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Clark and Springer (2007) conducted a qualitative study to examine the perceptions of faculty and students in a nursing program on incivility. Their key questions were:

  • How do nursing students and nurse faculty members contribute to incivility in nursing education?
  • What are some of the causes of incivility in nursing education?
  • What remedies might be effective in preventing or reducing incivility?

They gathered responses from online surveys with open-ended questions from 36 nurse faculty and 168 nursing students. Each of the researchers reviewed all comments and organized them by themes. They noted four major themes of responses:

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  • Faculty perceptions of in-class disruption and incivility by students
  • Faculty perceptions of out-of-class disruption and incivility by students
  • Student perceptions of uncivil behaviors by faculty
  • Faculty and student perceptions of possible causes of incivility in nursing education

A total of eight sub-themes were identified among the faculty comments on types of in-class disruptions. Those subthemes were:

  • Disrupting others by talking in class
  • Making negative remarks/disrespectful comments toward faculty
  • Leaving early or arriving late
  • Using cell phones
  • Sleeping/not paying attention
  • Bringing children to class
  • Wearing immodest attire
  • Coming to class unprepare


Clark, C. M., & Springer, P. J. (2007). Thoughts on incivility: Student and faculty perceptions of uncivil behavior. Nursing Education Perspectives, 28(2), 93-97.

Assignment Directions

Imagine that you have replicated the Clark and Springer (2007) study with psychology students from an on-campus undergraduate program (all face-to-face classes). The faculty members are describing students they have in their psychology classes.

You have organized responses from the 15 faculty who responded regarding in-class disruptions.

Because this qualitative research study involves human subjects, the researcher must consider the potential ethical issues involved in conducting the study. The researcher should consider the following things:

  • The potential researcher/participant and participant/participant interactions involved in the study.
  • The potential ethical issues surrounding the researcher/participant and participant/participant interactions involved in the study.
  • How to mitigate both the ethical issues and harm to individuals and institutions.

Preliminary Analysis

Complete the following steps to use the SPSS data file (Faculty Comments Dataset.sav) to do some initial analyses of the data

  1. Open the SPSS data file.
  2. In DATA VIEW, notice that columns 1 and 2 contain the comments that were collected. Also note that column 2 contains a place to enter the numerical code for each theme into which that comment would fall. Columns 3-5 contain each faculty respondent’s ID code, gender code (1=male, 2= female), and number of years teaching, respectively.
  3. In VARIABLE VIEW, notice how the codes for gender are entered under the VALUES column. You will use the same method to enter the codes for the comment themes for the second variable. You will want to review the videos located in both the topic materials and in the General Guidelines of the assignment for information on how to do this. Also, note that to the far right in VARIABLE VIEW, under MEASURES, the proper scale of measurement needs to be entered for each variable. Only years of teaching is a scale (continuous) variable. All the others are codes/qualitative.

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