Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Effects of Graduate Teaching Associate Status and Style on Perceived Credibility, Homophily, Student Affect and Motivation
by Ragg, Franklin Harrison, IV, M.A., California State University, Fullerton, 2019, 76; 13899583
Abstract (Summary)

The following study investigates students’ perceptions of the differences between traditional and nontraditional graduate teaching associates (GTAs) with a specific focus on how a GTAs status and socio-communicative style influences students’ perceptions of credibility, homophily, affect toward the course content, the instructor, and motivation to attend class. Participants for this study were gathered from a state university in southern California via the researcher’s professional network. Three hundred and forty seven students responded to an online questionnaire after being randomly assigned to read one of eight written descriptions of a GTA. Multivariate and univariate analyses of the data were analyzed, and results indicated statistically significant main and interaction effects between variables, with the caring dimension of credibility accounting for the largest percent of the variance. Interpretation of the results reveals that students do perceive distinct differences between traditional and nontraditional GTAs and their particular communicative style. The results also indicate that students generally perceive highly assertive, highly responsive traditional GTAs to be more caring and trustworthy, and highly assertive highly responsive nontraditional GTAs to be more competent. Both traditional and nontraditional GTAs perceived to have a competent communicative style are far more likely to increase student affect and motivation. Directions for future research and implications for GTA training are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Teven, Jason J.
Commitee: Matz, S. Irene, Ruud, Gary
School: California State University, Fullerton
Department: Communication Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 81/2(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Communication, Teacher education, Higher education
Keywords: Affect, GTA, Nontraditional, Source credibility, Teacher training
Publication Number: 13899583
ISBN: 9781085612074
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