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Student-professor research team wins best paper at management conference

Announcements | Nov 15, 2017 |

If you’ve been in a college classroom lately, you may have noticed some professors shifting from the traditional lecture-style classroom to interactive methods. This shift is in part due to instructors’ concerns about engaging students and promoting social interaction.

But what concerns do students have?

Recent research by Julita Haber, a Gabelli School clinical assistant professor, and Robert Tesoriero, BS ’19, explores this question.

Their paper, titled “Student Impression Management in the Classroom,” was named best paper in the teaching innovation/management education track at the Southern Management Association Conference.

Haber and Tesoriero conducted a survey of 269 students, drawn from Fordham University’s student body, to uncover what students care about when it comes to the images they project in class. They found, for example, that when dealing with professors, students felt it was more important to be perceived as hardworking than it was to appear intelligent.

“Results like these were interesting because it seemed to suggest a belief in students that teachers are impressed with effort more than mastery,” Haber says.

What does that mean for instructors? Haber says recognizing what students value “can lead to more deliberate and effective teaching styles.”

Haber and Tesoriero are currently working on a second study to get a better understanding of what exactly students do to create and project these images to others.

“Being able to recognize these tactics and understand their effectiveness,” Haber says, “can go a long way in ensuring future classroom interactions are conducted in a way where the intent and desire of both parties is clearly understood.”

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