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The influences of personal values and time constraints on faculty-student out-of-class interaction: an empirical research

The influences of personal values and time constraints on faculty-student out-of-class interaction: an empirical research

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Published by: Sabrina O. Sihombing on Jul 18, 2012
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Paper presented at “The 8
th
Annual SEAAIR International Conference”Surabaya, 4-6 November 2008
The Influences of Personal Values and Time Constraints on Faculty – Student Out-of-Class Interaction: An Empirical Research
Sabrina Oktoria SihombingUniversity of Pelita Harapansabrinasihombing@hotmail.comAbstract
Student retention is one of central themes in education. This is because some students left universities without having completed their course. On the contrary,universities are having difficulties in recruiting students nowadays as a result of tight competition among universities. There are several factors contributing to students leaving universities such as financial and psychological problems. Oneessential finding from several researches on student development is theimportance of student-faculty interaction in the lives of students. The interactioncan be divided into interaction in the class room and outside the class room (out-of-class interaction). The interaction in the classroom is about the subject being taught by the lecturer in that subject class. On the other hand, out-of-classinteraction is interaction between faculty and students in informal way. Althoughthere has been a fair amount of research on out-of-class student-facultyinteraction based on students’ perception, few studies have focused on thainteraction based on faculty perception. Therefore, this research developed amodel to investigate the relationship between personal values, time constraints,attitude toward doing interaction out-of-class, and doing interaction out-of-classbased on faculty’s perception. A self-administered questionnaire was used tocollect the data for this study. The data was then analyzed using structural equation modeling. Only one research hypotheses were supported, which is therelationship between time constraints and attitude toward doing out-of-classinteraction. The paper provides an analysis of the data, a discussion of the findings and the implications for theoretical and managerial.
Key words: student retention, faculty, out-of-class interaction
1. Background to the research problem
Student retention is one of central themes in education (Mayo, Helms & Codjoe, 2004). This is because some students left universities without having completed their course. On the contrary,universities are having difficulties in recruiting students nowadays as a result of tight competitionamong universities (http://rembuknas2008.diknas.go.id).There are several factors contributing to student leaving universities such as financial and psychological problems. One essential finding from several researches on student development isthe importance of student-faculty interaction in the lives of students (e.g., Kim & Sax, 2007). Theinteraction can be divided into interaction in the classroom and beyond the classroom (out-of-class interaction). The interaction in the classroom is mainly about the interaction between facultyand student about the subject is being taught by the lecturer in that subject class. On the other 
 
hand, out-of-class interaction is interaction between faculty and students in informal way. Thatinteraction can be done in many ways, such as talking to students, attending student’s activities,and having chat through internet. Although there has been a fair amount of research on out-of-class student-faculty interaction on studentsperception, few studies have focused on thatinteraction based on faculty perception. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examinefaculty perception of out-of-class interactions with students and to determine the relationshipamong personal values, time constraints, attitudes toward doing interaction and faculty-studentout-of-class interaction.
1.1 Justifications for the research
This research can be justified on these two grounds: (1) the importance to understand the faculty-student interaction, and (2) the lack of research on faculty – student out-of-class interaction fromthe lecturer’s perspective.
The importance to understand the faculty-student interaction
. Education is an interactive process between student and faculty. Research has shown that faculty-student interaction, in and out-of-class is one of the important factors associated with student development (Umbach &Wawrzynski, 2008; Kim & Sax, 2007; Garrett & Zabriskie, 2004). Furthermore, students havemore positive perceptions of supportive campuses where faculty members interact frequentlywith the students (Umbach & Wawrzynski, 2008). Thus, there is a need to understand the faculty-student interaction in and out of the classroom. An understanding of that interaction can providevaluable insight not only for faculty but also to the university as a whole.
The lack of research on faculty – student out-of-class interaction from the lecturer’s perspective
.Conducting empirical research that focuses on faculty-student out-of-class interactions willcontribute to the literature on faculty-student interaction. This is because despite the extensiveresearch addressing student-faculty out-of-class interaction (for example: Kim & Sax, 2007; Laird& Cruce, 2007; Garrett & Zabriskie, 2004; Lundberg & Schreiner, 2004; Bradley, Kish, Krudwig,Williams, & Ontario, 2002; Mook, 2002; Jaasma & Koper, 2001), not many research on student-faculty out-of-class interaction is conducted (Frankel & Swanson, 2002). Specifically, it isimportant to understand education based on both student and faculty perspectives. If only one perspective is frequently measured, the results will be wrong.
2. Literature review2.1 Interpersonal communication
Interpersonal communication is defined as the process through which people create and managetheir relationship and exercising mutual responsibility in creating meaning (Verderber, Verderber,& Berryman-Fink, 2007). Interpersonal communication is important because it serves people’sneeds. In other words, we need to interact with other people to meet a range of human needs suchas physical needs, safety needs, belonging needs, self-esteem needs, and self-actualization needs.
 
