Journal of
Media and Communication Studies

  • Abbreviation: J. Media Commun. Stud.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2545
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMCS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 227

Full Length Research Paper

Non-verbal immediacy’s role in student learning

Dustin York
  • Dustin York
  • Maryville University, 650 Maryville University Drive, St. Louis, MO 63141, United States.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 02 October 2014
  •  Accepted: 22 December 2014
  •  Published: 31 January 2015


Clear and effective communication is essential. 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 student learning. Based on quantitative and qualitative data, college students (N=80) from a midsize Midwestern university reported distinct findings that progressed the study of nonverbal communication. Students attended class with one of two variable instructor-lecturing types: utilizing higher nonverbal immediacy, or lower nonverbal immediacy. 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 immediacy and 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.

Key words: Nonverbal, Nonverbal immediacy, nonverbal communication, teaching, lecturing, student learning.