Research Mentor(s)

Ee Lin Lee

Description

This study is a mixed-method assessment combining survey questionnaire and qualitative interviews in assessing and understanding student experiences in the communication studies department at Western Washington University. The purpose of the study is twofold: (a) to examine students’ perception of the diversity climate in communication classes and the department in general; and (b) to understand communication patterns that silence marginalized voices in the classroom. Aside from studies published in educational journals, Halualani (2010) is the first published study in the communication discipline that investigates diversity climate assessment at a multiracial university on the U.S. West Coast. Therefore, the findings of the study may be utilized to enhance intercultural dialogue in the field of communication. The participants are students who have taken at least four classes at the department and have attending communication classes since the past two academic quarters. The quantitative measure is a survey-questionnaire adapted from the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) survey, administered in many colleges nationwide. The measurements have high reliability that ranges from .71 to .94 in the sub-scales (Hurtado, Alvarado, & Guillermo-Wann, 2015; Hurtado & Carter, 1997; Johnston & Yeung, 2014; Locks, Hurtado, Bowman, & Oseguera, 2008). The qualitative measure is face-to- face interviews between the student researcher and students attending WWU. Questions are drawn from the interview protocol based on Spradley’s (1979) techniques to infer cultural knowledge from symbols used in participant discourse. Qualitative interviews allow for in-depth investigation of the students’ experiences in the classroom. The findings of this study may allow the articulation of the participants’ muted voice as an underrepresented group at the university. An understanding of the participants’ marginalized perspective can also be used to encourage conversations and actions that move WWU community and the communication discipline toward racial equity.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

16-5-2018 12:00 PM

End Date

16-5-2018 3:00 PM

Location

Communication Studies

Keywords

Communication studies, Diversity climate

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 16th, 12:00 PM May 16th, 3:00 PM

Diversity Climate Assessment of the Communication Studies Department

Communication Studies

This study is a mixed-method assessment combining survey questionnaire and qualitative interviews in assessing and understanding student experiences in the communication studies department at Western Washington University. The purpose of the study is twofold: (a) to examine students’ perception of the diversity climate in communication classes and the department in general; and (b) to understand communication patterns that silence marginalized voices in the classroom. Aside from studies published in educational journals, Halualani (2010) is the first published study in the communication discipline that investigates diversity climate assessment at a multiracial university on the U.S. West Coast. Therefore, the findings of the study may be utilized to enhance intercultural dialogue in the field of communication. The participants are students who have taken at least four classes at the department and have attending communication classes since the past two academic quarters. The quantitative measure is a survey-questionnaire adapted from the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) survey, administered in many colleges nationwide. The measurements have high reliability that ranges from .71 to .94 in the sub-scales (Hurtado, Alvarado, & Guillermo-Wann, 2015; Hurtado & Carter, 1997; Johnston & Yeung, 2014; Locks, Hurtado, Bowman, & Oseguera, 2008). The qualitative measure is face-to- face interviews between the student researcher and students attending WWU. Questions are drawn from the interview protocol based on Spradley’s (1979) techniques to infer cultural knowledge from symbols used in participant discourse. Qualitative interviews allow for in-depth investigation of the students’ experiences in the classroom. The findings of this study may allow the articulation of the participants’ muted voice as an underrepresented group at the university. An understanding of the participants’ marginalized perspective can also be used to encourage conversations and actions that move WWU community and the communication discipline toward racial equity.

 

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