Communicating With Workplace Technologies
I have taught the undergraduate version of my organizational communication technology course for the past four years and in the Spring of 2013 I will share this course with another colleague in my department, Brenda Berkelaar. This class really keeps me on my toes because I need to update literature, activities, YouTube videos, and all that stuff that keeps changing with technology changes. One of the most satisfying experiences I have had teaching this course is that several students have emailed me after getting their first jobs and said that the class really prepared them for the communication challenges and opportunities they face at work.
It was a discussion in this class in 2008 that made me stop and think about what we really mean when we describe someone as a “multitasker.” I spent the next two times I taught the course trying to understand more about multitaking, the use of that word in job advertisements, and why this expectation from employers stressed out my students. It was these discussions that prompted me to begin a research study on types of multitasking and in January 2012 the study was published. Teaching and research really are linked and I find that my students not only benefit from learning about the latest research, but they also help me identify trends and important topics to study.
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