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Abstract

The concept of connected classroom climate focuses on student-to-student communication behaviors that are paramount in creating the climate of a class, especially in the basic course. While previous studies have focused on the positive and cooperative behaviors of students and instructors that may contribute to perceptions of classroom connectedness, the role that incivilities may play in detracting from or undermining a connected classroom climate has not been investigated.

This study examines perceptions of a connected classroom climate and its relationships to student misbehaviors and instructor responses. A total of 542 university students enrolled in 30 sections of the basic public speaking course completed the Connected Classroom Climate Inventory (CCCI) and scales measuring student misbehaviors and teacher responses to student misbehaviors. Results showed that student perceptions of a connected classroom climate were inversely related to both inconsiderate and harassing student misbehaviors. The results also revealed a possible relationship between classroom connectedness and the manner in which instructors respond to students when they misbehave. These findings suggest that basic course instructors need to consider how to reduce student inconsideration and harassment misbehaviors in their classes, and how to positively respond to these behaviors when they do occur so that classroom connectedness is not diminished.