Measuring Sense of Community and Academic Learning in Graduate Education

By Deanna Nisbet, Mervyn Wighting and Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies

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This article reports findings from a research study that investigated sense of community and perceived learning among 223 graduate-level education students. Utilizing canonical correlation analysis, the researchers examined the interaction between two types of classroom community (social community and learning community) and three types of perceived learning (cognitive, affective, and psychomotor learning). Results indicate that the higher the sense of both social and learning community that students have, the higher their perceived learning will be in all three areas (cognitive, affective, and psychomotor perceived learning). The reverse is also true; participants who report low levels of social and learning community also show lower levels of cognitive, affective, and psychomotor perceived learning. Recommendations for further research are provided.

Keywords: Sense of Community, Community, Perceived Learning, Graduate Education

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 221.651KB).

Dr. Deanna Nisbet

Associate Professor, School of Education, Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA

Dr. Deanna Nisbet is an Associate Professor and Chair of the TESOL program in the School of Education at Regent University. She has authored and co-authored numerous articles, and she regularly presents at international conferences such as the International TESOL Convention and the International Reading Association Conference. Her areas of expertise and research include first and second language acquisition, literacy for second language learners, classroom community, and research related to learning strategies and proficiency of Chinese students of English as a second or foreign language. Dr. Nisbet developed and presently oversees the Regent TESOL program, as well as partnerships with school districts in the Hampton Roads, VA area, for the training of current and prospective ESL teachers and tutors.

Dr. Mervyn Wighting

Professor, School of Education, Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA

Dr. Mervyn J. Wighting, originally from the south of England, has considerable experience in the education of people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and has taught in a variety of institutions in the United Kingdom and in Europe. Dr. Wighting has lived in the United States for the past twelve years, where he has worked in public and independent schools as well as in higher education. He possesses a Virginia professional teaching license with endorsements as a principal and as a teacher in middle and secondary education. He has taught extensively through both face to face instruction and distance education, and is a strong advocate of lifelong learning.

Dr. Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw

Assistant Professor and Chair of Doctoral Research, School of Education, Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia, USA