Pharmacy Faculty Members' Perspectives on the Student/faculty Relationship in Online Social Networks

By Metzger, Anne H.; Finley, Kristen N. et al. | American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, December 2010 | Go to article overview

Pharmacy Faculty Members' Perspectives on the Student/faculty Relationship in Online Social Networks


Metzger, Anne H., Finley, Kristen N., Ulbrich, Timothy R., McAuley, James W., American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education


INTRODUCTION

To initiate a practice/teaching-based research network in Ohio among colleges of pharmacy, an initial project was proposed that stemmed from a junior faculty member asking a senior faculty member for advice about how to respond to an invitation from a student to be "friends" on the social networking site Facebook. An estimated 80% to 90% of US college students have a Facebook profile. (1) Facebook requires users first to join by registering and creating a profile. Once they have joined, users can invite others to be their "friends" and share pictures, messages, and other personal information. Facebook has more than 500 million active users, with more than half logging on daily. The average user has 130 friends.

Privacy, safety, and revealing personal information were discussed in a Journal article on online social networking issues for academia in general and pharmacy education in particular. (1) One of the important issues for pharmacy students to consider in these online social networks is e-professionalism. Cain and colleagues published a paper examining pharmacy students' Facebook activity, opinions regarding e-professionalism, and their accountability in online settings. (2) A survey of 3 colleges of pharmacy found high social media usage among first-year (P1) pharmacy students; 244 of the 299 (82%) students had Facebook profiles. The students demonstrated a lack of awareness about accountability, but displayed a positive change in behavior after attending an e-professionalism presentation. This issue of e-professionalism has been reported not only for pharmacy students, but also for medical students and medical residents. (3)

Use of online social networks is also popular among many younger and older individuals. For the typical pharmacy student, this "older" group includes potential employers, practitioners, and faculty members. Some colleges and schools of pharmacy maintain a Facebook profile for connecting with alumni, advertising events, and more. When students, employers, practitioners, and faculty members all participate in online social networks, the issue of relationship boundaries arises and the traditional student-faculty relationship can become blurred. There is little information in the literature on this changing environment of social media. Although some studies on student-faculty relationships have been published, more were from a student's perspective rather than from a faculty member's perspective.

As part of an ongoing study about student/faculty relationships on Facebook, undergraduate students at the Georgia Institute of Technology were surveyed about their perceptions of faculty members on Facebook. (4) Interestingly, a third of the students thought that faculty members should not be present on Facebook because it was intended to be a social network for college students. However, other students viewed the presence of faculty members on Facebook as an opportunity for enhanced access to and communication with their instructors.

In a study of how Facebook affects education, Sturgeon and Walker found that students at Lee University desired to have relationships with their professors and know them as real people. (5) Relationships formed on Facebook between faculty members and students opened communication and resulted in an enhanced learning environment and students being more engaged in the classroom. This notion of teacher self-disclosure and enhanced learning is not new. A paper by Mazer and colleagues found that high self-disclosure on a faculty member's Facebook profile may lead to higher anticipated motivation among students, affective learning, and a more comfortable classroom climate. (6)

From a faculty member's perspective, concerns exist about the balance between being a teacher and being a friend to students in online social networks. There is a Facebook group developed by Mark Clague at Michigan State University to help faculty members negotiate the ethical issues of online relationships.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Pharmacy Faculty Members' Perspectives on the Student/faculty Relationship in Online Social Networks
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.