Tuesday, April 29, 2008

6:00 p.m. - Professor... Are You There?

Over the past few weeks, I conducted research on virtual office hours and if they are effective. It seems that an additional form of communication is needed with the new and growing undergraduate classes of millennial students.

As I stated in a prior blog, I use virtual office hours during my actual office hours to reach my students who may not be able to physically come into my office.
In my experience this year, I feel that the virtual office hours are needed. This year, only eight to ten students of my 110 students have visited my office this semester. However, over 30 students have communicated with me via Yahoo Instant Messenger this semester.

The conversations ranged from requesting help for finding sources and proper
APA citation to absences and grade inquiry. In addition, students used their computers, cell phones, and blackberry devices to communicate with me via instant messenger.

In the future, I plan to offer virtual office hours through a program like Meebo, which would enable me to use MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and other messenging systems at the same time. In addition, one might want to examine virtual office hours through facebook and myspace IM. I have not reached that level of technology yet, but I hope to explore it in the future.

I distributed a survey to all of my students this semester regarding virtual office hours and I am looking forward to coding the responses.

I will post the results soon!
Let me know what you think about virtual office hours.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Importance of Understanding Millennial Mannerisms and Lingo

Greetings Readers! I conducted research for the past few days and I was unable to post to the blog. The interesting thing is - I have experienced a few epiphany's over the past few weeks.

Soon, I will be 26 and I have realized that I will be an additional year older than a majority of my undergraduate students. I have enjoyed teaching (with my doctorate) at a very young age, because I feel that I relate to my students on many levels. For example, I listen to the music that they listen to and if a student orally recalls a phrase from a popular rap song, I know what he or she is referring to.

In fact, I think that seasoned professors are at a disadvantage when it comes to millennial culture.
However, I am wondering if my students relate to me differently than their other professors. In addition, I am African American and this may contribute an entirely different dynamic to the situation. Most of my students are 90% Caucasian American.

What do you think?


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Millennials and Privacy

It seems that undergraduate millennial students who use facebook and myspace tend to have a false expectation of privacy on facebook and myspace. For the last few weeks, I have conducted experimental research on millennial undergraduate students and their perceptions of privacy on websites like facebook and myspace. All of the students took a pretest and post test, both of which measured the students' perceptions of privacy regarding social networking websites.

I invited a guest speaker to deliver a presentation to half of my classes. This speaker's presentation was focused social networking websites and their potential impact on the job search. During the presentations, students posed questions and offered comments regarding companies who check the facebook and myspace profiles of their job candidates. Many students did not agree with the "virtual background checks" that companies are conducting and they thought that these companies were invading their privacy. I collected qualitative and quantitative data from the groups who heard the guest speaker and the group who did not experience the presentation. I plan to use this information in a future research article.

This week I pose this question to all of you - Do millennials have a false sense of privacy on the web? Do they care? Do these students think about the impact of their virtual disclosures (pictures, comments, etc.)?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Will Less Millennials Fill Our Classrooms?

As everyone that subscribes to this blog knows...I LOVE the Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE). This weekly periodical enables anyone to examine the issues affecting colleges and universities. In the past few weeks, CHE focused on the entering freshman classes that are graduating from high school from this year to 2022. The CHE article promotes a report from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) titled, "KNOCKING AT THE COLLEGE DOOR: Projections of High School Graduates by State and Race/Ethnicity 1992-2022". This March 2008 report (as reported in the CHE's - Student Pool Is Expected to Dip and Diversify by Elyse Ashburn) featured such projections as:

The Number of High School Graduates is Projected to Steadily Decrease
After this year's high school seniors receive their diplomas, the number of graduates nationwide will begin a slow decline until 2015.

The High School Graduating Class is Projected to Become More Diverse
The number of minority graduates is expected to grow rapidly as Hispanic and Asian students replace white ones.
Nationwide, the number of high-school graduates is expected to peak this year — a year earlier than previously thought — at 3.34 million, according to the commission. The number of graduates is expected to start growing again in 2015, it says, when the rapidly growing Hispanic and Asian populations will begin pushing that number to new highs.

By 2022 almost half of all public high-school graduates will be members of minority groups — with Hispanics alone making up a quarter — according to the commission. If those graduates go on to college, many of them will also be the first in their families to do so.

My Analysis
One may predict that since the number of high school graduates is decreasing and this graduating class is becoming more diverse, then the incoming freshmen classes will be slightly smaller and more diverse. This may be good for college students, because they may have a more college experience with a more diverse student population. However, one may project that colleges and universities will experience lower enrollment rates. Consequently, colleges and universities may start actively recruiting non-traditional students. Please let me know what you think about this post.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Growing Up Online (Yes, I AM included)


It's Friday (thank God) and I wanted to post a commercial for a recent PBS special. This special, which aired last month, is titled, "Growing Up Online" and it focuses on the "net generation" (my generation and the generation that I teach).

It seems that the Internet has changed the world and I look forward to discovering the "next great thing" that emerges from this/our generation.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Colleges Students and Faculty Can Contribute Ideas to Win Free Iphones.

The AT&T Corporation just announced an interesting contest! Students and faculty can participate in this technology-based contest. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, "Students and faculty members can develop applications across three categories—social networking, academics, and safety and security—for any type of mobile phone. The contest closes August, 31." More information can be accessed at the following link - http://chronicle.com/weekly/v54/i27/27a00401.htm.