The Criticality of Verbal Immediacy in Online Instruction: A Modified Delphi Study

Jeffrey L. Bailie Kaplan University


In this 2011 investigation, a modified Delphi technique was introduced to determine whether an informed group of post-secondary online faculty and students could arrive at a consensus regarding the importance of previously recognized verbal immediacy behaviors. Two expert panels were presented with Gorham’s (1988) Verbal Immediacy Scale and tasked with determining those behaviors perceived as being the most important in the online learning venue. The result of the study confirmed that a consensus of opinion between online students and faculty is indeed possible, albeit resulting in a new iteration of Gorham’s scale. A discussion of the findings suggests that further consideration for the development of an updated version of a verbal immediacy scale specific to online instructional behaviors may be warranted.


Online Teaching, Verbal Immediacy, Modified Delphi Study

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