Effective task communication : the role of task information and the interpersonal teacher-student relationship.

H. Broekkamp, E. Dijk, van, J.M.G. Brekelmans, T. Mainhard, P.J. Brok, den

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Abstract

Students who perceive assigned academic tasks as more clear perform better on these tasks. Moreover, it has been shown that "task clarity" (as experienced by students) varies across teachers. Apparently, some teachers are more effective than other teachers in communicating tasks. There is, however, little research available on teachers' task communication. The present study attempts to explain differences in task clarity by examining both the nature of teachers' task communication and the interpersonal teacher-student relationship, which is hypothesized to be conditional for effective task communication. Participants were 17 EFL teachers in Dutch secondary schools and 382 students. Teachers participated with one of their classes. Task clarity and the interpersonal teacher-student relationship were measured with existing questionnaires. Task communication was measured by analyzing one videotaped regular lesson per teacher according to a coding scheme developed in this study. Examined were the percentage of lesson minutes spend on task communication in general and, more specifically, the percentage of lesson minutes spend on communicating (a) characteristics that concern future, current or past tasks; and (b) characteristics that concern the planning, executing or evaluation phase of tasks. Multilevel analyses of the data indicate that teachers that direct their task communication on present tasks, as opposed to future or past tasks, are perceived as more clear. More time spent on communicating executing tasks, opposed to planning or evaluation of tasks, leads to lower perception of task clarity. Students that perceive their teacher as having more influence and being more cooperative perceive the tasks they are assigned as more clear. Our findings confirm the hypothesis that both teachers' task communication and the interpersonal teacher-student relationship explain the task clarity as experienced by students. Future research may examine this relationship in more detail and with more statistical power.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEARLI 2009, Amsterdam
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherUvA and VU Amsterdam
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Eventconference; European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, 2009; 2009-08-25; 2009-08-29 -
Duration: 25 Aug 200929 Aug 2009

Conference

Conferenceconference; European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, 2009; 2009-08-25; 2009-08-29
Period25/08/0929/08/09
OtherEuropean Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, 2009

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