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Verbal interaction and immediacy in a videoconference environment

, The Pennsylvania State University, United States

Doctor of Education, The Pennsylvania State University . Awarded


This study addresses the relationship, if any, found between the physical presence of an instructor at a learning site and the level of verbal interaction demonstrated by the student participants. The study attempted to measure the possible differences in the level of verbal interaction demonstrated by a central site group (where the teacher was physically present) and a distant-site group. The distant-site group was linked only to the central-site group via a communication link to the central-site. The Videoconference Environment Social Presence Indicator or VESPI instrument (developed for the study) was used as the measuring device to establish the type and frequency of the student responses from both groups. The instrument was used to collect and categorize data that reflected a positive or negative type response in seven major verbal interaction categories. Each of the seven major categories was bifurcated into two categories for a total of fourteen subcategories. Seven of the fourteen subcategories were deemed positive responses and seven of the subcategories were deemed negative responses. The positive responses were considered as an indication to the existence of immediacy in the group while the negative responses were considered not to support group immediacy.

The type and frequency of behavioral interactions performed by the central- and distant-site group members were recorded and categorized to determine the type and frequency of the actions. The results were placed in a Wilcoxon sign-rank test to determine if the data was significant and if the data results were as predicted by the general and sub hypotheses. In every case where the data levels were deemed “significant” by the Wilcoxon test, the data showed that the VESPI subcategory relating to a sub hypothesis was fully supported. The overall result infers that the central-site group, where the instructor was physically located and where the instructor directed and controlled the course process, was more proactive than the distant-site group with positive behavioral interactions. The direct opposite was true of the distant-site group when measured against the negative components of social behavior.


Alkins, A.C. Verbal interaction and immediacy in a videoconference environment. Doctor of Education thesis, The Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved November 13, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 22, 2013. [Original Record]

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