Student perceptions of lecturer classroom communication style

Frumkin, L. A. and Murphy, A (2007). Student perceptions of lecturer classroom communication style. European Journal of Social Sciences, 5(3) pp. 45–60.


The way a teacher communicates in the classroom is studied from the perspective of the university student. The sample consisted of students enrolled in a programme at a university that follows a blended learning system making use of a resource rich learning environment of lectures, tutorials, and online resources. Adult learners on Masters’ programmes in Computing Science attending teacher led lectures in several locations (e.g., London, Hong Kong, Shenzhen) completed questionnaires describing five communication patterns. They are (a) challenging, (b) encouragement and praise, (c) non-verbal support, (d) understanding and friendly, and (e) controlling communication. Results of the data indicate that students rate communication patterns in significantly different ways. There were statistically significant relationships between both challenging and controlling communication and final course grades; challenging and encouragement/praise communication patterns were significant when data were analysed by cultural background such that Eastern and Western students rated the same teachers as having different communication patterns; there were significant differences on all five communication styles by gender. Findings indicate that teachers need to be aware of their communication style as it has differential effects for their students by their gender and culture, and may in some cases more significantly impact upon student’s final grades.

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