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Cyberbullying in Higher Education: To Survey or Not to Survey, That Is the Question I Ask of Thee

By: , & Published: 2019 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Bullying has extended beyond the schoolyard into online forums in the form of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is a growing concern due to the effect on its victims. Current studies focus on grades K-12, ages 4 to 17; however, cyberbullying has entered the world of higher education. The focus of this case study was to review and analyze our approach in a past study that identified the existence of cyberbullying in higher education, specifically revealing the existence of students bullying instructors and determining its impact. A total of 346 online instructors from the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs at the school of management at a large online university were surveyed. Of the respondents, 33.8% said they had been cyberbullied by students, 4.4% of respondents were unsure, and 61.8% said they had never been cyberbullied by students. Over 60% of the participants did not know what resources were available or felt that there were no resources available to help them should they encounter cyberbullying by students in the online classroom. Results indicated concerns about reporting cyberbullying, ranging from fear of not getting further teaching opportunities to dealing with it and decreasing the rate of student retention. This case study will review our approach, look at the strengths and weaknesses of the study, and determine how it could be improved.

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