Community College Enterprise
The proximity effect— whether distance from an instructor correlates with grades— has been the topic of many articles dating back nearly 100 years. Despite this attention, a cleavage in the literature remains. Some authors argue that increased proximity to the instructor negatively relates with academic performance while others maintain no proximity correlation with grades. This paper posits that a consensus does exist: seat location influences grades in larger classrooms but not in smaller ones. To support that position, these authors offer a review of previous literature and add to that body by analyzing student performance in six relatively small community college economics classes. In that analysis, seat location bore no statistical correlation with student performance, supporting the conclusion that proximity affects grades less often in small classrooms than in large.
Original Publication Citation
Lacroix, K., & Lacroix, S. (2017). Does seat location matter? A review of the proximity effect in large and small classrooms. Community College Enterprise, 23(2), 58-69.
Lacroix, Kim and Lacroix, Sean, "Does Seat Location Matter? A Review of the Proximity Effect in Large and Small Classrooms" (2017). Communication Disorders & Special Education Faculty Publications. 35.