Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Conceptualising and building trust to enhance the engagement and achievement of under-served students

Payne, A.L., Stone, C. and Bennett, R. (2022) Conceptualising and building trust to enhance the engagement and achievement of under-served students. The Journal of Continuing Higher Education . pp. 1-18.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


This conceptual article asserts the importance of building and sustaining trust between higher education students and practitioners within the online environment. Instilling trust can construct sustainable learning environments that are abundant with collaborative inquiry and dialogue. In this article, we highlight and investigate the conceptual construct of trust and its antecedents. Considering the nature and purpose of interpersonal trust in student-instructor relationships within online higher education institutions, we explore several factors (in particular, performativity, casualisation of teaching staff, neoliberalism, non-traditional student identities, and the digital divide) which influence the development of trust. We also investigate the role of trust in influencing student engagement and achievement, in terms of attainment of academic goals. Notably, we highlight the importance of further inquiry into methods of rapport-building in higher education. Theoretical foundations have been drawn from Indigenous scholarship as well as organisational and socio-psychological literature. We close by welcoming further discussion and reflection on institutional practices and performance measures in the digital environment, particularly in terms of whether they allow instructors to embed relational aspects and elicit cognitive and affective trust from their students.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Item Control Page Item Control Page