Is today's social technology impacting written communications? A single case examination of an introduction to agricultural education writing assignment
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With increasing societal reliance upon social technology and technological advances, it is critical for communicators as well as educators to understand the impact that social technology use may have on the quality of written communications. While multiple researchers (Irlbeck & Akers, 2009; Morgan, 2010; Morgan, 2012; Sprecker & Rudd, 1997; and Terry et al., 1994) argue that changes in the quality of written communication skills are of little to no value in formal educational settings and decrease student ability to perform in the workplace, researchers like Doerfert and Miller (2006) argue that degree programs and skills must change to accommodate technological advances in communications. Due to the potential impact of social technology use on the quality of students' written communication skill sets, the purpose of this study was to understand the impact of technology use, specifically text messaging and social media, upon the written communication skills of Introduction to Agricultural Education students. Data was collected from the second week of November 2014 to the end of November 2014. Negative relationships were indicated between the quality of written communication skills and six variables at a moderate or substantial level. Such findings should assist educators in implementing new practices and pedagogy beneficial to the development of high quality written communication skill sets.