Abstract The viability of the "student as consumer" metaphor has been debated for a decade in academic circles. Over that period, few have distinguished among differently motivated students or privileged students' own characterizations of their overall school experiences. To address those needs, this study investigated 298 student-generated metaphors about their educational experiences at four types of U.S. higher education institutions (Research I university, private religious university, public regional university, community college).
A recent article in The Teaching Professor stated that no topic had "generated the level of response, as did our consideration...of the student-as-metaphor," and it further claimed that the series of articles published in the journal were "a drop in the bucket compared to what we received" (Bailey 2001, p. 1). Several studies have examined teacher-generated metaphors for schooling (Browne and Hoag 1990; Weinstein 1994) and the "teacher as manager" metaphor (Bullough 1994; Marshall 1990; McLaughlin 1994; Welker 1994). Others have utilized student-generated metaphors to understand specific aspects of educational settings, such as students' identities (Gordon and Lahelma 1996; Jorgensen-Earp and Staton 1993) and cultural characteristics (Hardcastle, Yamamoto, Parkay, and Chan 1985), and their perceptions of grades (Goulden and Griffin 1995) and classroom environments (Grady 1995).
Educators have discussed the utility of the "student as consumer" metaphor in particular for over a decade, with many writers arguing that educational reform should begin with the notion of students as "buyers" in an educational marketplace. Other researchers have highlighted the limitations of the "consumer" metaphor, however, arguing that applying it can produce negative educational consequences for students and for schools (Browne and Hoag 1990; Clark and Astuto 1994; Hartoonian 1997; Kerssen 1987; Schwartzman 1995; Sessions 1995). McMillan and Cheney (1996) worried that use of the consumer metaphor could easily promote an entertainment model of teaching, distance students from the educational process, denigrate classroom experiences as products rather than processes, and reinforce individualism at the expense of the learning community. Echoing several other critics, Schwartzman (1995) argued that transferring a business metaphor to an educational setting is problematic because teaching involves more than just pleasing the customer.
The present study was designed to address two needs apparent in existing research. First, applying one homocentric metaphor (e.g., "consumer") to all higher education has been criticized as unreasonable given the diverse student populations served by distinctly different types of schools. Educators and students are helped most by research that accounts for important individual differences within the groups being studied. Second, while policymakers, administrators, instructors, parents, and researchers have debated students' roles in their own education, writing in this area has mostly privileged those writers' views over students' own perceptions of their educational roles. This inequity under-serves all interested parties and deserves a remedy. For example, Thorpe (1999) argued that, "...it probably doesn't matter what metaphor we use, as long as we understand what metaphors our students are using." To help meet these two needs, the present study collected, compared, and contrasted the metaphors that students with varying types and degrees of motivation used to describe their educational experiences at four different types of U.S. higher education institutions.
Metaphors Structure Human Reality
The metaphoric process sparks new and novel thoughts by moving cognition from one thought to another (Ivie 1987). The ideas and attendant ideologies evoked by a metaphor arguably help shape and organize an individual's reality and behavior (Cohen 1998; Gill 1994; Lakoff and Johnson 1980), such as in conservative politicians' "communism is a cancer" metaphor during the Cold War (Black 1970), and in the "frontiersmen" metaphors used to promote American military campaigns. Ronald H. Carpenter (1990) argues that Americans used the frontier ideals, born from their nineteenth century experiences, as an extended metaphor to justify war in the twentieth century. Carpenter states that many Americans "saw combat metaphorically as an extension of our frontier experience. And after World War I, that metaphor often characterized America's subsequent combat, tragically in Vietnam" (p. 1). Metaphors are active shapers of their users' worldviews, thus the ideologies associated with particular metaphors can translate into reality and certain actions for some individuals (Foss 1996).
Based on what is known about metaphors' origins and effects, it is reasonable to consider that students' social constructs for their learning experiences are shaped by, and reflected in, metaphors. This study investigates students' perspectives on their schooling through the following research questions (RQs):
* RQ1: How do students metaphorically describe their role in schooling?
* RQ1a: Do students describe themselves as consumers?
* RQ2: How do students'perceptions of their roles differ across different types of higher educational institutions (Research I university, private religious university, public regional university, community college)?
* RQ3: Which student metaphors associate with high and low levels of intrinsic motivation to learn?
