University of Twente Student Theses


Student-Teacher Relationships : The Dimensions of a Beneficial Student-Teacher Relationship in Distance Learning at Higher Education

Kahlert, V.L. (2023) Student-Teacher Relationships : The Dimensions of a Beneficial Student-Teacher Relationship in Distance Learning at Higher Education.

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Abstract:Introduction: The Covid-19 pandemic led to the widespread implementation of digital learning in higher education resulting in a regression of student well-being and academic success. Student-teacher relationships are a crucial factor for student well-being. The nature of the relationship depends on the context. The literature revealed a three-dimensional model describing student-teacher relationships in higher education with affiliation, attachment and assertation. Another model defined student-teacher relationships in digital learning at high schools with a closeness and conflict dimension. The literature was inconclusive on student-teacher relationships in higher education’s digital learning. Therefore, the study aimed to identify and compare the relevant dimensions to the abovementioned models. Methods: A qualitative approach allowed us to gain new insights into the relationship characteristics in the specific context. Eighteen second and third-year Bachelor students of the University of Twente with different nationalities and study backgrounds were interviewed. Transcripts were thematically analysed, and overlaps between themes and the existing models were determined. Results: Three themes were identified in the data with multiple subordinate codes each: Support (Engaging with students, Autonomy of students, Availability of the teacher, private conversation and feedback), Affective (Non-verbal communication and Showing interest in the students) and Professional skills (Conflict-solving skills, Expertise and Mutual respect). No pre-known model fully covered all three dimensions. But all three dimensions overlapped with the models' dimensions; thus, no dimension was completely new. Discussion: The study improved the understanding of beneficial student-teacher relationships in higher education’s digital learning and its relation to previous models. Limitations were sample representativeness and reliability of the comparison results. Recommendations were specified for student well-being promoting interventions at the University of Twente. It was called for concretising the best-fit model and its dimensions.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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