RESEARCH ARTICLE: Pharmacy, nursing, and physician assistant studies student self-report and perceptions regarding classroom etiquette


  • Eytan A. Klausner South College School of Pharmacy, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
  • Kandi D. Pitchford South College School of Physician Assistant Studies, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
  • James L. Schmidhammer University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
  • Billie R. Phillips South College School of Nursing & Phillips Consulting, LLC, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA



Classroom civility, Classroom etiquette, Cyber slacking, Non-academic classroom activity, Respectful classroom environment , Student incivility


Introduction: The study aimed to investigate pharmacy, physician assistant studies, and nursing students’ self-report regarding their classroom etiquette and perceptions regarding classroom etiquette.    

Methods: A survey regarding classroom etiquette was administered to first year pharmacy, physician assistant studies, and nursing students. Statistical analysis was performed to determine differences among various student behaviours and perceptions, and among students of the three academic programmes.        

Results: Most students (>84%) indicated that arriving late to class, leaving the classroom during lecture without returning, initiating a conversation with a peer during lecture, and conducting non-class-related activities with electronic devices during lecture are unprofessional. Students self-reported that tardiness and leaving and returning to the classroom during lecture are not rare. Most students (52%) indicated that it is acceptable to have a conversation with a peer while the professor is teaching if the conversation is directly related to the lecture material. Some students (27%) indicated that the non-class-related activities that they conduct during lecture using their laptop or tablet device affected their academic performance. More students reported their academic performance is adversely affected by non-academic use of laptop or tablet device compared to the use of cell phones.       

Conclusion: This study suggests there are opportunities to improve student classroom etiquette in various academic settings. Moreover, it may bring a greater awareness to the issue of classroom etiquette, and thereby encourage faculty and administration to evaluate, and/or better enforce policies related to classroom etiquette.

Author Biographies

Eytan A. Klausner, South College School of Pharmacy, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Kandi D. Pitchford, South College School of Physician Assistant Studies, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA


James L. Schmidhammer, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA


Billie R. Phillips, South College School of Nursing & Phillips Consulting, LLC, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA



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How to Cite

Klausner, E. A. ., Pitchford, K. D. ., Schmidhammer, J. L. ., & Phillips, B. R. (2021). RESEARCH ARTICLE: Pharmacy, nursing, and physician assistant studies student self-report and perceptions regarding classroom etiquette. Pharmacy Education, 21, p. 194–202.



Research Article