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Businees Case Essay

3823 words - 16 pages

Contemporary Issues In Education Research – Fourth Quarter 2013

Volume 6, Number 4

Student Perceptions Of Peer Credibility
Based On Email Addresses
Jeffrey A. Livermore, Henry Ford Community College, USA
Marla G. Scafe, Walsh College, USA
Linda S. Wiechowski, Walsh College, USA
David J. Maier, Henry Ford Community College, USA

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to evaluate students’ perceptions of their peer’s credibility based on
email addresses. The survey was conducted at a community college in Michigan where all
students were registered and actively taking at least one course. The survey results show that a
student’s selection of an email address does influence other students’ ...view middle of the document...

Russ, Simonds, and Hunt have proposed that marginalized status
may be a factor in how a faculty member’s credibility is perceived by students (Russ, Simonds, & Hunt 2000).
Interaction between faculty and student and student to student is important to the learning process. With
the growth of online and web-assisted education, more interaction is taking place asynchronous through chat rooms,
discussion boards, and email. The establishment of a learning community enhances the learning process. Placing
students in virtual teams for group assignments and group discussions helps promote the collaborative learning
process in an online or web-enhanced environment (Palloff & Praff, 2001).
While the students are often given the opportunity to work asynchronously using a school’s online
technology, they often use their personal or work email instead. The purpose of this study is to evaluate students’
perceptions of their classmate’s credibility based on the email address they use for communication.
LITERATURE REVIEW
The use of online technology in the classroom is changing the way college professors teach their courses.
Online technology is used not only in online and web-assisted courses, but often in face-to-face courses as well.
While an entirely online course is typically administered through a learning management system (LMS), webassisted courses may rely on a school’s website, portal or email system rather than an LMS. With many LMS’s,
2013 The Clute Institute

Copyright by author(s) Creative Commons License CC-BY

393

Contemporary Issues In Education Research – Fourth Quarter 2013

Volume 6, Number 4

student-to-student interaction takes place in discussion boards, chats, or an LMS email system. Often, student
usernames are designated by the LMS (as defined by the school), and in some form, consists of the student’s first
and last name. However, students will often use their own personal email address rather than the email address
defined by the LMS or school. The use of a personal email address has several potential problems in terms of
student identity, confidentiality, and credibility.
First, an instructor may not know the identity of the person sending an email from outside the school
defined email system. A potential FERPA violation exists if an instructor communicates confidential information
with a student using the student’s personal email address or work email address (NACE 2008). Also, a 2011 study
found that a student’s use of a personal email address may negatively impact how a faculty member perceives the
student’s credibility (Livermore, Wiechowski & Scafe, 2011). It is important that email communication between
faculty and students take place in either the school’s email system or LMS.
Student to student interaction is vital to the learning process (Palloff & Pratt, 1999). Any lack of credibility
between students may hamper the learning particularly in an online or web-assisted setting. Several researchers
have studied student...

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