Graduate teaching assistants' use of humor in the college classroom and its impact on student behavior and learning
Stirling, Susan D
MetadataShow full item record
The study of specific communication patterns of Graduate Teaching Assistants' (GTA) has been overlooked in communication literature, focusing instead upon GTAs socialization and culture forming strategies, as well as their basic concerns and the training of GTAs to be instructors. This study hypothesizes that an academic department cannot adequately train its GTAs without first understanding how GTAs communicate with their students. To date, GTAs are being trained using literature that has been tested upon full-time and adjunct faculty members. The argument is made that independent research must be done on the communication patterns of GTAs if they are to be adequately trained to be college instructors. The specific communication pattern of GTA humor use in the classroom was examined to find what effects it might have upon student behavior and student learning. The researcher theorizes that as humor use increases student misbehaviors will increase and student learning will decrease. Findings showed that the amount of humor a GTA uses in his/her class has no significant effect upon student behavior; however, GTAs humor use does significantly affect student affective and cognitive learning in a positive way.