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Effects of Internet Use on Building Community in the Residence Halls at Telnet College Seth Avakian Kelly A. Gray Carrie A. Kortegast Jennifer N. Scumaci.

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Presentation on theme: "Effects of Internet Use on Building Community in the Residence Halls at Telnet College Seth Avakian Kelly A. Gray Carrie A. Kortegast Jennifer N. Scumaci."— Presentation transcript:

1 Effects of Internet Use on Building Community in the Residence Halls at Telnet College Seth Avakian Kelly A. Gray Carrie A. Kortegast Jennifer N. Scumaci Telnet College Technology Committee

2 OVERVIEW of PRESENTATION Purpose of Presentation Background Information Implications for Residence Halls Committee Recommendations Limitations of Proposal Other Issues to be Explored Conclusion

3 PURPOSE To identify the issues surrounding how community development in residence halls is effected by the increased use of technology Research Questions: – How is technology impacting the residence halls communities at Telnet College? – How can we use technology to support the mission of Telnet College and enhance student and community development? – How can Telnet College become more proactive and systematic in its handling of technology related matters?

4 LIMITATIONS OF THIS PROPOSAL The committee understands that this proposal is limited in that it primarily explores technology in terms of internet usage and its effects on community development within residence halls. This proposal is only one step in the direction of learning about how technology is effecting today’s college students. We suggest further research be done in other uses of technology and the effects of such uses on all aspects of the higher education experience.

5 BACKGROUND INFORMATION Technology has primarily increased “opportunities for learning-linked interaction…by reconceptualizing scholarship, reforming bureaucracy, and planning strategically for the future” (Van Dusen, 1999) A majority of students in a study done by Scherer (1997) viewed themselves as “sociable, not introverted or avoidant” and stated that the majority of their contacts were still “face-to-face” “At least 10 percent of college students use the Internet so much that it interferes with their grades, their health, and their social lives…” (Reisberg, 2000)

6 BACKGROUND INFORMATION (continued) Technology's purpose in higher education is to enhance student learning productivity by enabling them to learn more than they would otherwise (Kuh & Vesper, 1999). In a recent study Kuh & Vesper (2001) suggest that computers do not have a negative impact on student development. They suggest that "by removing the obstacles of time and place, computers may make it easier for students to work together more frequently" (p.96). If technology is used primarily for distraction, playing games, downloading music, communicating with friends, etc., it will reduce the amount of time students are engaged in educationally useful activities (Reisberg, 2000).

7 IMPLICATIONS for RESIDENCE HALLS Background information on the internet and community development is varied in opinion and therefore inconclusive in determining direct effects (i.e., internet connection has been found to increase community development in some instances, where it hinders community development in others) Technology has positive implications for students with diverse learning styles and offers more opportunities for students to become engaged in active learning within their living environments

8 IMPLICATIONS (continued) Residence Life Staff must be aware that students are engaging in unhealthy and unethical behaviors related to internet use (i.e., online gambling, internet addiction, online harassment, “hacking,” academic dishonesty), and must strategize how to combat such behaviors Residence Life Staff must be knowledgeable on student development and college impact theories, as well as on recent technological trends among college students in order to be successful in developing students and creating communities within their residence halls

9 COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS  Annual survey of the uses of technology by Telnet College Students.  Create a web page for each residence hall community.  Create innovative programming to teach our students how use technology to enhance their education.  Train professional and student staff on the ways to recognize unhealthy uses of technology.  Create policy with other departments surrounding on-line harassment and other issues that will develop as a result of new technology.

10 Annual Survey “Given the constant and increasing change in technology used, research should be implemented to be ongoing and systematic.” (Flowers, Pascarella, & Pierson, 2000) Develop a survey exploring what types of technology students are using, how they are using it, how frequently, and what knowledge about the current technology they need to acquire in order to enhance academic performance. Randomly sample students on a yearly basis in order to keep up with the fast changing technology. Use the survey results to develop new ideas and implement new programming in order for students to use the new technology to better connect with the campus and enhance their academic experience instead of only using technology as a distraction and a time filler.

11 Web Page To help facilitate the connection of students to other students within each residence hall. Use as a way to advertise programs and up- coming events both within the residence halls and on campus. As a way for residents to connect with hall staff. A fast and easy way for students to get information about current concerns facing college students today. The website is a way to be both “high tech” and “high touch.”

12 Web Page Sample Poll of the Day Telnet College Connecting you with your neighbor Virtual House Community Chat Board Residence Hall Staff H ouse Photo Gallery Up Coming Events Reminder Room Choosing this Wednesday, 4/17, 8-10pm in the main lounge.

13 Programming Instead of competing with new technology, incorporate it into Residential Programming. Link with technology support services to help develop programs that will teach students how to best use the current technology for academic support Link with career services to teach students how to job search online. Use the internet to advertise hall/campus events

14 On-line Harassment Policy Work in conjunction with other departments such as Judicial Affairs, VP for Student Affairs, Provost, Computer Support Services and President’s Office in order to develop a policy and consequences to address on-line harassment. Develop an institutional protocol for handling cases of on-line harassment. Develop ways to advertise policy and procedures in order to educate students about resources for student’s being harassed as well as the consequences for engaging in on-line harassment.

15 Staff Training Train staff on how to use technology to better connect and serve students needs. Have on-going workshops to help both professional and student staff identify and address unhealthy uses of technology such as internet addiction, on-line harassment, etc. Develop protocols and guidelines to effectively handle situations involving computer fraud, online harassment, hacking, etc. Have Residence Hall Staff on the watch for students that are not connecting with other students and work with those students on an individual basis.

16 OTHER ISSUES to be explored by the committee In regards to the previous slide, the committee recommends further exploration the following areas: – Forms of technology already available and becoming available to today’s college students, other than the internet – The influences of different forms of technology on all aspects of the higher education experience (not just residence life) – How technology effects retention and student persistence – The effects of assistive technologies on increasing access for students with disabilities – Internet addiction – The use of technology to create a virtual community amongst all colleges and universities around the world – The effects of technology on the academic sector (i.e., distance learning)

17 CONCLUSION As the focus of higher education shifts from that of a teaching focus to a learning focus, technology will continue to play a vital role. However, it is important for higher education professionals to recognize that technology does not exist in a vacuum - it is not effective in and of itself. Equally important, higher education professionals must fully embrace technological benefits and drawbacks in order to determine how to best use technology to enhance students’ college experiences. It is only when we connect people and technology that technology can be useful in promoting and fostering student learning and development.

18 REFERENCES Anderson, K. Internet use among college students: An exploratory study. Elling, T. &Brown, S. (2001). Advancing technology and student affairs practice. In R. Winston, D. Creamer, T. Miller, & Associates (eds.), The professional student affairs administrators: Educator, leader and manager (pp.81-106). Flowers, L., Pascarella, E. & Pierson, C. (2000). Information technology use and cognitive outcomes in the first year of college. The Journal of Higher Education. 71(6), 637-667. Kandell, J. (1998). Internet Addiction on Campus: The vulnerability of college students. CyberPsychology & Behavior. V(1),1 Kuh, G. & Hu, S. (2001). The relationships between computer and information technology use, selected learning and personal development outcomes, and other college experiences. Journal of College Student Development. V42(3), 217-232. Kuh, G. & Vesper, N. (1999, April). Do computers enhance or distract from student learning. Research in Higher education, 42, 87-102. Reisberg, L. (2000, June 5). 10% of students may spend too much time online, study suggests. The Chronicle of Higher Education [online]. Available: http//


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