Pic of Joe Mazer

A great deal of Joseph Mazer’s research focus involves social media and its impact on instructional settings. A 2007 article from Mazer was the first in the communication discipline to investigate the issue.
Image Credit: Clemson University

A survey in a leading national communication journal, Communication Education, recently recognized Joseph Mazer, associate professor and associate chair of Clemson’s communication department, as one of the most influential scholars in the field of instructional communication.

The survey authors recognized Mazer as the fourth most influential scholar in the field based on contributions he has made to the journal between 2000 and 2016. The study found that during this 15-year period, 653 authors contributed to the body of instructional communication literature in 456 articles. Mazer published his first article in Communication Education in 2007.

“I’m honored to be included in the company of many prolific scholars,” Mazer said. “Research in instructional communication examines the role of communication in teaching and learning settings, so I’d like to think my research in this area has also contributed to my work with students and aided educators from various disciplines.”

The journal defines instructional communication as an area of research that investigates “communicative dynamics of teaching and learning relative to the exchange of meanings” between teachers and students, regardless of context or subject matter. Instructional communication has served as the primary focus of Mazer’s research agenda.

Mazer’s research has touched on various topics from how teacher communication affects students’ emotional experiences in learning contexts to how language inadequacy and ideological bias affect student learning. Mazer said he’s particularly proud of the research he has conducted on the impact of social media in instructional settings; a 2007 article was the first in the communication discipline to investigate the issue, according to Mazer.

“At a time when many questioned the true purpose of social networking sites, the study revealed that teachers who exhibited high disclosure on Facebook led students to anticipate higher levels of motivation and a more positive classroom climate,” Mazer said. “This finding not only painted social networking sites in a more positive light but provided the foundation for future research.”

Mazer is one of 10 scholars who have impacted the creation of almost a quarter of all content published in the journal over the past 15 years. According to the survey, the 10 most prolific authors contributed to a total of 109 articles or 24 percent of all articles featured in the journal. The survey authors state that these figures provide insight into journal influences and the extent to which author contributions shape the content of the journal.

Communication Education is a quarterly academic journal that publishes research related to the role of communication in teaching and learning contexts. It is published on behalf of the National Communication Association, the world’s largest professional organization of scholars, educators, students and practitioners dedicated to studying and promoting effective and ethical communication.