ERIC Number: ED337071
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988
Reference Count: N/A
Assessing College Classroom Environment Using Free Description: A Methodological Demonstration.
Diekhoff, George M.; Wigginton, Phil K.
This paper addresses the measurement of classroom environment and proposes an alternative approach to assessing classroom environment that allows subjects greater spontaneity and provides greater descriptive flexibility. A study asked 31 college professors at Midwestern State University of Wichita Falls, Texas, to generate lists of adjectives describing their large freshman and sophomore lecture classes. Interclassroom similarities were measured using adjective overlap. These similarities were subsequently analyzed using cluster analysis to classify classroom climate into three categories: "scholarly,""socially responsive," and "laid back." Out of 31 classroom environment descriptions, 19.4% were classified as "scholarly," 38.7% as "socially responsive" and 22.6% were classified as "laid back." (Six--19.4%--of the 31 fell outside these categories.) It was concluded that free description yields unconstrained data that can be meaningfully analyzed; however, the methodology is not being offered as an indictment of standardized measures of the classroom environment. Other applications of this methodology are suggested. Contains 16 references. (GLR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A