—Research on communication behaviours in
fostering effective learning outcomes has become important,
particularly in the distance education setting, where there is no
face-to-face communication. Given the issue of physical distance
between lecturer and students, the concept of behavioural
immediacy aims to encompass behavioural styles that simulate a
sense of co-presence in mediated communications to compensate
for the lack of direct verbal contact and body language cues.
Immediacy behaviours practised by the lecturer in virtual
classrooms may reduce their psychological distance from
students, creating a more social environment and increasing
sensory stimulation, to aid the learning process.
This research was undertaken at a university in Saudi Arabia
(a premier provider of distance education courses) to investigate
the influence of lecturer immediacy (verbal and non-verbal) on
the affective and cognitive dimensions of learning in a virtual
classroom environment. The results showed a positive
significant relationship between affective/cognitive learning and
verbal/non-verbal immediacy of lecturers in virtual classrooms.
Some gender differences were found showing that male students
were more willing than female students to learn when the
lecturer practised immediacy behaviours.
—Distance education, lecturer e-immediacy,
verbal and non-verbal immediacy, affective learning, cognitive
A. Al Ghamdi is with Victoria University, Australia (e-mail:
Cite: A. Al Ghamdi, "Influence of Lecturer Immediacy on Students’ Learning Outcomes: Evidence from a Distance Education Program at a University in Saudi Arabia," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 35-39, 2017.