Student-to-student connectedness in higher education: a systematic literature review
Student-to-student connectedness is promoted by active, student-centered learning processes. It is a socio-psychological result of interpersonal communication and behavior in the classroom, which emulates belonging, cohesiveness, and supportiveness among peers. Currently, two survey instruments exist—Dwyer et al.’s (Commun Res Rep 21(3):264–272, 2004. https://doi.org/10.1080/08824090409359988) Connected Classroom Climate Inventory and Johnson’s (Commun Res Rep 26(2):146–157, 2009. https://doi.org/10.1080/08824090902861622) amendment thereof, which have been used for nearly two decades to gain insight into instructional processes in face-to-face environments. However, research on student-to-student connectedness is relatively limited in the context of modern, technology-mediated learning environments. Arguably, where student-to-student connectedness is most urgently needed because of the decrease in face-to-face contact time between students and their instructors within online and hybrid learning environments. This study is a systematic literature review that presents a synthesis of twenty-four peer-reviewed journal articles, which empirically investigate student-to-student connectedness within face-to-face, hybrid, and online environments. The documentation of data is organized in accordance to the six aspects of activity theory (subjects, objects, mediating artifacts, rules, community, division of labor) to provide a basis for understanding the dynamics of each research report, as well as to assist identifying the trends and gaps in the literature, thereby expediting future research on this topic.
KeywordsStudent-to-student connectedness Connected classroom climate Connected classroom climate inventory Activity theory Literature review Higher education
This study was funded by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China (Grant No. 14JZD044).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
No human participants were involved in the scope of this study.
No human participants were involved in the scope of this study.
- Allen, T. (2000). Creating community in your classroom. Education Digest, 65, 23–25.Google Scholar
- Anderson, L. W., Krathwohl, D. R., Airasian, P. W., Cruikshank, K. A., Mayer, R. E., Pintrich, P. R., et al. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York, NY: Longman.Google Scholar
- Arksey, H., & O’Malley, L. (2005). Scoping studies: Towards a methodological framework. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8(1), 19–32.Google Scholar
- Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497–529.Google Scholar
- Bingham, S. G., Carlson, R. E., Dwyer, K. K., & Prisbell, M. (2009). Student misbehaviors, instructor responses, and connected classroom climate: Implications for the basic course. Basic Communication Course Annual, 21(7), 30–68.Google Scholar
- Bonwell, C. C., & Eison, J. A. (1991). Active learning: Creating excitement in the classroom (ASHE–ERIC higher education rep. no. 1). Washington, DC: The George Washington University, School of Education and Human Development.Google Scholar
- Broeckelman-Post, M. A., & Hosek, A. M. (2014). Using in-class versus out-of-class peer workshops to improve presentational speaking. Basic Communication Course Annual, 26(11), 57–94.Google Scholar
- Broeckelman-Post, M. A., & Pyle, A. S. (2017). Public speaking versus hybrid introductory communication courses: Exploring four outcomes. Communication Education, 66(2), 210–228.Google Scholar
- Brooks, D. C. (2017). Active learning classrooms: The topic strategic technology for 2017. EDUCASUE Center for analysis and research report. Retrieved March 18, 2019 from https://er.educause.edu/blogs/2017/3/active-learning-classrooms-the-top-strategic-technology-for-2017.
- Carlson, R. E., Dwyer, K. K., Bingham, S. G., Cruz, A. M., Prisbell, M., & Fuss, D. A. (2006). Connected classroom climate and communication apprehension: Correlations and implications of the basic course. Basic Communication Course Annual, 18(1), 1–17.Google Scholar
- Davenport, D. C. (2015). Examining peer perceptions of humorous communication in the college classroom. Master thesis, University of Kentucky, USA. Retrieved from https://uknowledge.uky.edu/comm_etds/42.
