Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Teaching & Learning
The purpose of this study was to establish an overall measurement for student sense of classroom community in terms of the theoretical dimensions of emotional connection, and needs fulfillment (learning). Further intent was to determine the nature of differences, if they exist, between delivery method (traditional or online), teaching style cluster (containing formal authority style or facilitator style), course type, student’s residence (on-campus, off-campus commuting, or off-campus not commuting), age, and student major on sense of classroom community in terms of emotional connection and learning.
Quantitative research methods were used with a causal-comparative design and survey instruments. Differences were determined using MANOVA and multivariate ANOVA. Overall sense of classroom community and connection were significantly higher in face-to-face than in online classes but no difference was detected on student sense of learning. The interaction between delivery method and teaching style on connection was significant but not significant for sense of learning. The interaction between delivery method and course type on sense of connection was statistically significant but not significant for sense of learning. No differences were found on combined dependent variables by student residence. Student sense of learning was higher for older students. Students majoring in Social or Behavioral sciences (SBS) experienced a greater sense of classroom community than Mathematics, Science or Technology majors or undecided students. Students majoring in SBS experienced a greater sense of learning than Business or Applied science majors or undecided students.
The style, methods, and class management of an instructor set the tone for the classroom climate, whether real or virtual. No one teaching style was determined to be better than others in all situations. Teachers are advised to increase student sense of connection in the classroom and online by increasing social and teaching presence.
Kiner, Jayne M. S., "Sense of Connection and Learning in Traditional and Online Courses at a Rural-Serving Community College" (2010). Theses and Dissertations. 3240.