Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Workforce Education and Development

First Advisor

Hagler, Barbara

Second Advisor

Donahoo, Saran


Usage rates of blogs, social media, and online courses have been exponentially increasing in the last decade, especially among the college student population (Knight-McCord, et al., 2016). While the benefits of these platforms, including connectivity, visibility, social feedback, persistence, and accessibility are attractive to students as an online learning tool, there is a rising concern regarding privacy and confidentiality. This study aimed to investigate how students’ privacy and confidentiality concerns and attitudes influence their participation level and degree of openness within an online learning environment. Communication privacy management (CPM) theory served as the theoretical framework for this study in order to focus on understanding the way people perceive and manage privacy, both personally and with others. A quantitative correlational research design was selected for this study to examine the relationship between privacy concerns among students enrolled in a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate program at a Midwestern university and their participation levels within blogs, social media, and online courses. The quantitative software package SPSS was used to conduct multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) to test for the statistical significance of the variables.




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