Reflection Paper


Reflection Paper

The research in “College Faculty Use and Perceptions of Electronic Mail to Communicate with Students” was interesting because it gave information on a different perspective of student-faculty email communication than what had been currently published.  Prior to this research, the literature on this subject was mostly conducted from the students’ point of view and therefore we only had half the puzzle.  The main research questions in this article centered around gathering information about how often the email communication took place, how often faculty is the one to initiate the contact with individual students, the motives on the part of the faculty member for initiating contact and his/her belief about student initiation of email contact, and lastly how faculty feels about this particular form of communication.  The researchers came to understand an important point about the faculty-student relationship.  It is interesting to note that “how faculty perceive students’ choice of email as a means of communication can influence their view of the students and their responses to the communication” (Duran, Kelly, & Keaten, 2005, 162).  I think this is very interesting because I personally never considered how a professor of mine might view me as a person and as a student from the choice to email instead of speak face-to-face and I never considered how I might better phrase my email communications with my professor.  This research pointed out to me that my choice in communication with my professor might unintentionally color his/her opinion of me.  From now on, I will consider this before emailing.

This last research question about how the faculty feels about electronic communication relates most to my own research because I am trying to discover whether electronic communication like email and texts is beneficial or detrimental to a romantic relationship.  I will ask questions about the length of the romantic relationship, the choice of electronic communication versus in person interaction, how the participants feel about electronic communication with their romantic partner, specifically whether they feel like it allows the emotional connection with their partner that face-to-face interaction would.  I hope to determine if romantic relationships in the digital age are more or less successful than when the only choice of communication was in person or on the telephone.

My survey is a five question survey so far with four choices for each question.  In the survey on faculty-student email use, it was a much longer survey and I felt like it did a good job of getting the faculty participants to answer the important questions that would lead to answers for the researchers.  There was four sections in the survey, each dealing with a different research question.  Each section, had several questions.  Some of the sections offered five choices, from strongly agree down the spectrum to strongly disagree.  There were also open-ended questions in the survey, which helped the researchers because the faculty who participated could fill in their own responses.  This seemed like it was especially helpful for the researchers in determining the question of how the professor felt about the students’ choice to email instead of discuss an issue face-to-face.  I feel like this is a good option for my survey, to offer open-ended questions, because I might obtain more interesting and informative results about how my participants feel about electronic communication with their romantic partner.

In the survey for the faculty, the survey questions were sent through the mail and answered anonymously by 259 faculty participants at two different universities (Duran, et al., 2005, 163).  I think it would benefit my research if my survey was anonymous as well, especially because people do not always feel comfortable talking about their private relationships.  My survey questions are descriptive because I am trying to get my participants to describe how they feel about electronic communication with their significant other.  This is very similar to the research in the student-faculty article.  I created each question to get at the heart of my research about electronic communication with romantic partners and if and how it affects the emotional bond between these partners.  That is why I first wanted to find out the length of the relationship.  This would help figure out if the success of the relationship (judged by length) was at all related to frequent or infrequent use of electronic communication with one another, which is the next question.  With the first two questions, we can immediately find out if there is a correlation between length of relationship and use of mobile communication.  The next three questions are all descriptive questions to figure out if the participants feel like their relationships is helped or harmed by use of electronic communication with one another.  Like the researchers in the student-faculty email communication research, I hope to discover the degree, if any, electronic communication helps or harms a relationship.




Duran, R. L., Kelly, L. & Keaten, J. A. (2005). College Faculty Use and Perceptions of

Electronic Mail to Communicate with Students. Communication Quarterly, 53(2), 159-176.