The Language of Students: How do Students Label and Define their Class Experience?


  • Makayla Skrlac Mount Royal University
  • Julie Booke Mount Royal University



students' language, perceptions, individual class evaluation, class experience, classroom flow


Every day hours are spent in classrooms with professors teaching and students learning - or so we think. As professors, we are expected to engage students in the learning process (Kuh, 2003), keep them entertained (Delaney et al., 2010), impart wisdom, etc. However, what professors see as effective class experiences may be very different from how and why students experience the class as they do. This qualitative study, as the first part of a multiphase research project, sought to identify the language students use to label and describe their perceptions of individual classes. The study involved semi-structured interviews with 24 students, ranging from first to fifth year. Developing an understanding of the labels and definitions students use to articulate their classroom experience may provide insight for both faculty and students in that they may be able to better communicate, or at minimum faculty may better understand how students describe class experiences. Findings may provide both students and faculty ideas into how to create a more effective learning experience.


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Author Biographies

Makayla Skrlac, Mount Royal University

Makayla Skrlac, completed a Bachelor of Health and Physical Education, majoring in Physical Literacy from Mount Royal University in 2022 and previously completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Pharmacology from McGill University in 2018. 

Julie Booke, Mount Royal University

Julie Booke, is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Physical Education at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada.  Julie completed a Bachelor of Recreation and a Master of Arts from the University of Manitoba and a PhD in Educational Research from the University of Calgary.