The Relationships among Graduate Students’ Sense of Community, their Perceived Learning, and Actual Learning

By Mervyn Wighting, Deanna Nisbet and Lucinda Spaulding.

Published by The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article will report findings from a quantitative study which investigated sense of community, perceived learning, and actual learning among 112 graduate-level education students. The researchers employed correlational analysis to examine relationships among two types of classroom community (social community and learning community), three types of perceived learning (cognitive, affective, and psychomotor learning), and actual learning as measured by course grades. Results indicate that a higher sense of community among students correlates with a higher perception of their learning. The results also indicate that perceptions of learning are not necessarily correlated with students’ actual learning. Implications for faculty and recommendations for further research will be included.

Keywords: Sense of Community, Perceived Learning, Actual Learning

International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp.25-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 216.990KB).

Dr. Mervyn Wighting

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

Dr. Mervyn J. Wighting, originally from the south of England, is a full Professor and Program Chair in the School of Education at Regent University. He 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 fifteen 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. Deanna Nisbet

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

Dr. Deanna Nisbet is an associate professor in the School of Education at Regent University. She has authored and co-authored numerous articles, and she regularly presents at international conferences. Her areas of expertise and research include first and second language acquisition, literacy for second language learners, and affective factors that impact learning. 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. Lucinda Spaulding

Doctoral Student, School of Education, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA, USA

Lucinda S. Spaulding is an assistant professor at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Her research interests include resilience in children and youth, standards-based reform and educational policy, and the history of special education.