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A Meta-Analytical Review of the Relationship between Teacher Immediacy and Student Learning
Unformatted Document Text:  Immediacy and Learning Meta-Analysis 8 1996). Teacher immediacy behaviors may function directly to increase students’ learning (e.g., Andersen, 1979). Teacher immediacy may elicit certain positive emotional responses from students, which in turn increase learning (Butland & Beebe, 1992; Mottet & Beebe, 2001). Immediacy Measurement For two decades, immediacy and learning research has been marked by some controversy over the valid and reliable measurement of both variables. Most measurement of nonverbal immediacy has been accomplished through two types of instruments, both introduced by Andersen (1979). The high-inference Generalized Immediacy scale consists of nine semantic differential-type items that measure gestalt responses to the overall level of teacher nonverbal immediacy. The GI scale is sometimes used as the only measure of immediacy (e.g., Comstock et al., 1995; Daniel, 2000; Kearney et al., 1985), but is more often used in conjunction with a behavioral measure such as the Behavioral Indicants of Immediacy scale (Andersen, 1979). The low-inference BII scale consists of 15 teacher behaviors (e.g., gestures, eye contact, smiles) in a 7-point Likert-type scale. The BII was modified by Richmond et al. (1987) and renamed the Nonverbal Immediacy Behaviors instrument, and it was further modified and abbreviated by McCroskey et al. (1996a) to include just 10 items. Although widely used and apparently reliable measures, some have questioned the validity of these instruments in measuring teacher nonverbal immediacy as originally conceived by Mehrabian (Moore, Masterson, Christophel, & Shea, 1996; Hess & Smythe, 2001). Verbal immediacy has usually been operationalized through Gorham’s (1988) Verbal Immediacy Behaviors instrument, a 20-item measure developed through student focus groups who identified such behaviors as teachers’ use of humor in the class, self-disclosure, complimenting students’ performance, and use of inclusive pronouns. Although meaningful

Authors: Witt, Paul., Wheeless, Lawrence. and Allen, Mike.
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Immediacy and Learning Meta-Analysis 8
1996). Teacher immediacy behaviors may function directly to increase students’ learning (e.g.,
Andersen, 1979). Teacher immediacy may elicit certain positive emotional responses from
students, which in turn increase learning (Butland & Beebe, 1992; Mottet & Beebe, 2001).
Immediacy Measurement
For two decades, immediacy and learning research has been marked by some controversy
over the valid and reliable measurement of both variables. Most measurement of nonverbal
immediacy has been accomplished through two types of instruments, both introduced by
Andersen (1979). The high-inference Generalized Immediacy scale consists of nine semantic
differential-type items that measure gestalt responses to the overall level of teacher nonverbal
immediacy. The GI scale is sometimes used as the only measure of immediacy (e.g., Comstock
et al., 1995; Daniel, 2000; Kearney et al., 1985), but is more often used in conjunction with a
behavioral measure such as the Behavioral Indicants of Immediacy scale (Andersen, 1979). The
low-inference BII scale consists of 15 teacher behaviors (e.g., gestures, eye contact, smiles) in a
7-point Likert-type scale. The BII was modified by Richmond et al. (1987) and renamed the
Nonverbal Immediacy Behaviors instrument, and it was further modified and abbreviated by
McCroskey et al. (1996a) to include just 10 items. Although widely used and apparently reliable
measures, some have questioned the validity of these instruments in measuring teacher nonverbal
immediacy as originally conceived by Mehrabian (Moore, Masterson, Christophel, & Shea,
1996; Hess & Smythe, 2001).
Verbal immediacy has usually been operationalized through Gorham’s (1988) Verbal
Immediacy Behaviors instrument, a 20-item measure developed through student focus groups
who identified such behaviors as teachers’ use of humor in the class, self-disclosure,
complimenting students’ performance, and use of inclusive pronouns. Although meaningful


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