Cyber-harassment in higher education: Online learning environments
Justin W. Vance, University of Southern California, United States
University of Southern California . Awarded
There is burgeoning scholarship relating to cyber-bullying in middle and high school settings. When cyber-bullying occurs among adults it is known as cyber-harassment. Online higher education has exploded in terms of growth in the last several years. Related Literature including university policies and online teaching guides suggested there may be a cyber-harassment problem in online learning in higher education as well although no quantitative evidence of cyber-harassment in online learning in higher education currently exists. The purpose of this study was to use a quantitative approach to explore the nature of and extent to which students and faculty experience and report cyber-harassment in and as a result of the online learning settings of colleges and universities. The study was conducted at a large, private, non-profit, liberal arts university in Hawaii. The study is based on 225 online student participants and 56 online faculty participants. Of the participants it was found that 12% of students and 39% of faculty were the victims of cyber-harassment in or as a result of an online course. This much higher rate of cyber-harassment for faculty is statistically significant. Those students and faculty over the age of 35 also suffered cyber-harassment at a higher and statistically significant rate in or as a result of online courses. Less than half of those cyber-harassed in this context reported it. Preventions and solutions for practice and prescriptions for future research are recommended.
Vance, J.W. Cyber-harassment in higher education: Online learning environments. Ph.D. thesis, University of Southern California.
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