Associations between nonverbal behaviors and initial impressions of instructor competence and course content in videotaped distance education courses

Laura Guerrero, Tammy A. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


This study investigates the relationship between nonverbal behavior and initial impressions of instructor competence and course content within the context of instructional videotapes used in distance education courses. Four 10-minute segments of introductory lectures from videotaped distance education courses were shown to 8 undergraduate classes in speech communication, with 2 classes viewing each videotape. After watching the videotapes, the 180 students rated the instructor's involvement/enthusiasm, expressiveness/warmth, fluency/ composure, articulation/clarity, and eye contact. Students also judged the instructor's competence (in terms of likability and trustworthiness) and the course content (in terms of interest and value). In line with our hypotheses, results indicated that instructors who are viewed as expressive, warm, and involved are most likely to be judged as highly competent. In addition, when instructors are expressive, warm, involved, and articulate, their course content is likely to be judged favorably, especially if they are not overly composed and fluent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-42
Number of pages13
JournalCommunication Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998



  • Competence
  • Distance education
  • Involvement
  • Nonverbal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics

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