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you with information about the student as a learner, how best to meet his/her needs or about the issue of concern. For example:

“Tell me more about ___.” “What happened next?”

Affirmations are useful for strengthening the professor-student rela- tionship. Sincerity and careful judgment in the use of affirmations shows your interest and concern, while disingenuous or trite comments can erode the relationship and create negativity. These morale-boosting statements can help build confidence and increase feelings of empowerment in stu- dents, and they can also be used to encourage specific behaviors and recog- nize students’ hard work. For example:

“You did very well on the last exam.” “I noticed that you arrived to class on time, I appreciate that.”

Reflective listening enables students to hear their comments aloud though another person’s voice. It shows that you are listening and under- standing what the student is telling you. This tool can draw attention to inconsistencies in behavior and goals without judgment. Varying your tech- nique can keep your conversation more interesting and less programmed. Some examples:

“It sounds like you want to create new study habits, but you don’t know where to start.”

“If I am hearing you correctly, you prepared for the exam by reading the chapter notes, but that was not enough.”

THE NEA HIGHER EDUCATION JOURNAL

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