore, the youth initially had difficulty using the communication tool consistently. However, over time and with increased experience and structure, their uptake of the technology improved, and in particular, senior employees and the later cohort were able to communicate more consistently and effectively at work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2023 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2023 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9798350336429
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023
Event53rd IEEE ASEE Frontiers in Education International Conference, FIE 2023 - College Station, United States
Duration: Oct 18 2023Oct 21 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565

Conference

Conference53rd IEEE ASEE Frontiers in Education International Conference, FIE 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCollege Station
Period10/18/2310/21/23

Keywords

  • after-school employ-ment
  • chatting tools
  • Slack
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

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