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ERIC Number: EJ842630
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 76
ISSN: ISSN-0968-4883
Studying Critical Classroom Encounters: The Experiences of Students in German College Education
Voss, Roediger
Quality Assurance in Education: An International Perspective, v17 n2 p156-173 2009
Purpose: This paper seeks to explore satisfactory and unsatisfactory classroom (student-lecturer) encounters in higher education from a student's perspective. Design/methodology/approach: The critical incident technique (CIT) is used to categorise positive and negative student-lecturer interactions, to reveal quality dimensions of the lecturer, and to reconsider which attributes of the lecturer are likely to cause satisfaction and which dimensions mainly lead to dissatisfaction. The study took place at a large commercial college. A total of 225 students took part in the study on a voluntary basis and reported 429 incidents. Respondents were aged between 16 and 21 years (mean age = 17.8). On average, every student provided 1.9 incidents. Findings: The results of the CIT study manifested nine quality dimensions of lecturer behaviour, confirming previous research in this area. Quality dimensions that were mainly mentioned in the negative incidents were classified as "dissatisfiers" ("expertise", "communication skills", "fairness", "assertiveness", and "enthusiasm"), attributes that appeared in the positive incidents were labelled "satisfiers" ("flexibility"), and dimensions with a high score for both positive and incidents were described as "criticals" ("teaching skills", "empathy", "friendliness"). Research limitations/implications: Owing to the exploratory nature of the study and the scope and size of its student sample, the results outlined are tentative in nature. The research study also only investigates the expectations and perceptions of one stakeholder group. Practical implications: For instructors to improve students' experiences, they should address the identified "criticals" first before moving on to improving the "dissatisfiers" and then the "satisfiers". Gaining knowledge of (deviations of) student expectations should be beneficial for lecturers to design their teaching programmes. Based on the results, colleges might consider the introduction of student contracts or student satisfaction guarantees to manage student expectations effectively. Originality/value: The study shows that the CIT method is a beneficial tool for exploring classroom encounters in higher education. The paper has hopefully opened up an area of research and methodology that could reap further substantial benefits for researchers interested in this area. (Contains 4 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany