Connecting With Your Students

In this module, faculty learn how to create a classroom environment that supports learning, make their course content relevant, and communicate their belief in students’ ability to meet course expectations.

To satisfy the module requirements, practicing faculty must apply at least one technique, such as using seating charts, talking with students before class, or using data from student surveys to adjust instruction.

This module is one of seven modules under ACUE’s unit on Establishing a Productive Learning Environment.

Advising Subject Matter Expert

Linda Nilson
Founding Director, Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation
Clemson University

Module References

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Ames, C. A. (1990). Motivation: What teachers need to know. The Teachers College Record, 91, 409–421.

Battistich, V., Solomon, D., Kim, D.-I., Watson, M., & Schaps, E. (1995). Schools as communities, poverty levels of student populations, and students’ attitudes, motives, and performance: A multilevel analysis. American Educational Research Journal, 32, 627–658.

Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The skillful teacher: On technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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Church, M. A., Elliot, A. J., & Gable, S. L. (2001). Perceptions of classroom environment, achievement goals, and achievement outcomes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93, 43–54.

Cole, D. G., Sugioka, H. L., & Yamagata-Lynch, L. C. (1999). Supportive classroom environments for creativity in higher education. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 33, 277–293.

Cordova, D. I., & Lepper, M. R. (1996). Intrinsic motivation and the process of learning: Beneficial effects of contextualization, personalization, and choice. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 715–730.

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Dweck, C. S., & Leggett, E. L. (1988). A social-cognitive approach to motivation and personality. Psychological Review, 95, 256–273.

Freeman, T. M., Anderman, L. H., & Jensen, J. M. (2007). Sense of belonging in college freshmen at the classroom and campus levels. The Journal of Experimental Education, 75, 203–220.

Frisby, B. N., & Martin, M. M. (2010). Instructor–student and student–student rapport in the classroom. Communication Education, 59, 146–164.

Furrer, C., & Skinner, E. (2003). Sense of relatedness as a factor in children’s academic engagement and performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95, 148–162.

Hartnett, M., St. George, A., & Dron, J. (2011). Examining motivation in online distance learning environments: Complex, multifaceted and situation-dependent. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 12(6), 20–38.

Kuh, G. D., Kinzie, J., Schuh, J. H., & Whitt, E. J. (2011). Student success in college: Creating conditions that matter. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Legg, A. M., & Wilson, J. H. (2009). E-mail from professor enhances student motivation and attitudes. Teaching of Psychology, 36, 205–211.

Lichtenstein, M. (2005). The importance of classroom environments in the assessment of learning community outcomes. Journal of College Student Development, 46, 341–356.

Lowman, J. (1984). Mastering the techniques of teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Meyers, S. A. (2009). Do your students care whether you care about them? College Teaching, 57, 205–210.

Moriarty, B., Douglas, G., Punch, K., & Hattie, J. (1995). The importance of self-efficacy as a mediating variable between learning environments and achievement. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 65, 73–84.

Mucherah, W. (2014). Exploring the relationship between classroom climate, reading motivation, and achievement: A look into 7th grade classrooms. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 8, 93–110.

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Pascarella, E. T. (1980). Student–faculty informal contact and college outcomes. Review of Educational Research, 50, 545–595.

Phelan, P., Davidson, A. L., & Cao, H. T. (1992). Speaking up: Students’ perspectives on school.
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Pizzolato, J. E. (2006). Achieving college student possible selves: Navigating the space between commitment and achievement of long-term identity goals. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 12, 57–69.

Powell, J. D., & Lines, J. I. (2010). Make learning personal: Recommendations for classroom practice. About Campus, 15(2), 20–25.

Seifert, T. (2004). Understanding student motivation. Educational Research, 46, 137–149.

Shepherd, M. M., Briggs, R. O., Reinig, B. A., Yen, J., & Nunamaker, J. F., Jr. (1995/1996). Invoking social comparison to improve electronic brainstorming: Beyond anonymity. Journal of Management Information Systems, 12(3), 155–170.

Sousa, D. A. (2011). How the brain learns (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Sutton, R. E., & Wheatley, K. F. (2003). Teachers’ emotions and teaching: A review of the literature and directions for future research. Educational Psychology Review, 15, 327–358.

Tinto, V. (1987). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Trees, A. R., & Jackson, M. H. (2007). The learning environment in clicker classrooms: Student processes of learning and involvement in large university-level courses using student response systems. Learning, Media and Technology, 32, 21–40.

Umbach P. D., & Wawrzynski, M. R. (2005). Faculty do matter: The role of college faculty in student learning and engagement. Research in Higher Education, 46, 153–184.

Urdan, T., & Schoenfelder, E. (2006). Classroom effects on student motivation: Goal structures, social relationships, and competence beliefs. Journal of School Psychology, 44, 331–349.

Wentzel, K. R. (1991). Relations between social competence and academic achievement in early adolescence. Child Development, 62, 1066–1078.

Wilson, J. H., & Wilson, S. B. (2007). The first day of class affects student motivation: An experimental study. Teaching of Psychology, 34, 226–230.

Witt, P. L., Wheeless, L. R., & Allen, M. (2004). A meta-analytical review of the relationship between teacher immediacy and student learning. Communication Monographs, 71, 184–207.

Woodside, B. M., Wong, E. H., & Weist, D. J. (1999). The effect of student–faculty interaction on college students’ academic achievement and self-concept. Education, 119, 730–733.