Publications – September 2015

Blight, M. B., Jagiello, K., & Ruppel, E. K. (2015). “Same stuff different day:” A mixed-method study of support seeking on Facebook. Computers in Human Behavior, 53, 366-373.

Cole, A. W., & Timmerman, C. E. (2015). What do students think about MOOCs? Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 11(2), 188-201.

Abstract: Faculty, administrators, and media outlets express a range of opinions about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). As any adoption of MOOCs should ultimately be done to benefit students, this study examines current college students’ understandings of MOOCs. Thematic analysis on qualitative data reveal a pattern of student perceptions that MOOCs can contribute to lifelong learning but are inferior to traditional “for credit” college courses. Student attitudes toward MOOCs revolve around 6 primary themes: reliability, accessibility, content, learning, communication, and outcomes. As the themes identified in the current data mirror previously published MOOC commentaries in many ways, pedagogical discussion of MOOCs should move beyond polarized evaluations and incorporate student perspectives in further empirical investigation of MOOCs as a learning environment.

Harness, L. (2015, May). Book Review: T. Gillespie, P. Boczkowski, & K. Foot (2014).
Media technologies: Essays on communication, materiality, and society. Mobile Media & Communication, 3(2), pp. 286-287.

This article reviews the book Media Technologies: Essays on Communication, Materiality, and Society by Tarleton Gillespie, Pablo J. Boczkowski, and Kirsten A. Foot. In the review, I explain the books strengths and weakness, concluding that the edited volume is important for mobilizing scholarly efforts to “begin reclaiming the centrality that understanding media technologies” deserve (p. 16). As humans continue to embed technologies within their lives, it is imperative for researchers to resist scholarly complacency about existent knowledge and actively formulate new questions relating to the complex relationship between society, humans, and technology.

Ruppel, E. K. & McKinley, C. (2015). Social support and social anxiety in use and perceptions of online mental health resources: Exploring social compensation and enhancement. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking, 18, 462-467.

Ruppel, E. K. (2015). Use of communication technologies in romantic relationships: Self-disclosure and the role of relationship development. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 35, 667-686.

Ruppel, E. K., Blight, M., Cherney, M., & Fylling, S. (2015). An exploratory investigation of communication technologies as a means to alleviate communicative difficulties and depression in older adults. Journal of Aging and Health.

Sahlstein Parcell, E., & Webb, L. M. (Eds.) (2015). A communication perspective on the military: Interactions, messages, and discourses. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Abstract: A Communication Perspective on the Military brings into focus the challenge of sense-making in the war state. How do military family members talk to one another about the stress of deployment on their lives? How do media – old and new – render the costs of war meaningful? How is the narrative of war rhetorically constructed? The dynamics of military family transactions, media-military relations, and war rhetoric reveal, reinforce, and may even disrupt U.S. war culture. Offering close analysis and thoughtful critique, this book reflects upon the ways the meaning of war is communicated in private lives, social relations, and public affairs. The collection highlights three broad areas of concern: communication in the military family; the military in the media; and rhetoric surrounding the military.

Valenzano III, J. M., Broeckelman-Post, M. A., & Sahlstein Parcell, E. (2016). Communication pathways. Southlake, TX: Fountainhead.

Abstract: Communication Pathways introduces to the market a handbook-style approach to the hybrid course, with concise chapters that emphasize communication theory. The authors chose to organize content around a communication-centric theme: dialogue. The first section of the text dedicates an entire chapter to the subject, unpacking the concept for students; the authors further incorporate and explicate dialogic communication as it applies to subsequent chapter concepts. This theme is unique to the text and is a central element of what the authors aim to accomplish: create competent, dialogic communicators who know how to advocate ideas civilly, explain complicated subjects, and disagree without being disagreeable in a variety of interactive settings.

Timmerman, C. E. (2015). Peer tutoring and customer service: Students as “partial employees”. In W. Atkins-Sayre & E. Yook (Eds.). Communicating advice: Peer tutoring and communication practice, (pp. 261-276). New York: Peter Lang.

Abstract: The chapter begins by explaining concepts from customer service literature and how the concepts can be applied to understand the tutoring process. Next, I introduce the notion of the customer as partial employee and how this shift in perspective can apply to peer tutoring. The paper concludes with a series of recommendations that explain (1) how peer tutors can benefit from treating students as partial employees/tutors and (2) how tutors and tutoring centers can best prepare students to work as a partial employee in a way that will maximize the likelihood of success for all parties.