In pursuit of a sound and wieldy measure of professor-student rapport

by Timothy W Broom

Institution: Northern Arizona University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Behavioral psychology; Educational psychology; Higher education
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2102775
Full text PDF: http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10125357


The current study is a replication and extension of Wilson and Ryan (2013), the goal of which study was to reduce the size of the 34-item Professor-Student Rapport Scale via principal components analysis. In light of several shortcomings of their methods, including use of an inadequate sample size, we sought to determine whether or not the two factors were replicable. An exploratory factor analysis conducted using an adequately large sample (>300) failed to replicate the factor structure previously found. Instead, we describe the emergence of two new factors: “Professor Cares about Students” and “Professor Creates an Engaging and Constructive Atmosphere.” The new factor-structure exhibited adequate model fit in a confirmatory factor analysis (N > 300) and significantly predicted five of the six student and course outcomes examined through multiple linear regressions (N >= 109 for all regression analyses). Importantly, in addition to methodological improvements, our results appear to have produced two factors – “Professor Cares about Students” and “Professor Creates an Engaging and Constructive Atmosphere” – that better capture the broader construct of professor-student rapport than did the previously identified factors. Implications of our findings for instructors wishing to establish rapport with their students are discussed, as are directions for future studies and remaining problems for the scale not addressed by the current research (namely, a need for discriminant validity).