Positive Social Dynamic Predictors of Student Learning

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Researchers who study student learning in higher education tend to approach it from two perspectives. Some focus on student behaviors (such as study behaviors) and others focus on negative social dynamics such as incivility. The current study aimed to examine positive social dynamics in the classroom. Rapport, immediacy, learning alliance, and classroom citizenship behavior were examined for their prediction of both affective and cognitive student learning. Regression analyses revealed that learning alliance was a significant predictor for only affective learning while rapport was the only social dynamic variable that predicted all measures of student learning. This suggests that a harmonious relationship with the instructor is a better predictor of student learning than general friendliness and attentiveness of the instructor, a collaborative bond with the instructor, or behavior of the student.


Education and Human Ecology: 3rd Place (The Ohio State University Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum)


student learning, rapport, immediacy, learning alliance, social dynamics