Developing teaching practice


This study examines Cho & Demmans Epp’s short-form adaptation of Rovai’s well-known Classroom Community Scale (CCS-SF) as a measure of classroom community among introductory undergraduate math and statistics students. A series of statistical analyses were conducted to investigate the validity of the CCS-SF for this new population. Data were collected from 351 students enrolled in 21 online classes, offered for credit in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 at a private university in the United States. Further confirmatory analysis was conducted with data from 128 undergraduates enrolled in 13 in-person and hybrid classes, offered for credit in Fall 2021 at the same institution. Following Rovai’s original 20-item CCS, the 8-item CCS-SF yields two interpretable factors, connectedness and learning. This study confirms the two-factor structure of the CCS-SF, and concludes that it is a valid measure of classroom community among undergraduate students enrolled in remote, hybrid, and in-person introductory mathematics and statistics courses.

Practitioner Notes

  1. Cho & Demmans Epp's 2019 Classroom Community Scale Short Form (CCS-SF) is a promising but relatively new instrument for measuring students’ sense of community, previously validated only for graduate online courses. This research article validates the instrument's use for undergraduate students in online, hybrid, and in-person courses.
  2. According to Rovai’s original Classroom Community Scale from which the CCS-SF is adapted, students’ sense of community can be understood by two subscales, connectedness and learning. These subscales measure how students relate to their peers and their perception of being in a supportive learning environment.
  3. Through exploratory factor analysis, we have shown more nuanced views of the subscales demonstrating the multiple facets in which students evaluate belongingness among their peers and perception of having shared learning goals.
  4. With this validation article, instructors can now administer the CCS-SF instrument in undergraduate courses to assess the classroom community, as well as using the instrument for research on undergraduate students.
  5. With this validation article, educational researchers can use the CCS-SF to better understand situational factors and pedagogies associated with students’ sense of community and how these associations vary for students with different identities.