Date of Graduation
This research investigated the effects of Willingness to Communicate on student learning. It was hypothesized that (i) students who were generally more willing to communicate would participate more in class than students who were generally unwilling to communicate and that (ii) Willingness to Communicate would be positively associated with both cognitive and affective learning. A total of 253 students enrolled in 12 different undergraduate courses participated in the study. Students were asked to complete the WTC scale in the beginning of the semester. Of the 253 students, 62 were identified as high willing-to-communicate subjects and 45 were identified as low willing-to-communicate subjects. The classroom communication behavior of these 107 subjects were observed by trained coders during three randomly selected class periods. All participants then completed the questionnaire which assessed both their cognitive and affective learning in the thirteenth week of the semester. Results strongly supported the relationship between the predisposition towards communication, WTC, and actual communication behavior. Students who scored high on the WTC scale had significantly more in-class oral participation than students who scored low on the scale. Results did not provide support for the positive association between WTC and students' perceived cognitive learning. However, WTC was found to be inversely related to Learning Loss. Low WTCs perceived twice as much Learning Loss as high WTCs. Low WTCs reported that if they had the ideal teacher, they would have learned much more. WTC was also found to predict students' attitudes toward the course content and the instructor. WTC was neither related to students' attitudes toward practices suggested in the course nor their intents of (i) engaging in practices suggested in the course, (ii) enrolling in another course of related content, and (iii) enrolling in another course with the same instructor. Those who participated in class, regardless of their WTC levels, also had more affect toward the instructor and were more likely to enroll in another course with the same teacher. Communication behavior was unrelated to cognitive learning. The results of this study indicated that WTC was negatively associated with Learning Loss and that both WTC and actual communication behavior impacted students' affective learning. These results imply that students' affective learning may be increased if students are encouraged and allowed to communicate in the classroom.
Chan, Miuchi Betty, "The effects of willingness to communicate on student learning." (1988). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8599.