One important distinction among learners involves their types and degrees of motivation to learn. In what ways do students who are highly motivated construct their learning experiences? Motivational research demonstrates that students' views of schooling affect and are affected by their motivations to learn (Ames 1992; Nicholls 1989). Of special interest to many educators are students who maintain intrinsic motivations to learn (rather than extrinsic, reward-based, or punishment-avoidant compliance). How do such students construct and describe their experiences of schooling? In what ways do their views differ from the views of less motivated students?
Participants included 298 undergraduates enrolled in a communication course at one of seven northwestern, midwestern, southeastern, or southwestern U.S. postsecondary schools. These students were surveyed to measure their motivations to learn and to elicit metaphors describing their experiences of schooling. Data analysis revealed several metaphoric themes, which then were compared across different types of schools and levels of intrinsic motivation.
Of the participants, 28 percent were attending Research I universities, 21 percent attended a private religious university, 24 percent were enrolled at public regional universities, and 27 percent were attending community colleges. Their reported average class sizes ranged from 1 to 328 students (M=45); modal size was 25. Respondents ranged in age from 16 to 44 years (M and mode both=21), and included 57 first-year, 68 second-year, 75 third-year, 94 fourth-year, and 2 fifth-year students. Approximately 72 percent of participants were female.
Faculty members at each institution distributed surveys to students in their classes. Participation in the study was voluntary and anonymous to the researchers, who provided no incentives to the students or faculty involved. Respondents provided general demographic information, completed the statement: "Being a student here is like...," and filled out the motivation measure. Students' metaphoric responses ranged from single words to paragraphs. Students often offered qualifiers (see Carpenter 1998) to describe and contextualize their analogies. For example, one student wrote "Being a student here is like just being a number," adding "whereas in high school I felt like I could make a difference, here I feel like I can't do anything very significant."
Intrinsic Motivations to Learn
Participants completed the 28-item Academic Motivation Scale (AMS) instrument (Vallerand et al. 1992, 1993). Three 4-item AMS subscales were used to measure students' intrinsic learning motivations. The "motivation to know" subscale assesses whether students are motivated by "the pleasure and satisfaction that one experiences while learning, exploring, or trying to understand something new." The "motivation to accomplish things" subscale measures whether students engage in an activity "for the pleasure and satisfaction experienced when one tries to accomplish or create something." The "motivation to experience stimulation" subscale indicates whether respondents are motivated "to experience stimulating sensations (e.g., sensory pleasure, aesthetic experiences, as well as fun and excitement)" from engagement in learning activities (Vallerand et al. 1992, pp. 1005-1006). The AMS has demonstrated satisfactory internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and construct and concurrent validity; the three subscales used for this study reported Cronbach's alphas of .84, .85, and .86, respectively, in their initial publications (Vallerand et al. 1992, 1993). Present reliabilities (N=295) for the 4-item "motivation to accomplish things" (Cronbach's alpha=.89) and "motivation to experience stimulation" AMS subscales (Cronbach's alpha=.87) were appropriate. The "motivation to know" subscale (N=298) was reduced to a 3-item measure acceptable for analysis (Cronbach's alpha=.84).
All metaphors were coded by school type (Research I, private religious university, public regional, community college). Two readers then independently analyzed each metaphor to characterize its "vehicle" (Richards 1936). Working from the assumption that metaphors contain the points-of-view and implicit assumptions of their creators (Foss 1996), it was expected that the vehicles created by students revealed their frame or perception of the metaphor's "tenor"-the student's perceived role at school. As in previous metaphoric studies (Carpenter 1998), the two readers each consulted any qualifier offered by the student when attempting to make sense of the analogy itself.
All judgments made by both readers were added to the data set to aid further analysis of each metaphor. Relying on these data, one researcher then used a method of constant comparison (Glaser and Strauss 1967) to create in-common thematic categories from the metaphors. For example, metaphors noting a role like "an ant in an army" or "being a drop of water in a lake" helped make up a theme ultimately designated "insignificance." Constant comparison continued until: a) each analogy could be characterized primarily by one of the emergent themes, b) no analogy was left unaccounted for by a theme, and c) the overall scheme showed distinct, parsimonious categories (for instance, a theme initially called "difficulty" was folded into the "challenging" theme to lessen overall conceptual overlap). A residual 1.7 percent of student responses were judged "too literal to code as metaphors" and were coded as such in subsequent analyses.
Analysis produced thirteen themes that together encompassed all metaphors in the data set (see Table 1). In this section, each theme is described and illustrated with examples from the data. Themes then are compared across school types and intrinsic motivation scores.
