Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design


Billings, Andrew C

Committee Member

Denham , Bryan

Committee Member

Havice , William L

Committee Member

Williams , Sean D


Changes in strategies of teaching and learning, changes in students, and changes in technology have necessitated contemporary changes in spaces of learning. Grounded in the general model of instructional communication (McCroskey, Valencic, & Richmond, 2004), this study proposes Instructional Proxemics as a conceptual framework for assessing the instructional environment through a blending of instructional communication and information/user-experience design. In a field-experiment involving five instructors teaching 15 sections of Public Speaking, students (n = 234) were invited to respond to a survey assessing measures of student learning, teacher behaviors, classroom practices, and classroom perceptions.
Results of this study indicate that learning spaces influence student perceptions across these measures, and that these perceptions are mitigated by the instructor. Instructor journals are used to provide context for these results. In sum, this dissertation advances the general model of instructional communication by promoting Instructional Proxemics as an impetus for the study of contemporary and innovative spaces of learning.