Issues of Blended Learning in University Centres Communication Methods of Students

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Issues of blended learning in University Centres
Communication methods of students

Over the past decade technology has advanced so much that I personally believe it is taking up too much time in people’s lives and that some people may believe they cannot live without their computers or mobile phones. Thirty years ago people in western society would communicate through face to face communication, telephone calls and letters. In today’s society people can communicate through many different technological devices and services such as Facebook, Twitter, emails, text messaging, picture messaging and many more. Being a mother of a young boy I am concerned that this pursuit of technology may only get worse as time goes on, and that methods of communication are changing. Having personal concerns over these matters is why I chose the topic ‘Communication methods of students’. From my research I aim to establish how much people depend on technology as their main source of communication and how often they use it.

The participant I have selected for my research was chosen since I felt that she was the most suitable candidate, she represents a modern young adult who has grown up in western society through the boom of social media and online interactivity that has taken place within her lifetime. She is therefore possibly representative of how young people may grow with technology in the near future. The participant is a young lady aged twenty and is currently studying full time at University. As a young adult, I feel that she will have more pressure from friends and society to have the most latest and up to date technology and to communicate more on those devices than a more mature person would. She may also have different values regarding communication, whereas once face to face communication was seen as irreplaceable, it is now more common place to interact through short disconnected bursts of electronic media.

The method I have chosen to collect my research data will be a questionnaire. I have chosen to send this via email so it can be completed at the participants leisure in a place they feel comfortable. I do not wish to be present when the participant completes the questionnaire, as I feel that my presence may make the participant feel uncomfortable or under pressure to give unrealistic answers. It is my aim to collect quantitative data with the questionnaire I have put together for this research. I feel quantitative data will give a measurable account of the frequency of use of electronic communication. Collecting quantitative data would allow me to create a straightforward bar or pie chart which can be easily understood by others. Denscombe (2007: 283) agrees with me and states that ‘Tables and charts provide a succinct and effective way of organizing quantitative data and communicating the findings to others’. Quantitative data would also allow me to generate a statistical analysis which could contain the mean of the data which is the average, the median of the data which is the midpoint and the mode which is the most common. The disadvantages of only collecting quantitative data is that I only get numeric result and no comments on the reasoning behind the answers I am given. Oppenheim (cited in Cohen et al, 2000: 248) ‘They do not enable respondents to add remarks, qualifications and explanations to the categories, and there is a risk that the categories might not be exhaustive and that there might be bias in them’.

When writing up the questionnaire I did not heavily consider ethical issues, however after reading ‘The ethical guidelines for educational research’. I can now understand how researchers need to consider the importance that all aspects of ethics and failing to achieve this may affect the outcome of any research. Individuals must be treated with respect throughout the implementation of their research, also during sampling any race, gender, sexuality, class or disability must be disregarded to ensure...
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