RQ1: THIRTEEN THEMES
Of the respondents, 19.5 percent wrote that being in school was challenging because it provided academic hurdles to clear. Other students (5.4 percent) reported that attending school was restricting-like "being in prison...." Others (11.3 percent) felt rewarded because school was a place to be "enlightened." Another 8.7 percent of the students felt insignificant-like "a little fish in a very big ocean...." "There are so many people here that I feel unnoticed." Familiarity was evident in 9.7 percent of students' metaphors. School was "like high school." "[B]ecause the teachers still care." But college was also like "going to high school with a responsibility, commitment, and paying for it." Students (7.7 percent) expressed a sense of freedom. School was like "being set free after being a prisoner for 11 years." School was confusing for 5.4 percent of the students because college was like being "a ship at sea, drifting, without direction." Another 5.4 percent of students wrote that school was isolating them from reality like "a fabricated society." School seemed overwhelming for 4 percent of students. "I am trying to stay current in my reading and papers...sometimes I feel like I'm over my head." Students (3.4 percent) highlighted the newness of their educational experience. You were given an opportunity of "starting new again." Another 9.1 percent wrote metaphors that featured being a part of a community. School was like "being a part of a large family...we're always there for each other when times get rough." Finally, 7 percent of the students reported that going to school was like having a job. "I have to go to class and do the work to earn a grade."
Research question 1a queried whether students see themselves as educational consumers. Only 1.7 percent of student responses demonstrated a customer-oriented vehicle, often used when discussing selection of classes. Attending school was like "being at a mall-there are good stores, bad stores, and lots of different types of people and opportunities. You choose what you put your money toward..." or like "being a kid in a candy store. There are many, many, many, options." Another student thought that being a student was like "getting coffee at your favorite coffee shop. Sometimes, depending on the barista, your coffee can be great or yucky."
COMPARING THEMES ACROSS SCHOOL TYPES
Our second research question sought similarities and differences among the metaphoric themes reflected at each institutional type. Participants came from community colleges, and from public regional, private religious, and Research I universities. Prevalence of themes across these settings is described in what follows and is also illustrated in Table 2.
Eleven of the themes appeared in the community college data. These students wrote analogies that fit themes of familiarity, rewarding, newness, challenging, freedom, community, restricting, job, confusing, overwhelming, and consumer. Themes of insignificance and isolating were not represented among these students. With one (mixed) exception the eleven themes present were valenced either as positive or as negative by the students.
At the community college level, 25 percent of the students thought that they played a familiar role, though they seemed divided about the value of that characteristic. Many wrote that their community college role was the same as the one they played in high school (e.g., "Being a student here is like going to an extension of high school, with ash trays..."). About half of the students considered this familiarity to be positive. One student wrote that, like high school, "...teachers are willing to take the time to know you and give you personal help and attention... the teachers still care." Other students considered their familiar role in a negative light: "Being a student here is like high school with more homework and less time to do it."
Themes of reward, newness, challenge, and freedom were described positively by community college students. Students (19 percent) compared their experience to that of explorers going on a rewarding "adventure" which would be "very fulfilling and beneficial." The journey brought them "so many steps closer to [their] final career destination." According to 7 percent of the students, community college felt like "starting new again," like "an excited child on his way to the first day of kindergarten, all excited and nervous at the same time." For 9 percent of the students, community college provided a challenge. School provides opportunities to "[reach] a goal or a dream" like "climbing a mountain of obstacles you must overcome," or "riding a snow board, [which is] tough at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's tons of fun." Another 8 percent of the students wrote that school offered them a sense of freedom. Attending community college was like "being set free after being a prisoner for 11 years," or "being a bird flying in the sky."
Five negatively valenced themes (restricting, job, confusing, overwhelming, and insignificant) also emerged from the data. Some (12 percent) felt restricted, like a "bird in a zoo," or a "slave to society who has to get an education to do something in life, but in doing so gets themselves more indebted to the system." Others (6 percent) wrote that attending community college was like "having a second job" which is "difficult.... It takes awhile to get used to the hang of things, and even when I think I understand sometimes I am disappointed with the outcome of the situation (tests, assignments)." Some students (4 percent) found their role confusing, writing that being a student was like "spinning my wheels" because "I don't know where I want to set my major," or that it resembled "being in a constant fishbowl [where] there is always another opinion somewhere near you that will contradict your own." Students (5 percent) who described their role as a "burden that has little remorse for the student who is trying to work enough hours to make ends meet" reflect an overwhelming theme. Such students compared their role to "a computer-cramming a lot of info into our memory and hopefully remembering to use it later down the road." Community (1 percent) and consumer (1 percent) themes were minimally present in these data.
