Instructors in higher education have to work to create a positive atmosphere. Yet, the behaviors instructors must exhibit to create such an atmosphere are different for online courses than face-toface (F2F) courses. The current study surveyed graduate and undergraduate students in a teacher education program to identify which affective variables identified in academic literature for creating a positive online atmosphere are most and least important. The results of this study suggest undergraduate and graduate students rank logistical behaviors (e.g., clearly described directions and expectations, constructive feedback) as most important and emotional-relational behaviors (e.g., interpersonal relationships, humor related to content) as least important. The implications of this study advocate for online courses for adult learners that are clear in expectations and provide assignments that require both practical and higher order thinking. This study provides specific guidance for instructors about which behaviors have the most capital when teaching online courses in a way that creates a positive atmosphere.
Hamsher, S., Dieterich, C.A. (2017). Creating a positive atmosphere in online courses: student ratings of affective variables in teacher education courses. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 14(7). Retrieved from http://itdl.org/Journal/Jul_17/Jul17.pdf
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