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Thesis/Dissertation Seminars

Thesis Defense: Then and Now: Using Syllabi to Shape the College Classroom

HPH 409A
June 21, 2017 @ 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Announcing the Final Examination of Jessica Valentin for the degree of Master of Arts

While the college classroom has been researched, its climate has received little attention in research. This study analyzes the climate of the classroom using 189 syllabi from various sociology courses. Drawing from data collected by Grauerholz and Gibson (2006) and syllabi from the Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology (TRAILS), this study compares college classroom syllabi from two different times periods (2004 and after 2010) to analyze the frequency of classroom climate statements, the variables that may contribute to the presence of a statement, and common language/themes existent in syllabi that did contain a statement. The findings indicate that in the 2004 sample, syllabi with climate statements were more likely to also have statements of policy implications, academic dis(honesty), and sense of collaboration among students. Results also showed an increase in climate statements between the two time periods. The themes and language used in the statements were very similar, however syllabi after 2010 placed a stronger emphasis on behavioral expectations. Since syllabi are available the very first day of class, these findings suggest that more instructors believe addressing behavioral expectations and shaping the dynamic of the classroom is important.

Committee in Charge: Elizabeth Grauerholz (Chair), Amy Donley, Amanda Anthony


 

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