This study explores how and why university students use Internet-based communication technologies. The study relies on qualitative data collected in the form of interviews, recording of actual postings, and student records over the period of one year (two semesters). The data are interpreted through three mutually complementary theoretical lenses, originally developed to understand adoption and usage processes of information technologies: Orlikowski and Robey’ s (1991) adaptation of Giddens’ (1984) structuration theory, Markus’ (1987) critical mass theory, and Fulk et al.’s (1987) social information processing model. Anticipated contributions include the development of guidelines and “intervention strategies” designed to help instructors encourage technology adoption and use for out-of-classroom communication, ideas to improve the technology’ s technical features, identification of criteria to assess the merits of Internet-based technologies for teaching purposes, and an extension and refinement of the theoretical frameworks informing this work.