Instant Messaging and Other Mobile Technologies to Subvert Voice Dispossession Among Underrepresented Online Doctoral Students

Instant Messaging and Other Mobile Technologies to Subvert Voice Dispossession Among Underrepresented Online Doctoral Students

Connie Johnson, Jenna Obee, Samuel Sambasivam, Amy Sloan, Robin Throne
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8479-8.ch013
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Current research trends, insights, and recommendations for use of mobile technologies in the advent of 5G technologies continue as technologies are adopted and employed within online learning environments. This chapter considers the higher education literature specific to the synchronous communications available via ubiquitous mobile devices and the pedagogical implications these mobile technologies create in the context of online doctoral education. Mobile instant messaging, mobile learning, and other mobile applications are considered to foster engagement of both doctoral faculty and doctoral students. While these mobile technologies may foster engagement and disrupt voice dispossession among underrepresented doctoral students, the research into this specific demographic and the social-relational aspects of synchronous communications within mobile learning remains limited. Continued research into the use of synchronous communications for underrepresented online doctoral students to prevent attributional accommodation and nonuse is needed.
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Mobile instant messaging (MIM) has become one of the most widely adopted and used among all social networking tools across mobile learning (M-learning) in higher education (Qiao et al., 2018); yet, the least researched among available educational technologies (Tang et al., 2017). Advances in smartphone and tablet technology, along with the ubiquity of these devices, has led to the integration of daily use communication tools used by billions to be integrated within M-learning across higher education (Tang & Hew, 2019) and often design and integration is founded on student request and feedback (Johnson, 2016a). Past forecasts for adaptive learning, e-textbooks, mobile learning and other educational technological solutions continue to manifest (Johnson, 2016c); yet, like any new technology, challenges emerge that must be further considered in the research for the pedagogical deployment of these communication tools in higher education, and in particular, doctoral education. While the research into communication threats and intimidation across social media, English, Flaherty, and English (2018) noted how the integration of communication tools can enhance the M-learning environment for doctoral students, more research is needed to focus on the boundaries for use of these technologies to reduce strong critique as an avenue to intimidation or collective intimidation. Similarly, Pimmer and Rambe (2018) noted the social-relational aspects of synchronous communications within an M-learning environment need greater understanding. The aspects of MIM are often socially constructed without clear pedagogical boundaries, which may blur the bounds between personal and learning settings (Qiao et al., 2018; Tang et al., 2017; Tyrer, 2019).

Further, Berry (2017) and others have noted the past research where numerous authors have suggested doctoral students concurrently struggle with isolation, disengagement, anxiety, and depression. The chapter authors have reported previously on how this specific demographic of students, especially online doctoral students, may feel more isolation when they reach the dissertation phase of the program (Rigler, Bowlin, Sweat, Watts, & Throne, 2017) especially when not well socialized or situated within the communication structures of an online doctoral community (Throne & Walters, 2019). Much past research has also focused on the need to enhance opportunities for doctoral student socialization among and across the online doctoral learning community through student support services (Blockett, Felder, Parrish, & Collier, 2016; Gardner, 2010; Gardner et al., 2012; Jeong et al., 2019), research supervisor and other faculty-student relationships (Rademaker et al., 2016; Throne & Bourke, 2019). Further, Forbes and Bowers (2019) reported on the importance of auxiliary roles to the online doctoral student educational experience including academic librarians and library instruction to reduce doctoral student isolation within online student support communities.

Key Terms in this Chapter

5G Technologies: 5G is the fifth generation (G) wireless network. Wireless network technology started with 1G in the 1980s, and subsequent generations have introduced and optimized capabilities such as calling, texting, and web browsing. 5G takes everything 4G LTE does and makes it better, faster, and more reliable. One 4G cell tower currently supports about 2,000 devices with some traffic delays. A 5G tower will support more than one million connected devices per square kilometer with negligible delays ( Ayyavaraiah, 2019 ). This quantum increase in bandwidth may alleviate cumbersome traffic loads required for smart classrooms, augmented reality, and virtual reality with greater ease ( Minoli & Occhiogrosso, 2019 ).

Attributional Accommodation: Attributional accommodation may involve filtered or silenced voice, constraint of image, vocality, and behavior, or adoption of invisibility as a means of survivability within specific power domains or organizational dynamics ( Stewart et al., 2020 ; Throne, 2020 ).

Voice Dispossession: Voice dispossession involves the filtered, silencing, or reduction of vocality of opinions, ideas, and innovation among specific groups due to oppressive hierarchies, gendered obstacles or barriers, or other organizational power domains. Fear or threat of consequences may also impede vocality of individuals amid these organizational structures, which can result in decreased wellbeing, unfair or imbalanced organizational dialogue, repressed innovation, barriers to leadership advancement, and leadership turnover ( Stewart et al., 2020 ; Throne, 2020 ).

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