Public Regional University
Nine of the thirteen themes appeared in the metaphors collected from students at public regional universities. These included three positively valenced themes (rewarding, community, and freedom), two negative themes (restricting, confusing), and four themes with mixed valences (challenge, job, familiarity, and newness). Themes of insignificance, isolating, overwhelming, and consumer were not represented among the metaphors written by these students.
Some students reported feeling a positive, liberating sense of freedom or autonomy (16 percent) and community (11 percent) in their roles here. Being at the university was like "flying high as a bald eagle," or "being at a place where I feel self-empowerment." Metaphors reflecting a "community" theme discussed feeling like "a member of an elite group of people all different but working for the same goal," or "a part of a family...[even when disagreeing] most of the time we can sit own at the dinner table and have nice conversations."
Four negative themes also showed up in these data. In contrast to those who felt freedom, 7 percent of the students described their school experience as restricting. They reported "living in a secluded world [where] my life is structured," or feeling treated like "a kid, but with no free time and much harder assignments." Being a student was confusing to some students here (10 percent), who described it as similar to being "in adult limbo" or "like being a baby in a topless bar." Another student described participating in school as "like a hit-and-miss situation-it's completely random whether I end up in a class that is interesting, with a good teacher."
Among the themes with mixed positive and negative valences, 31 percent of these students described their role as challenging. The challenge can be productively demanding "like hiking a mountain" or "swimming upstream," or as frustrating as "wading upstream against a current of bureaucracy" or "being put in a round room and being told to find the corner." Some of these students (10 percent) wrote of school as a job, either a rewarding one ("I learn to take responsibility in my own action and become more educated") or one not so fulfilling ("Being a student here is like being employed at a demanding company in a position that is underpaid"). Other students' metaphors (7 percent) show a sense of familiarity with the enterprise of schooling. On the plus side, some students noted similarity to high school in the "one-on-one classroom interaction [available with] your professors." Other students showed their familiarity less favorably as "high school, the sequel," only "with more responsibilities and no lockers." The themes reward (1 percent) and newness (1 percent) made little appearance in this data subset.
Private Religious University
Nine of the themes appeared in the private religious university data. Students in this setting wrote positive analogies that fit themes of freedom, reward and community, and negative descriptions reflecting challenge, restricting, overwhelming, familiarity, isolating, and job. Themes of confusing, insignificant, newness, and consumer were not represented in these metaphors.
Of private religious university students, 21 percent wrote metaphoric variations on a community theme. Several described the university as like "a home away from home," or like "being with family [in that] I feel safe here and enjoy the time that I spend [here] and the people that I spend it with." Metaphors written by 16 percent of these students described rewards. Such metaphors compared the school to "experiencing an exhilarating roller coaster ride" or "being at a spa.... Sometimes it hurts, but it's all to your benefit in the end."
On the downside, 25 percent of metaphors described going to school as a negative challenge, comparing it (for example) to "being at a really big...expensive...long...challenging summer camp," "a battle," or "trying to win first prize in a competition such as the Olympics...it's a challenge." Other metaphors (14 percent) described a restricting student role, like "living in a nursing home," being "stuck in a bad dream" or "tied to a tree [meaning that] I can't go too far because I have too much to do-all the time." Some students (11 percent) described a sense of feeling overwhelmed. Taking five classes can be as taxing as "being a worker bee to five different queens" or as dangerous as "being a computer whose database is about to explode and never gets shut off." Another 6 percent of metaphors compared schooling to having "a learning job where students "go through the motions and occasionally reach a new horizon." "College is a responsibility." Themes of freedom (2 percent), familiarity (3 percent), and isolating (2 percent) made minimal appearance among these metaphors.
Research I University
Twelve of the thirteen themes (all but restricting) appeared in the metaphors collected from students at Research I universities. These included three positively valenced themes (rewarding, community, and freedom), seven negative themes (insignificant, challenging, restricting, confusing, overwhelming, isolating, and job), and three mixed-valence themes (newness, familiarity, and consumer).
