Teacher verbal immediacy and sense of classroom community in online classes: Satisfaction, perceived learning, and online discussion.

Ni, Shu-Fang, Ph.D., The University of Kansas, 2004


This study used primarily quantitative measures to gather data from online students in order to analyze the effects of perceptions about teacher verbal immediacy and classroom community on students' level of satisfaction, perceived learning, and online discussion frequency.

Using convenience sampling, 214 students were recruited from undergraduate and graduate online courses. A bivariate correlation, multiple linear regression, and two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used for data analysis. The Pearson coefficients demonstrated the effects of teacher verbal immediacy and sense of classroom community on satisfaction and perceived learning were positive. Multiple regression analysis revealed that sense of classroom community was the only significant factor able to explain variability of satisfaction and perceived learning. Teacher verbal immediacy was shown to be the only significant predictor of online discussion frequency. The ANOVA results indicated that students in person-oriented courses perceived higher degree of teacher verbal immediacy and sense of classroom community, regardless of their gender.

Results of this study suggested that the development of sense of classroom community is critical to enhance students' satisfaction and perceived learning. In addition, the role of teacher verbal immediacy is important in online discussion. Teachers should develop communication behaviors that reduce social and psychological distance in the online learning environment.

Directions for future research include: (1) Refinement of three measurement scales; (2) Further investigations on the relationships among teacher verbal immediacy, satisfaction, and perceived learning in online courses; (3) In-depth analysis of the effects of sense of classroom community on online learning and posting frequency; and (4) Examination of the influence of learner characteristics on the perceptions of teacher verbal immediacy and sense of classroom community.