268770 Text Messaging As a Tool for Engaging Chemical Engineering Students

Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 4:09 PM
329 (Convention Center )
S. Patrick Walton1, Daina Briedis1, Stephen Lindeman1, Amanda P. Malefyt1 and Jon Sticklen2, (1)Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, (2)Center for Engineering Education Research, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

This generation of student is more interconnected than any generation to date. From a variety of social networking opportunities to the pervasive use of mobile devices, students are fully comfortable interacting with people that, in some cases, they have never even met face-to-face. Current modes of communication among instructors, however, still typically default to, in some order or preference, face-to-face meetings, email, and phone calls. As such, there may be a disconnect in the ways students would prefer to interact with their instructors and the ways available to them. It would seem, then, that to maximize student engagement, retention, and support, instructors should consider interacting with their students using means that the students prefer.

We investigated whether allowing students to use text messaging for course communication would enhance student instructor communication and concomitantly student engagement. We found that students did not prefer using text messaging for communicating with their instructor but that the availability of text messaging may have encouraged engagement via other methods such as email and face-to-face contact.

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