Using Technology to Increase Interpersonal Skills

Rebecca Horwitz, Monroe Community College

The Psychology Department at Monroe Community College offers a course called Psychology of Interpersonal Relationships. This is an experiential course that teaches interpersonal skills such as self-disclosure, listening skills, managing conflict and stress, verbal and non-verbal communication, and the merits of diverse relationships. Interpersonal exercises and participation are core elements of this course.

I recognize that students initiate, develop, and maintain their relationships by using multiple communication channels. Increasingly, students are communicating over various technologies such as texting and social media. These communications are vitally important to the quality of the interpersonal relationships, especially as the number of face-to-face communications decreases. This provided the basis for my action research project;  I developed a project meant to answer the inquiry question,“Will informal writing assignments in an online discussion forum increase students’ interpersonal skills?”

To answer my inquiry question, I designed a process evaluation plan and an outcome evaluation strategy. This being my first self-designed project of this magnitude, I learned many lessons along the way. Please visit my report Using Technology to Increase Interpersonal Skills, to see my inquiry design, the results of the two evaluations, and a summary of the lessons I learned during the CCTE Fellowship.

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