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What Is the Impact of Digital Communications on Professors?
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What Is the Impact of Digital Communications on Professors?

Two sides of technology emerge from study.

posted September 4, 2012

Professors have a love/hate relationship with technology. On one hand, technology provides a multitude of ways to stay connected to students and colleagues. On the other hand, technology provides a multitude of ways to stay connected to students and colleagues. You see, what people tend to love about technology is often the same as what annoys them about it.

A new study conducted by Inside Higher Ed and the Babson Survey Research Group reveals just how much digital communication has affected the work lives of college professors.

On digital communication and productivity:

“Nearly one-half of faculty report that digital communication has increased their productivity.”

“Faculty overwhelmingly report that digital communication has increased the number of hours that they work.”

  • 65 percent say the number of work hours has increased.
  • 28.6 percent see no change.
  • 6.4 percent say that they see a reduction in the number of hours that they work as a result of digital communication.

On digital communication and creativity:

“Over one-half (51.7 percent) think that digital communication has increased their level of creativity.”

  • 38.1 percent say it has had no impact.
  • 10.2 percent report that they believe digital communication has decreased their level of creativity.

On digital communication and stress:

“Increased levels of stress arising from digital communications are reported by 41.4 percent of faculty members.”

  • 42.3 percent report no change in their level of stress.
  • 16.3 percent think that digital communication has actually reduced their level of stress.

“It is the more established faculty members, those with tenure or not tenured but on a tenure track, who are more likely to report an increase in the level of stress. Part-time faculty are much less likely to report increased stress.”

Read the full study here.

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