Exploring connections in the online learning environment: student perceptions of rapport, climate, and loneliness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations

Abstract

Online learning can be a lonely experience. Social presence and interaction are a few proposed ways to combat students’ feelings of loneliness from peers and their instructor. Given that online course popularity and opportunities continue to grow, it is necessary to examine possible ways to alleviate perceptions of loneliness, especially given its negative outcomes on students’ learning experiences. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore how connections with those in the course (i.e. rapport and climate) may alleviate perceptions of loneliness in an online classroom, if at all, using rhetorical and relational goals as a theoretical perspective. The results from this study exemplify the importance of the instructor's role in building and maintaining rapport and climate. Practical implications for online instructors are presented in the discussion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1794-1808
Number of pages15
JournalInteractive Learning Environments
Volume30
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Online learning
  • climate
  • instructional communication
  • loneliness
  • rapport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

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