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World Journal of Education and Humanities


Friendships within learning environments have been established as valuable aspects of supporting student success. The literature clearly shows that: 1) a student can achieve a better grade depending on how he/she perceives the task in terms of level of difficulty, and 2) a student can perceive the level of difficulty to be more or less difficult, depending on who is in the room with him/her during the task. If task difficulty can be linked to perceived friendships in the room, then fostering friendships in a classroom could play a crucial role to improving performance. As universities continue to embrace online formats, an important question becomes how can friendships be fostered to improve student performance?

We surveyed students at Bryant University to study this question. The students had completed the same marketing course, in either a traditional classroom setting, or as an online course, taught by the same professor during the same semester. Students were asked about their perceptions of the course and performance, as well as their interaction with each other and the instructor. We found that this course was able to foster friendships, despite the format, and that students themselves perceived this as a component of their own success.