Undergraduate and graduate student presentations from the School of Communication, 2021 Online University Research Symposium, Illinois State University
Universities across the globe are known for critically analyzing all types of information. Not only do Universities analyze information that has already been researched, but students and faculty continually produce new research to advance learning for current and future fields of study. Interestingly, the existence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (COVID-19, for short) pandemic has thrown a wrench in the research process as officials are working with limited research about COVID-19 specifically. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releases information to the public once information is obtained regarding prevention measures to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19. The two most notable prevention measures are to wear a face covering (mask) on your mouth and nose as well as to maintain a 6-foot distance between other people (“Coronavirus Disease,” 2020). Although the CDC is a highly recognized organization whose information is deemed credible, their health recommendations regarding COVID-19 have been contested. Given the global COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has challenged health educators not only to understand how to protect oneself from the virus but also how to educate and inform the public regarding safety measures. The suggestions by the CDC have polarized Americans. While some believe that strictly enforcing wearing masks and maintaining a 6-foot physical distance is necessary to eliminate the threat of the pandemic, others argue that mandates are politically charged and infringe individual freedom. This debate takes an interesting turn on University campuses where students aspire to formulate educated opinions but lack a history of information regarding the best COVID-19 health practices during the pandemic. Rather, information from the CDC must either be accepted or rejected at face value to determine appropriate prevention measures. University officials at one mid-sized Midwestern University support the findings of the CDC and encourage their students to maintain masking and social distancing practices. However, given the severity of the current debate, simple enforcement is not enough. Rather, the University must get creative to encourage students to wear masks and participate in social distancing on their campus. While the University can discipline students when they fail to meet practices the city enforces, they may set their own guidelines for how students must behave on their own physical campus regardless of what the city implements.
Alyssa Green and Coy Suprunowski
Individuals with unique health statuses may find themselves existing untraditionally in American society. As a result of stigmas, a lack of health literacy and education, and unique experiences, individuals with untraditional health statuses may be reluctant to disclose their status or fail to seek treatment to avoid shame and embarrassment. Dallas Buyers Club is a film that represents the struggles of those in the HIV positive culture group to help others understand the larger significance and implications of their diagnosis. Using the film as a basis, the authors of this research create a framework to understanding the unique struggles and larger societal impacts that occur as a result of the way society treats individuals with an HIV status. Implications will be explored in relation to effects on the personal level of those infected and the larger impact for those outside of the HIV positive culture group.
Investigating The Role Video Game Players' Supportive Communication Plays In Moderating The Effects Of Toxicity In Online Gaming
Online video games are perceived as a hostile space that welcomes aggression and verbal abuse based on biological sex, gender, race, and sexual orientation. Therefore, video game players may choose to communicate in a supportive fashion toward other players or engage in toxic behaviors due to increased aggression and masculine norms. While scholars have been investigating supportive messages in a computer-mediated context, past research inquiries into supportive communication and video gaming have remained separate. The present study will connect these disparate lines of research. This study explores different levels of verbal person-centeredness (VPC) of support messages, combined with the sex of the message producer, and how these factors impact several video game-based relational outcomes, namely relational closeness, aggression, communication satisfaction, and overall quality of gameplay experience. Participants were presented with one of the four randomly assigned scenarios based on a 2 (high and low VPC messages) x 2 (male vs. female voices) factorial design, then asked to answer survey questions. Results indicated that VPC were more effective than the sexes of the message providers through voice recognition at affecting changes in the dependent variables, and having a teammate communicating in HPC messages is effective at improving the participants’ relationship with their teammates and gaming quality. However, there were no significant differences in aggression between groups. Implications and directions for future research are then discussed.
This study examined the patterns of remote workers throughout their typical day. Fifteen remote employees participated in thirty-minute in-depth interviews. A semi-structured interview protocol was used to ask questions about perceptions and patterns concerning remote working and participants’ lifestyles. The in-depth interviews were able to illuminate both issues and frustrations of the participants as well as the unique benefits of working remotely. While many employers stated that they are more productive at home, others felt that they had less time off and a harder time logging off when the traditional workday was done. As a result, employees have begun changing their schedules around to better accommodate their lifestyles. This inability to step away from work leads to a host of issues, including employee burnout. It is suggested that employers remind employees that work-life balance is still a priority to avoid employees overworking themselves due to constant accessibility to work.
Politeness theory and its relevance in the classroom have not been explored to understand how students and instructors maintain face and mitigate face-threatening acts (FTAs). This study sought to understand how instructors and students define “politeness” in the classroom, how both parties maintain face, and what differences between online and in-person classroom contexts occur. Based on computer-aided coding of data from open-ended questionnaires, results indicated that, when instructors use bald-on record FTAs in the classroom, this causes students to become more reticent in in-person and online classroom contexts. Instructors and students both maintain face by preparing for class and exhibiting knowledge, regardless of the context, and with the transition to online classes, both instructors and students expect politeness to be replicated through tasks such as turning off or keeping on video feeds and muting microphones.