Does Empathy Matter? An Exploratory Study of Class-Transition Satisfaction in Unplanned Course Interruptions

Munoz, Laura
Fergurson, J. Ricky
Harris, Eric G.
Fleming, David
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Sage Publications Inc.
The sudden transition to online course delivery necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant service interruption in the academic lives of college students. Some challenges posed were immediately present such as to how to deliver course material and handle student concerns about classes and life in a new, unexpected, and abrupt “normal.” One aspect that arguably can generate a much-improved recovery is the pivotal role that a professor’s empathy can provide. This study captures the role of empathy regarding professorial behaviors directly related to the course, those not directly tied to the class, and how they all merge to influence student perceptions of the course. Student’s level of perceived stressors related to their life and ultimately their stress level are impacted as well. Findings show empathy plays a key role in positively impacting student satisfaction and well-being while reducing students’ sources of concerns such as household conflict, lack of Wi-Fi reliability, lack of access to a constant computer, and financial and food insecurity.
Classroom management, Empathy, COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020-
Munoz, L., Fergurson, J. R., Harris, E. G., & Fleming, D. (2022). Does empathy matter? An exploratory study of class-transition satisfaction in unplanned course interruptions. Journal of Marketing Education, 1.