Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students and instructors transitioned from face-to-face classes to online learning. Thus, the mode of communication and transmission of learning between students and teachers also differed. Although the importance of student-teacher relationships and interaction seems underappreciated in higher education, it is still vital to maintain students' engagement in studying. Using a phenomenological research design, the study aimed to describe how students and instructors build relationships in an online learning environment and identify the vital components of a student-teacher relationship that contribute to students’ success in academic performance. Through purposive sampling, data gathered from virtual interviews with 34 participants underwent thematic analysis. Results show that there are two simultaneous phases in the student-teacher relationship process which are (1) the establishing phase and (2) the sustaining phase. Additionally, essential components of the student-teacher relationship that drive students’ success are composed of (1) the teacher and the learner characteristics, (2) the platforms utilized, and, (3) the communication that transpires between the teacher and the learner. Moreover, future research may look into developing strategies that can enhance student-teacher relationships in higher education, specifically on how both parties can effectively relate with one another despite their differences in personality, mindset, and available resources.
Sheila Marie Dela Peña, Philippine Normal University, Philippines
Jose Ocampo, Philippine Normal University, Philippines
Richard Monteverde, Philippine Normal University, Philippines