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2017 | 3 (70) | 66-72

Article title

Student Perception of Teacher Empathy, High Regard and Genuineness and the Impact on Student Engagement


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One of the main challenges for online instructors involves developing relationships with students. Current research in student engagement has conceptualized this process according to four areas: skill engagement, interaction engagement, emotional engagement, and performance engagement. In an effort to be more focused and to highlight the relationship-building aspect of engagement, the work of Carl Rogers can be applied in these settings by emphasizing empathy, genuineness, and high regard. This study sought to examine the relationship between student engagement and these Rogerian characteristics. Students (n=185) completed an online survey that included the Student Course Engagement Questionnaire and the Barrett-Leonard Relationship Inventory. The results demonstrated that empathy and high regard were significantly correlated with all four engagement areas, and genuineness was significantly correlated with three: interaction, emotional, and performance engagement. As hypothesized, empathy and high regard exhibited the strongest relationships with interaction engagement and emotional engagement. These findings suggest that student engagement (interaction and emotional) does capture aspects of these relationship-building variables. It also suggests that more can be done to measure and implement empathy, genuineness, and high regard skills in online teaching for more effective instruction.







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