Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Michelle T. Violanti

Committee Members

Mark Miller, Douglas Raber, Carol Tenopir, John Haas


With the advent of the Internet, more and more classes are being moved to that medium. This study looks at using that medium to assist classroom instruction. Teaching the Public Speaking class with online-assistance requires placing the majority of the content online and using classroom instruction for individual conferences between the student and instructor to prepare for presentations. This study investigated the outcomes of this method of instruction and compared them to the traditional lecture/discussion method of teaching the class.

The outcomes investigated concerned student perceptions of course satisfaction and preparedness for speeches, their willingness to communicate, and their immediacy with the instructor (verbal, nonverbal and total immediacy). An instrument was developed and used in this study to measure skills needed to become information competent. A Post Hoc analysis examined student perceptions of learning the course concepts, instruction in the course, and communication with the instructor.

With 232 participants (147 traditional and 85 online-assisted), all hypotheses were supported. Students' perception of their willingness to communicate and information competency increased through the course. Online-assisted students perceived greater increases in their willingness to communicate and information competency skills compared to traditional students. Also, online-assisted students felt greater immediacy (verbal, nonverbal, and total) with the instructor than the traditional students. Finally online-assisted students reported greater course satisfaction and preparedness for presentations. In the Post Hoc analysis, online-assisted students perceived a greater perception of learning, better instruction of concepts, and better communication than the traditional students reported. The study introduced a new instrument to quantitatively measure information competency, the Information Competency Assessment Instrument. The instrument was found to be very reliable. In a validity study, it was found to have good content and predictive validity.

Conclusion, limitations and future research were discussed. Also, recommendations were suggested for those that would be interested in using the online-assisted method to teach the Public Speaking course.

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