Models of interpersonal communication
According to Wood (2004), there are three models of interpersonal communication: linear model,interactive model, and transactional model. The linear model shows that communication is a one-way process in which one person acts on another. This model has three major weaknesses. First,this model shows that communication is flowing in only one direction, from a sender to areceiver. In other words, the listeners only listen and never give feedback. Second, a linear modelshows listeners as passively absorbing senders’ messages but not as having any impact on sender.
 
Thirdly, the model portrays that communication as a sequential set of actions in which one step(listening) follows an earlier step (talking).The interactive model shows communication as a process in which listeners respond tospeakers. A key feature in this model is feedback. The interactive model is an improvement over the linear model. However, one major weakness of this model is that it still treats communicationas a sequential set of actions.The transactional model shows that interpersonal communication as a process and dynamic inwhich people simultaneously send and receive messages. The transactional model doesn’t labelone person as a sender and the other as a receiver. This model is the foundation for understanding people interaction. Interpersonal communication is something that people do everyday. Theinteraction between faculty and student is an example of interpersonal communication.
2.2 Faculty-student out-of-class interaction
A variety of literature shows that student learning and development were formed by many factorssuch as coursework, motivation, class participation, interaction with faculty in and out-of-class,and others (Umbach & Wawrzynski, 2008; Lundber & Schreiner, 2004). Specifically, Tinto(1987 cited by Garrett & Zabriskie, 2004) stated that student-faculty interaction (that is, in andout-of-class interaction) is a main factor for student retention and student development. In relatingwith out-of-class interaction, several researchers found that out-of-class interaction can supportintegration of students into academic and social life (Kim & Sax, 2007; Chickering & Gamson,1987; Garrett & Zabriskie, 2004).There are several factors that can influence personal interaction based on consumer behavior literature. Those factors are personal values, attitude toward doing out-of-class interaction, andtime constraints.
2.3 The value-attitude-behavior hierarchy
A value is defined as a type of belief about how one ought or ought not to behave (Rokeach,1968). Values are the underlying beliefs that shape people to act, think, and feel (Rokeach, 1968;Wells & Prensky, 1996). The concept of value is one important variable to understand consumer  behavior. This is because values are taught in an earlier age. In the specific, Hofstede (1994) pointed out that values are among the first children learning. Since the age of 10, most childrenhave their basic value systems. Moreover, values are stable through generations. As stated before,values the underlying beliefs that shape people to act, think, and feel. Therefore, values influenceinternal factors inside consumers such as perception and attitude. Consumer attitudes theninfluence consumer behavior. This hierarchy is referred to the value-attitude- behavior hierarchy(Arnould
et al 
., 2004; Homer & Kahle, 1988).According to Homer andKahle (1988), values have an indirect effect on consumer behavior through less abstract mediating factors such as domain-specific attitudes. Furthermore, theinfluence of values flows from abstract values to mid-range attitudes to specific behaviors. Thisresearch followed the sequence of value
attitude
behavior. In other words, personal valueslead to consumer attitude. Consumer attitudes lead to specific behavior. This hierarchy has beenapplied by several researchers (e.g., Jayawardhena, 2004; Schiffman, Sherman, & Long, 2003).
2.4 Time constraints
There are three primary professional responsibilities of faculty: teaching, research, and service. Inother words, faculty should not only focus on teaching loads, but also doing research and servingthe society.Several researches indicated that time constraints is one major problem of faculty-student out-of-class interaction (eg., Cuseo, 2008) brought about by the three responsibilities above. In the

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