Some (10 percent) of these metaphors described students' roles as rewarding. These descriptions depict going to school as like "a growing process-everything [has] aided in changing who I am since I've been here." One metaphor described schooling as "an expanding jar, filled with bees, buzzing all around. By the end of each quarter when I take in all that I've learned and listened to the theory and terminology learned in class, I realize how many more comparisons I can make and my capacity for original thought." Some students (6 percent) described being a student as "being part of a big community." One described her/his university as having an "environment that fosters individual advancement within a social community of friends and peers." Another 6 percent of these students wrote about the freedom they felt as students: "it is a "different world where I am totally independent."
On the negative side, a relatively large percentage of students, 31 percent, described their role as insignificant. They wrote of feeling as small and inconsequential as "a needle in a haystack," "a part of the larger cow herd," "a drop of water in a lake," "a number," "a leaf in a forest," and very often, "a little fish in a big ocean." One respondent elaborated, saying, "Since I've had the small private school experience and now the large institutional experience, I know what it means to be the loved family goldfish who gets dumped into a large educational sea." Another 7 percent of these students wrote analogies betraying their confusion, writing of being "a ship at sea, drifting without direction," or "thrown in the midst of chaos." Challenging described 16 percent of students' metaphors. They compared schooling to "a rigorous exercise in time management," or waiting in a bread line "in which everyone is fighting for a limited amount of bread, and no one can help you except yourself." Some (6 percent) wrote about schooling as an isolating experience, one comparing it to "living in a plastic bubble, separated from society." Finally, 6 percent of the metaphors described being a student as like "having a full time job" where "you do what it takes to get the job done."
A few metaphors (5 percent) showed ambivalent attitudes toward students-as-consumers. Activities such as "going out to a dinner buffet" or "getting coffee at your favorite coffee shop" seem relatively valence-free in their posing of possible outcomes for the customer. Though present, the themes overwhelming (1 percent), newness (2 percent), and familiarity (2 percent) made little appearance in this subset of the data.
RQ3: METAPHORS ASSOCIATED WITH INTRINSIC MOTIVATIONS TO LEARN
Scores on each of the three AMS intrinsic motivation subscales were divided into high and low groups via a median split. A chi-square test compared the high/low intrinsic motivation scores across the thirteen metaphoric themes (see Table 3). Analysis produced a significant pattern of responses only for low vs. high scores on the "intrinsic motivation to know" subscale, [chi]^sup 2^(df=13)^sup 1^ = 24.68, p < .05, demonstrating that students who were motivated "to know" described their schooling in significantly different ways than students who scored lower on that subscale. Observed metaphoric themes did not vary significantly from what was expected by chance between high and low scorers on the "intrinsic motivation to accomplish things" subscale, [chi]^sup 2^(df=13) = 24.68, p = .33, nor on the "intrinsic motivation to experience stimulating sensations" subscale, [chi]^sup 2^(df=13) = 18.29, p = .15.
Students who were highly motivated "to know," however, wrote metaphors describing school as more overwhelming (66 percent difference between high and low scorers in use of this metaphoric theme) and less familiar (44 percent difference) than did their lower scoring counterparts, perhaps reflecting their unique awareness of college or university as new territory seeded with (too many?) things to discover. This explanation also may account for why high scorers also described a greater sense of community (48 percent difference), reward (24 percent difference), and freedom (28 percent difference), and less perceived insignificance (24 percent difference) than the lower-scoring group did.
This project adds a diverse, multi-regional pool of students' own experiences to the perceptual landscape of the "student as metaphor" discussion. McMillan and Cheney (1996) cautioned that consumeristic thinking in academia might encourage inappropriately individualistic, "entertainment," or product-oriented thinking about education. Did these students (from seven different institutions) see themselves as consumers? The answer seems to be no. The vast majority of students here described their education as a process in which they participated rather than as a product or service they purchased. Findings here reveal learners engaged in self-perceived activities that challenged, freed, rewarded, and/or offered them new experiences or a sense of community. Others seemed to feel restricted, confused, isolated, overwhelmed, insignificant, or (too) familiar with the learning situation. Although "job" and "consumer" were the only explicit activity comparisons thematized here (together comprising 8.7 percent of the total), four times as many of those students described their role as a "job" (7 percent) than described it in consumeristic terms (1.7 percent). Overall, student metaphors reflect their perceived engagement in a variety of endeavors.
