The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of online doctoral students’ interactions via peer initiated and university initiated technology on their sense of connectedness. The participants of this study were 132 doctoral candidates enrolled in an online Doctor of Education program located in the United States. Findings from this study suggest a non-significant relationship between student interaction via the university sponsored Facebook page and sense of connectedness between peers and faculty; however, candidates who used social networking technologies to interact with peers outside of the classroom reported a higher sense of connectedness than those who did not. Candidates who used web-based communication technologies such as Skype, Facebook, and Twitter demonstrated a stronger sense of connectedness with their peers than those who chose to interact with peers via the phone or e-mail; however, the frequency of these interactions did not influence the candidates’ feeling of connectedness.
Recommended CitationRockinson-Szapkiw, Amanda J.; Heuvelman-Hutchinson, Lorene; and Spaulding, Lucinda, Connecting Online: Can Social Networking and other Technology Support Doctoral Connectedness?, Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 11(3), 2014.