Title: Online students' attitudes towards rapport-building traits and practices

Authors: Robert Wright; Greg Jones; Adriana D'Alba

Addresses: Department of Learning Technologies, University of North Texas, 3940 N. Elm, Suite G150, Denton, Texas 76207, USA ' Department of Learning Technologies, University of North Texas, 3940 N. Elm, Suite G150, Denton, Texas 76207, USA ' Department of Educational Technologies and Foundations, University of West Georgia, 1601 Maple Street, Carrollton, Georgia 30118, USA

Abstract: This research utilised both standard quantitative measurements and established qualitative scaling methods to identify student attitudes towards instructors' rapport-building traits and their preferences amongst instructors' rapport-building practices in online learning environments. The study employed a Likert-item assessment of learners' attitudes, the identification and prioritisation of learner preferences through pairwise comparisons, and semi-structured interviews that provided richer, more detailed information. Findings indicated a strong preference for instructor-based traits and practices over pedagogically-based ones. These traits and practices loaded into the components of social presence, enjoyable interaction, and personal connection.

Keywords: innovation; rapport building; mixed methods; learning; social presence; student attitudes; online learning; electronic learning; e-learning; enjoyable interaction; personal connection.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2015.066063

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2015 Vol.17 No.1, pp.36 - 58

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 17 Nov 2014 *

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