Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Investigating a Relationship between Nonverbal Communication and Student Learning
by York, Dustin, Ed.D., Lindenwood University, 2013, 140; 3605278
Abstract (Summary)

Clear and effective communication is essential in today's society (Smith & Cotten, 1980; Smith & Land, 1981). Nonverbal communication specifically has a vital role in communication. There is inconsistent data on the effect of nonverbal communication used by instructors and the impact on student learning within the higher education environment. This research study sought to find distinct correlations between instructors' nonverbal communication and a variety of elements related to student learning.

This study examined (1) the relationship between standardized measurements of student learning and instructors' nonverbal communication, (2) the relationship between students' perceptions of their learning and instructors' nonverbal communication, (3) the relationship between students' perceptions of instructor credibility based on the instructors' nonverbal communication, and (4) the relationship between students' gender and instructors' nonverbal communication.

Based on quantitative and qualitative data, college students (N=85) from a midsize Midwestern university reported distinct findings that progressed the study of nonverbal communication. Students attended class with one of two variable instructorlecturing types: utilizing effective nonverbal communication (good eye contact, arm movement, facial expression, voice fluctuation, and position in the classroom), or poor nonverbal communication (poor eye contact, arm movement, facial expression, voice fluctuation, and position in the classroom). The instructors lectured the exact same material from a script. Students provided data through tests, surveys, and focus groups that delivered substantial evidence of the relationship between instructors' nonverbal communication and student learning.

Findings in the research study suggest that instructors' nonverbal communication is beneficial to students' academic success. This study outlined which elements of nonverbal communication an instructor could use to benefit student learning. Using the results of this study, university administrators, faculty, and professional development officials could find beneficial information for the success of higher education instruction.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Weir, Graham
Commitee: Biri, Colleen, Rodgers, Christie, Wisdom, Sherrie
School: Lindenwood University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 75/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Communication, Higher education
Keywords: Eye contact, Nonverbal communication, Student learning
Publication Number: 3605278
ISBN: 9781303613852
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