No Hugs Required: University Student Perspectives on the Relationship Between Excellent Teaching and Educational Rapport

  • Leonie RowanEmail author
  • Geraldine Townend


This chapter investigates issues relating to student satisfaction with their university teaching experiences. Acknowledging previous literature that has often linked student ratings of teachers and courses with factors such as lecturer personality, course content, grade inflation and academic achievement, this chapter revisits the question of “what makes students happy?” Drawing upon innovative data collection techniques including doorstop interviews—and involving undergraduate students as co-researchers making sense of the data collected—the paper explores a range of significant and unexpected differences between what staff and students identify as the key features of quality teaching and factors that impact most significantly upon student satisfaction. With a particular focus on actions that make students feel valued, respected and included, the chapter provides valuable insights into the creation of student-centred learning environments.


Higher education pedagogy Rapport Relationship-centred pedagogy Students as co-researchers Student engagement 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Associate Professor at Griffith Institute for Educational ResearchGriffith University in QueenslandQueenslandAustralia
  2. 2.School of Education and Professional Studies, Griffith UniversityQueenslandAustralia
  3. 3.Research Fellow at Griffith Institute for Educational ResearchGriffith University in QueenslandQueenslandAustralia
  4. 4.School of Education and Professional Studies, Griffith UniversityQueenslandAustralia

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