Navigating the Personal and Professional Practices of Social Media in Higher Education: A Phenomenological Investigation
School of Education
Doctor of Philosophy
Technology, Social Media, Instructor, Professor, Institution
Education | Educational Leadership
Dunne, John Ryan, "Navigating the Personal and Professional Practices of Social Media in Higher Education: A Phenomenological Investigation" (2020). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2529.
The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to understand the navigation of personal and professional social media practices as a lived experience for post-secondary education instructors in higher education. Correspondent inference theory was used to understand how observers assess behaviors that correspond with their own actions. The central research question focused on the lived experiences of post-secondary education instructors who utilized social media personally and professionally. Three research subquestions were more intensely focused on gaining a deeper understanding of (a) how post-secondary education instructors experience and comprehend the partition that separates personal and professional social media use, (b) how post-secondary education instructors experience and understand the institutional expectations of personal and professional social media practices, and (c) how post-secondary education instructors share information through their social media accounts. Within the research, I examined how instructors coped with the challenge of developing ethical boundaries between their personal and professional social media use. Participants included post-secondary education instructors in the Midwest region of the United States. Data were collected through individual interviews, a single focus group, and a review of pertinent documents. Data analysis revealed the essence of how participants navigated personal and professional social media practices. Findings from the present study included the reliance on post-secondary education instructors to ensure ethical social media practices. Additionally, the findings revealed institutional policies and guidance pertaining to instructors’ social media use.