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Abstract

Universities continue to rely heavily on graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) to teach many of their entry level courses, with limited research emphasizing student perceptions of GTAs. With this in mind, the purpose of this investigation was to assess the combined influence of instructor status (GTA vs. Professor) and sex on student perceptions of teacher credibility and confirmation behaviors across time. Results from the repeated measures analysis indicated interaction effects for instructor sex and time, whereby female instructors (regardless of their status) were perceived to have higher levels of character, trustworthiness, and perceived caring. Three-way interaction effects emerged for instructor confirmation dimensions of demonstrated interest and teaching style. For each of these dimensions, female GTAs and professors experienced marked increases after student initial perceptions, while male GTAs were perceived to decrease dramatically.