Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Sally O. Hastings (Director); Dr. Judith Hoover; Dr. George Musambira

Degree Program

Department of Communication

Degree Type

Master of Arts in Communication


A STUDY OF VERBAL IMMEDIACY IN ARMY SIMULATOR MAINTENANCE TRAINING Robin Leigh Fulkerson August 2004 48 pages Directed by: Sally Hastings, Judith Hoover, and George Musambira Department of Communication Western Kentucky University Rapid development of computer technology has encouraged the use of computers in education; however, understanding the impact this technology has on classroom communication is just beginning. At present, no studies explore the impact computer systems (e.g., virtual reality simulation) have on verbal immediacy. This study examines the influence simulator training has on verbal immediacy and quality of instruction between students and instructors in Army maintenance training. Thirty-nine Army maintenance students in simulator and instructor-based training responded to the verbal immediacy survey designed to measure the significance of instructors’ verbal immediacy behaviors as perceived by students. Overall verbal immediacy ratings were high, but no significant differences were found between instructors’ verbal immediacy behaviors in the two training types. Possible reasons for the simulator ratings are explored. A second study was performed on instructors to determine the perceived effectiveness of simulator training versus instructor-based methods. Nineteen instructors completed a questionnaire comparing the two training methods, including their communication differences. The first half of the questionnaire yielded significant results on four variables of effective simulator training: replication, adequate instruction for students, full interaction with students, and effective instruction of maintenance and repair. Simulator training was not perceived as an vii overall effective method of instruction. Thematic analysis of the second half of the questionnaires provided comparisons of simulator and instructor-based training, focusing on reasons for effectiveness, problems with simulator training, and communication and other differences in the two methods.



Included in

Communication Commons