Henningsen, Mary L.
M.A. (Master of Arts)
Department of Communication
Sites like Rate My Professors (RMP) offer abundant, potentially problematic foundations of expectations about instructors in higher education. Framed in Expectancy Violations Theory, this thesis investigated the relationship between online ratings and learning. To conduct an experimental test of EVT in this context, three RMP reviews (i.e., positive, neutral, negative) were created to induce an expectation of instructor clarity. Two lectures were filmed (i.e., clear, unclear) to violate or affirm the expectation students may have formed from the reviews. The results of the experiment indicated that violation of expectations did not influence learning (i.e., quiz score, cognitive learning, or most subscales of affective learning). Instead, there was a consistent effect for the clarity of the video message. Despite the formation of expectations through RMP reviews, the results indicated that expectations did not influence learning as much as actual clarity did. These findings suggest that, although RMP may be abundant, it may also be benign.
Simpson, Dathan Nathaniel II, "Rate my professors : electronic word of mouth and expectancy violations theory in the classroom" (2019). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 4626.
Northern Illinois University
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