Welcome to my portfolio page. This will be the place I work on my mini-course: Rapport Building
I grew up in the New York’s Capital Region and still live there today. I am a retired police officer and currently am a licensed social worker. My teaching has focused on adult learners- primarily as a general topics and specialized topic instructor with the police department, defensive driving instructor, but also as a T/A and instructor at the college level.
This course will focus on building rapport in the classroom. The purpose of this will be to facilitate the joining of teacher and learner to strengthen the collaborative work environment and motivate learners.
Questions that will be addressed:
- What is rapport, and how can I tell if it exists?
- Why is rapport important?
- How do I create rapport quickly and effectively?
- What are the potential costs, risks, and rewards of building rapport?
- How do I use rapport in my classroom?
- How do I deal with barriers to developing and using rapport?
Upon successful completion of this mini-course, participants will be able to:
- Understand the uses, benefits, and/ or limitations of rapport, especially in regards to student engagement.
- Improve their own ability to connect with and motivate students.
- Create a more effective and/or harmonious collaborative work environment.
- Identify and employ varied methods to assess and adjust relevant connections.
Evidence based classroom research shows that good rapport leads to better student motivation, outcomes and a more harmonious environment (Schwartz and Gurung, 2005). The opportunity for rapport certainly begins at the start of an educational session or class, but actually may begin long before the start of class. Pre–class e-mails, handshakes, public addresses, and errant body language may be the soft opening to the first impression grand opening. While as instructors, we may think about what we have to lose when step up to our teacher role, but we must also remember that the students put themselves and their image at risk too (Frisby et al. 2014). If we expect the students to effectively engage the material we proffer, then we should be willing to give them the support to do so. A large part of that will be maintaining good rapport.
Analysis of the Learner and context
This course is designed for individuals with some experience, formal or otherwise, as instructor who is looking to expand her/his skill set and/ or polish her/his practice. That said, it will also work for a novice. In fact, one might themselves in a position of trying to unlearn habits. Everyone will likely find themselves a bit uncomfortable as they experiment with new techniques. This course is experiential. Although you will need the computer to access this course, the majority of learning will come your experience trying new methods and evaluation them for yourself. After all, everyone has a different teaching style and learning environment. The course is designed so that it may be used in a non-linear fashion. However, it will likely be most effective if the users to continue through the course in order, and return to the portions that they select to concentrate on.
- You will be able to to objectively look at your verbal and non-verbal behavior rapport building behavior.
- You will increase the speed and fluidity in which you develop rapport.
- You will learn to adapt your skills to your individual style and environment.
Module 1 Learn the importance and pervasiveness of rapport. Learn to be self-aware and the importance of verbal and nonverbal elements of rapport. Evaluate your current ability and levels of rapport.
Module 2 Learn verbal and non-verbal techniques in developing rapport Practice verbal engagement tools and techniques Chart what techniques mesh with the expected environments and teaching style
Module 3 Examine the lasting effects of rapport. Learn how rapport helps with difficult and or resistant situations. Learn to objectively examine the cost/ benefit of rapport building techniques The learner will re-assess, revise, and reorient techniques as needed to maximize efficiency.
References and resources
Frisby, B. N., Berger, E., Burchett, M., Herovic, E., & Strawser, M. G. (2014). Participation apprehensive students: The influence of face support and instructor–student rapport on classroom participation. Communication Education, 63(2), 105-123.
Schwartz, B. M., & Gurung, R. A. (2012). Evidence-based teaching for higher education. American Psychological Association.