The use of electronic mail in the communication practices of community colleges: An evaluation of current practice between faculty and administration
Jean Ann Irwin, The University of Tennessee, United States
The University of Tennessee . Awarded
Electronic mail is one of most popular uses of information technology. This study examined the use, fit and effect of email communication within thirteen community colleges in Tennessee. Four specific research questions were addressed: (1) How is email being used in faculty/administration communication within community colleges in the state of Tennessee? (2) Are there differences in the way email is used for communication between faculty in different disciplines and their administrators? (3) Is email communication changing access of faculty to administrators and vice versa at the community college level in Tennessee? (4) Do faculty and administrators perceive that the processes of professional communication are being changed by email?
The researcher created a survey for the assessment of the research questions. The survey instrument was distributed to a sample of administrators and faculty from each of the thirteen institutions during the spring semester 2002. The responses to the survey were analyzed to address the research questions.
The study found that email is being used extensively in communication between faculty and administrators at the community college level. Administrators and faculty are accessible through email and the majority respond to the messages themselves. The perception of faculty and administrators is that email is changing the communication practices at the community college level. Increased access, less formality, and improved communication between administrators and faculty were cited as ways email is changing communication processes at the community college level.
Irwin, J.A. The use of electronic mail in the communication practices of community colleges: An evaluation of current practice between faculty and administration. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Tennessee.
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