Across contexts, students seemed to bring a variety of templates to their schooling, which varied in some interesting ways. The presence and relative prevalence of certain themes varied across school types, with each institutional type revealing a unique perceived character. Compared to the other three school types (see Table 2), community college had the highest percentage of students reporting themes of familiarity (the most like high school), reward, and newness, and the least sense of community. These themes suggest that students may see community colleges as places whose structures feel familiar, even as their courses offer new and sometimes rewarding experiences designed to meet the pragmatic needs of a diverse student body (students fresh from a high school experience and older students returning to school for the first time since high school).
Public regional universities had the highest percentage of their students report themes of challenge, freedom, and confusion. They also showed the smallest percentages of students reporting themes of reward and overwhelmingness. Among other plausible readings, perhaps students at these public regional universities see them as large, sometimes confusing sites where learners have to push themselves to explore and excel in their choice of a wide variety of subjects.
Most private religious university metaphors reflected little sense of confusion or freedom, showing instead themes of community, restriction, and overwhelmingness. These themes may show the influence of a highly structured curricular and community life on a religion-centered campus. Many of these students' metaphors commented upon social aspects of life on a residential campus, so perhaps these themes could be interpreted in that light as well.
The perceived largeness of a Research I university seems to have influenced the perceptual frame of its students. Insignificance, a theme found at none of the other three school types, rated highest among the Research I themes. These students also wrote proportionally more themes of isolation than did students at other school types. The vehicles of these metaphors often referenced how small the students felt when juxtaposed against the university. Research I universities also had the smallest percentage of students who reported themes of familiarity and restriction. Perhaps the richness of the university's offerings gives its students a sense of liberty and choice, distancing it from their previously known school experiences.
MOTIVATION TO LEARN
One final research question revealed how schooling depictions differed between students who were more or less motivated to learn. Results showed that students who are intrinsically motivated "to know" frame their school experiences differently than those who are not, describing their schooling as overwhelming and unfamiliar, though charged with a greater sense of community, reward, freedom, and less perceived insignificance. Adopting school-wide motivational goal structures and instructional strategies (see Ames 1992, for a summary) might help students develop these positive attributions about their schooling, perhaps leading to greater retention and involvement in the campus learning community.
Although this study's participant pool consisted of students from a variety of age groups, regions, and institutions, all data were collected in communication classes. While these classes generally included more than communication majors, data may have looked different had they come from a greater variety of courses and/or academic majors. In addition, metaphors written without qualifying sentences challenged their interpreters in this study. Future metaphoric data interpretation may be improved via interviewing students about their metaphors or requiring all participants to "unpack" their own comparisons in writing. This added information also might produce a more detailed picture of students' school experiences and is recommended to any administrator of a metaphoric survey like this one.
The patterned diversity of these findings indicates that the schools themselves affect students' views of schooling. Perhaps searching for one single metaphor (e.g., "consumer") that defines, shapes, and guides all higher education is unrealistic in this light. Discovering how students perceive their roles, however, does benefit the students and their institutions. Besides the obvious instructional advantages associated with knowing one's "audience" in detail, metaphoric study can help stakeholders design and assess student retention programs, perhaps by trying to reduce students' perceived insignificance at a Research I school, or working to eliminate their sense of confusion at a public regional university. Perhaps exiting seniors' metaphors about their schooling might be reviewed to assess the pervasiveness of their school's mission. No doubt the conversation over the usefulness of the "student as consumer" metaphor will continue, but perhaps this study offers additional analogical avenues to explore as well. Understanding many different student views of higher education may be most productive for everyone involved.
1 Metaphors judged "too literal to code" were included in crosstabs as a fourteenth category, accounting for the 13 degrees of freedom reported in all chi-square analyses.
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Bohn D. Lattin (Ph.D., U. of Oregon, 1992) is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Portland. His research on rhetoric and instruction has been presented at national and regional conferences and published in Speech Communication Teacher, Advances in the History of Rhetoric, Journal of Communication and Religion, and Journal of the Northwest Communication Association.
Jeff Kerssen-Griep (Ph.D., U. of Washington, 1997) is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Portland. His instructional, intercultural, and interpersonal communication scholarship is published in Communication Education, Communication Research, Teaching Professor, Communication Teacher, Iowa Journal of Communication, and the Journal of the Northwest Communication Association.
Jennifer Thede was a Master of Arts candidate in Communication Studies at the University of Portland.
The authors are grateful to Kirsten Ashmore, Maria Metzler, and the study's participants and facilitators for their help with this project.…