Date of Original Version

1996

Type

Article

Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

This survey was developed to determine what variables affect students' perceptions of professor interest in their academic success. At the outset, measurements were taken of subjects' sex, year, college and major. Next, subjects were asked to think of classes where the professor took and did not take an active interest in their academic success. In each condition, subjects' were asked for: class size, class grade, level of professor interest, comfortability asking for help and presence of adequate feedback. Separate analysis of variances were performed on the data from each condition. The relationships between professor interest and sex, year, college, class size, grade, comfort, and feedback were first assessed. The relationships between each of these variables and comfortability was also assessed. Results show four major findings: 1) The more comfortable a student was asking for help, the higher the rating of professor interest. 2) In classes where the professor took an active interest, women (mean=5.76) were less comfortable than men (mean=6.3) with asking for help (p=0.021). 3) In classes where the professor did not take an active interest, higher grades were associated with higher levels of comfortability (p=0.036) and 4) adequate feedback was associated with higher levels of comfortability (p=0.049). It is important to note that sex differences may not be reliable due to the fact that only 21 women were included in the study (as opposed to 65 men). To enhance student perceptions of professor interest, professors need to make their students feel comfortable asking for help. One way of doing so is to provide much feedback on student performance.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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Published In

The Sloping Halls Review, 3.