Project Description

The lecture hall provides appropriate space for recitations, lectures, scientific demonstrations, media projections, and situations with limited exchanges between the presenter and the audience.  There is a growing body of research that shows that students benefit from more interactive approaches.

The redesign of classrooms traces back to the 1990s with the rise of the studio classroom at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  These rooms attempted to combine lecture, discussion, and lab in one space.

In 2016, the Department of Communication Arts installed an ALC to improve instruction in major courses.  Space reflects state-of-the-art technology unique to the State of Georgia.  The room was designed to integrate technology with the maximum flexibility to arrange classes time in many different ways to maximize the space for learning.

Research consistently shows that ALCs enhance student learning, but there is no research that the author could find that attempts to evaluate the real or perceived differences in instructional communication between the traditional classroom and the ALC. This studies proposed here addresses this research gap.

Study one focuses on student perceptions of instructional communication skills in the ALC versus the traditional classroom.

The independent variable for this project is the type of classroom (ALC vs. traditional classroom). The dependent variables are humor learning indicators scale,  teacher clarity short inventory, verbal teacher immediacy scale, nonverbal immediacy, and cognitive learning. The study design will also check for the difference in instructors by comparing differences between courses taught in the two spaces by the same instructor and different instructors.

Study two focuses on the actual behaviors of instructors in their classroom communication between the ALC and the traditional classroom.

Instructors who volunteer will be videotaped over the course of two weeks in an effort to collect a representative sample of instructional practices in the classroom. After completing the classroom recording, the instructor will solicit and train external coders who do not know the instructors from the videos.  Numbers will be substituted for instructor names. 


  • Role:  Principle Investigator
  • Co-Investigator:  None
  • Level:  Middle
  • Status:  IRB approved, instrument designed, Position paper created, data collection in progress