Integrating Technology and Interpersonal Communication to Prepare HDFS Majors for the Future

By Yaure, Robin G.; Christiansen, Shawn L. | Family Relations, July 1999 | Go to article overview

Integrating Technology and Interpersonal Communication to Prepare HDFS Majors for the Future


Yaure, Robin G., Christiansen, Shawn L., Family Relations


Integrating Technology and Interpersonal Communication to Prepare HDFS Majors for the Future*

A new Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) baccalaureate program at the Pennsylvania State University Commonwealth College emphasizes the link between technology and interpersonal communication. Based on results from focus groups, three themes were identified for HDFS-Community Human Service students: (a) basic communication skills and competencies. (b) professional skills, and (c) content areas. New courses in the curriculum were designed to enhance student skills in these areas. Technology and communication skills are developed in two new courses called Leadership and Technology for Human Service Professionals (Parts A&B). Through surveys with students, we found that the program's primary success has been with improving students' comfort level and hence willingness to use technology. Suggestions for others embarking on such a program include having patience, using institutional supportm and having students help each other in the learning process.

Key Words: communication skills. focus groups. professional skills, technology.

In a rapidly changing technological world it is increasingly necessary for employees to be technologically proficient. Davis (1997) found that current employers want college graduates to have skills such as word processing, spreadsheet application, and presentation software skills. Internet publication skills were predicted to be as important as word processing skills in the next few years. Others have also cited computer skills as prerequisites for employment by many employers (Deden & Carter, 1996; Kim. Moore, & Fouhy, 1995; King, 1995; Perry, 1998). Computer and software applications are also increasingly necessary in the human services (Brauns & Kramer, 1987; Hanna, 1995; Nurius, 1995; Rafferty. 1997; Visser. 1995). In fact, international conferences and journals devoted specifically to the use of information technology in human services have been developed (Rafferty, 1997).

In regard to the need of employees to have technology skills, Dusick (1998) strongly asserts, ". . . future employees will either be able to work with technology, or be replaced by it. . . . A summa cum laude student who is technophobic is potentially unemployable" (p. 11). Dusick further argues that it is the responsibility of education to prepare students for this reality, to enable all students access to and training in technology. Without this effort, she suggests, we will create the next generation of "haves" and "have-nots." According to Dusick, to be successful in society today, it is the responsibility of education to help students gain self-efficacy (Bandura,1989) in using computers. Self-efficacy in regard to using computers is defined as having a high expectation to succeed in using computers.

In an educational world of increased competition and rising educational prices, students and parents expect the use of technology in education. Wadsworth (1997) reported that 80% of parents thought that teaching media technology and computer skills was essential in public schools. "It is becoming increasingly apparent that the use of electronic information resources in undergraduate education is not a `luxury item' for a few institutions; it is a sine qua non for any liberal arts college that prides itself on its ability to provide an educational environment of `the highest scholarly standards"' (Ringle, 1996, p. 7). Raven Lee .md Johnson (1998) argue that students will increasingly select '"universities with the best computer facilities and faculty who use technology to provide innovative instruction" (p. 13).

The ability to collaborate and communicate well with others is also an important skill that employers desire in their employees (Beckman, 1990: Bruffee, 1993; Gubman, 1995; Kim, Moore, & Fouhy, 1995; King, 1995). Small group-based instructional methods such as cooperative and collaborative learning have been used to help students learn the skills of working well with others.

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

Integrating Technology and Interpersonal Communication to Prepare HDFS Majors for the Future
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.