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Student Perception of Task Clarity

By E.S. van Dijk


Background Previous research has identified students’ perception of task clarity as an important predictor of learning performance. It is likely that task clarity is influenced by the way teachers communicate tasks to the students. However, teacher task-communication has not been investigated in relation to task clarity. It is assumed that this relation is embedded in the interpersonal teacher-student relationship.\ud Aims This study investigates the relation between teacher task-communication and task clarity, in the context of the interpersonal relationship between teacher and student.\ud Sample 17 teachers of English as a Foreign Language in the Netherlands and 382 of their students participated in this study.\ud Method Task clarity and the interpersonal relationship between teacher and student are measured with a questionnaire. Teacher task-communication is measured by analyzing one videotaped regular lesson per teacher. The data are analysed using multilevel analysis.\ud Results Tasks of teachers that direct their task communication on present tasks are perceived as more clear, but more time spent on communicating performing tasks, opposed to the planning and 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.\ud Conclusions Characteristics of teacher task communication influence student perception of task clarity. The interpersonal relationship between teacher and student is an important contextual factor for this relation. Future research may examine these relationships is grater detail and with greater statistical power

Topics: MERM, Migration, ethnic Relations and Multiculturalism
Year: 2008
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