Student’s impression management and self-presentation behaviours via online educational platforms: An archival review

Beatrice Hayes, Aiman Suleiman, Dawn Watling

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Across global higher education contexts, students and staff are communicating online. Online communication is facilitated by the online disinhibition effect (reduction of nonverbal cues eases communication) and in turn this may make online self-presentation (behaviours used to present a desired version of the self) easier. Students may be utilising online self-presentation techniques to facilitate online communication with staff. We know that online self-presentation techniques can be advantageous, but where inappropriate they may be detrimental to the student-staff relationship. This study explores whether students are using self-presentation techniques when they communicate online with staff via an archival review of both private (e-mail messages) and public (Moodle forum posts) online educational environments. Through a deductive thematic analysis we identify that students are indeed using online self-presentation techniques but that these vary depending on whether the online educational environment is private or public. This is the first study to explore this topic via an archival review and we encourage future research to consider the role of online self-presentation techniques within student-staff communication.
Original languageEnglish
Article number29
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalFirst Monday
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2024

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