An Evaluation of the Pharmacy Faculty Member’s Perspective on the Student/Faculty Relationship in Online Social Networks: A Collaborative Approach between Four Ohio Colleges of Pharmacy
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
To describe pharmacy faculty members' use of the online social network Facebook and compare the perspectives of faculty members with and without Facebook profiles regarding student/faculty relationships.
An electronic survey instrument was sent to full-time faculty members (n = 183) at 4 colleges of pharmacy in Ohio seeking their opinions on student/faculty relationships on Facebook. If respondents answered “yes” to having a Facebook profile, they were asked 14 questions on aspects of being “friends” with students. If respondents answered “no,” they were asked 4 questions.
Of the 95 respondents (52%) to the survey instrument, 44 faculty members (46%) had a Facebook profile, while 51 faculty members (54%) did not. Those who had a profile had been faculty members for an average of 8.6 years, versus 11.4 years for those who did not have a Facebook profile. Seventy-nine percent of faculty members who used Facebook were not “friends” with their students. The majority of respondents reported that they would decline/ignore a “friend” request from a student, or decline until after the student graduated. Although a limited number of faculty members had used Facebook for online discussions, teaching purposes, or student organizations, the majority of universities did not have policies on the use of social networking sites.
Online social network sites are used widely by students and faculty members, which may raise questions regarding professionalism and appropriate faculty/student relationships. Further research should address the student/preceptor relationship, other online social networking sites, and whether students are interested in using these sites within the classroom and/or professional organizations.
Metzger, A H.; Finley, Kristen N.; Ulbrich, T R.; and McAuley, J W., "An Evaluation of the Pharmacy Faculty Member’s Perspective on the Student/Faculty Relationship in Online Social Networks: A Collaborative Approach between Four Ohio Colleges of Pharmacy" (2010). Pharmacy Faculty Scholarship. 300.