The purpose of this study was to examine the lived experience of undergraduate students who use online social networks such as Facebook while serving in paraprofessional roles on campus. The researcher conducted a qualitative study to address a primary research question: What is the interplay between college students’ participation in online social networks and campus-based paraprofessional roles? The study identified themes that can be used to understand this student experience. These themes contribute to the growing theoretical understanding of how online social networks and paraprofessional roles impact the college student experience.
A semi-structured interview protocol was devised in light of pertinent literature in the areas of college students in paraprofessional roles, peer mentoring, and computer-mediated relationships. Eleven resident assistants at a large, public research university in Central Pennsylvania agreed to participate in semi-structured interviews to discuss their experiences. They were asked to describe their involvements as resident assistants and users of Facebook. Participants discussed how they understood how their employment as resident assistants and their use of Facebook influenced each other, and their overall experience in their paraprofessional roles.
Through data analysis, three themes emerged: Facebook functionality and use, relationships, and discretion. Participants spoke of dynamic and complex experiences in their roles that were amplified by Facebook. The researcher proposed a Model for Online Social Network Mediated Role Conflict that describes tensions that represent the experience of paraprofessional staff members who use online social networks. Implications for practice and recommendations for additional research are provided.
|Advisor:||Chernak, Robert A.|
|Commitee:||Murphy, Michael, Racchini, Amber|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Higher Education Administration|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Higher Education Administration, Education, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Online social networks, Paraprofessionals, Role conflict, Student affairs, Student employment, Supervision|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be