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Impact of Web technologies on student-lecturer referent power relationship

West East Institute
Publication Date
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Lb2300 Higher Education
  • Education


Referent power is “based on B's desire to be identified or associated with A” (Dunne et al., 2010). In the history of the development of higher education, the relationship between the lecturer and the students has changed because of many different factors. Before the internet and web revolution, the lecturer used to be the main information source for his/her students. The web, as a modern source of knowledge, is now used universally and the spread of its usage might affect the relationship between the lecturer and his/her students. Understanding the impact of this change appears to be important as it would be employed in improving teaching techniques. In this area, many studies have focused on the impact of using the internet and web applications on students and lecturers. These studies have widely investigated the impact of the internet on student’s achievements, attitude and also have shown how the role and performance of the faculty have changed. This paper aims to investigate the impact of using web resources as a source of knowledge on the student-lecturer referent relationship from students’ perspectives. The investigation focuses on how students’ knowledge gained from using websites has impacted on the relationship with their lecturer as a reference person which theoretically means referent power. 1661 students from 30 universities/ educational institutions participated in this research.

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