- Dwyer, K. K., Bingham, S. G., Carison, R. E., Prisbell, M., Cruz, A. M., & Fus, D. A. (2004). Communication and connectedness in the classroom: Development of the connected classroom climate inventory. Communication Research Reports, 21(3), 264–272. https://doi.org/10.1080/08824090409359988.Google Scholar
- Engeström, Y. (1987). Learning by expanding: An activity-theoretical approach to developmental research. Helsinki: Orienta-Konsultit.Google Scholar
- Engeström, Y. (2015). Learning by expanding: An activity-theoretical approach to developmental research (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Gibb, J. (1961). Defensive communication. Journal of Communication, 11(3), 141–148. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.1961.tb00344.x.Google Scholar
- Golsan, K. B. (2012). Assessment of embedding peer tutors in the basic communication course: Examining student engagement, classroom climate, affective learning, and communication competence. Unpublished Master thesis, Kent State University, USA.Google Scholar
- Hagerty, B. M. K., Lynch-Sauer, J., Patusky, K. L., & Bouwsema, M. (1993). An emerging theory of human relatedness. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 25(4), 291–296. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1547-5069.1993.tb00262.x.Google Scholar
- Hsu, C.-F., & Huang, I.-T. (2017). Are international students quiet in class? The influence of teacher confirmation on classroom apprehension and willingness to talk in class. Journal of International Students, 7(1), 38–52.Google Scholar
- Krathwohl, D. R. (2002). A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy: An overview. Theory into Practice, 41(4), 212–218.Google Scholar
- Leont’ev, A. N. (1981). Problems of the development of the mind. Moscow: Progress.Google Scholar
- MacLeod, J. (2018). Active learning, technology, and student-to-student connectedness: Examining technology enabled active learning classrooms in Chinese higher education. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Central China Normal University, China.Google Scholar
- MacLeod, J. & Yang, H. H. (2018). Connected classroom climate in higher education: A scoping review. In 2018 international symposium on educational technology (ISET) (pp. 113–116). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/iset.2018.00033.
- Myers, S. A., Goldman, Z. W., Atkinson, J., Ball, H., Carton, S. T., Tindage, M. F., et al. (2016). Student civility in the college classroom: Exploring student use and effects of classroom citizenship behavior. Communication Education, 65(1), 64–82. https://doi.org/10.1080/03634523.2015.1061197.Google Scholar
- National Education Association, Education Policy and Practice Department. (2011). An NEA policy brief: Blended learning. Retrieved from https://www.ewa.org/sites/main/files/pb36blendedlearning2011.pdf.
- Partnership for 21st Century Learning. (2007). Framework for 21st century learning. Retrieved from https://www.P21.org/framework.
- Prince, M. (2004). Does active learning work? A review of the research. Journal of Engineering Education, 93(3), 223–231. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2168-9830.2004.tb00809.x.Google Scholar
- Prisbell, M., Dwyer, K. K., Carlson, R. E., Bingham, S. G., & Cruz, A. M. (2009). Connected classroom climate and communication in the basic course: Associations with learning. Basic Communication Course Annual, 21(1), 151–172.Google Scholar
- Sidelinger, R. J., Bolen, D. M., McMullen, A. L., & Nyeste, M. C. (2015). Academic and social integration in the basic communication course: Predictors of students’ out-of-class communication and academic learning. Communication Studies, 66(1), 63–84. https://doi.org/10.1080/10510974.2013.856807.Google Scholar
- Sidelinger, R. J., Myers, S. A., & McMullen, A. L. (2011b). Students’ communication predispositions: An examination of classroom connectedness in public speaking courses. Basic Communication Course Annual, 23(1), 248–278.Google Scholar
- Sohn, B. K. (2016). The student experience of other students. Doctoral dissertation, University of Tennessee, USA. Retrieved from https://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_graddiss/3748.
- Sovine, M. B. (2015). Students’ intent to persist in college: Moderating the negative effects of instructors; misbehaviors with student-to-student connectedness and family support. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Houston-Clear Lake, USA.Google Scholar
- Townsend, K. C., & McWhirter, B. T. (2005). Connectedness: A review of the literature with implications for counseling, assessment, and research. Journal of Counseling and Development, 83(2), 191–201. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1556-6678.2005.tb00596.x.Google Scholar
- Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind and society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Webster, J., & Watson, R. T. (2002). Analyzing the past to prepare for the future: Writing a literature review. MIS Quarterly, 26, 13–23.Google Scholar