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ERIC Number: ED474583
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Nov
Pages: 31
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
"They Have No Idea What I Need." An Investigation of Nontraditional Student Expectations of Instructor Communication Behavior.
Houser, Marian L.
For years, instructional communication literature has been telling teachers to be verbally and nonverbally immediate and to achieve clarity in order to enhance student motivation and learning. Unfortunately, the primary source of these recommended instructor behaviors has been the traditional college undergraduate student between the ages of 18 and 23. A gap in instructional research ignores the diversity of undergraduate students as over 45% of college undergraduates in 1995-96 were above the age of 24 and 12% of them were over age 40 (U.S. Department of Education, 1998). Researchers in adult education have recognized that student age and experience impacts judgment of certain teacher characteristics. In hopes of developing a more responsive education system for all students, this study investigates instructor communication expectations of nontraditional students. A comparison is made between "adult" student expectations of instructor communication behavior and immediacy and clarity behaviors reported as effective with traditional students. A grounded theory approach (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) was followed with audio taped transcriptions of four focus group discussions. Categories of expectations and positive and negative instructor experiences revealed some being met and others negatively violated. Surprising expectations such as "student-teacher as peers" and "instructors learning from students" emerged. Few expectations and experiences overlapped individual verbal immediacy and clarity behaviors. No nonverbal immediacy behaviors were expected. This study may reflect adult educators' views that adults learn differently. Contains 36 references and a table of data. (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A