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ERIC Number: ED506747
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
The Perpetual Professor in the 21st Century University
Leidman, Mary Beth; Piwinsky, Mark J.
Online Submission
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of electronic mail and other portable and wireless devices on the traditional out of classroom communications which take place between students and professors in colleges and universities. The environment in which higher education instruction occurs has changed dramatically in the last two decades. In the past, traditional instruction took place in classrooms where the Professor lectured and the students dutifully took notes, researched topics in libraries, sometimes reflected in small groups and produced academic tomes. Technology has clearly impacted nearly every aspect of communications and pedagogy. Students expect professors to be digitally savvy even as many traditionalists are pushing to maintain older modes of face-to-face educational delivery and relationships with students that are not hindered by cyber-modality. To assess how technology is impacting faculty-student interaction, an online survey was conducted using Qualtrics' web-based survey tool at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), one of 14 public institutions in the Pennsylvania System of Higher Education governed by a Collective Bargaining Agreement. In examining the impact of technology on faculty-student interaction, this study focuses on five basic questions. These include: It begins with an examination of faculty office hours, cell phone and email usage, and patterns of faculty-student interaction. Of the 775 faculty on the total IUP list, 278 responded to a survey providing a significant response rate of 35.9%. Some results indicate that email has become a generally accepted modality of faculty-student interaction. As the data show, that 29% of faculty responding receive and send 21 or more student directed e-mails each week and that 55% have an e-mail response-time statement in syllabi. In addition it was found that 58% of instructors attempt to respond quickly to student emails; within four hours or the next day. E-mail is a viable channel for interacting with students on a regular basis but without the intrusiveness that can occur from cell phones. This enables faculty to have a degree of control over the time of interaction while maintaining high levels of interaction. Factoring in the large amount of time faculty are available in their offices with their email response patterns suggests faculty are very available to students but want some degree of control over the time parameters. (Contains 7 tables.)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania