Abstract—Teacher immediacy (verbal and non-verbal)
remains an important factor towards prompting efficient
pedagogical approaches. Whilst teacher immediacy in a
classroom setting is important, there is growing awareness
about the importance of the construct in a virtual setting as
education shifts from explicit conventional face-to-face teaching
and learning to a blended environment which includes distance
education. This paper attempts to generate some
understandings about the correlation between teacher
immediacy, both verbal and non-verbal, and students’ active
participation and satisfaction in a distance education learning
environment. This paper considers, in a preliminary research
framework, a Saudi university which offers a range of distance
education courses as an initial cohort from which to generate
such understandings. Students’ opinions, perceptions, and
reported satisfaction were captured through utilising a
structured questionnaire completed by 413 participants,
enrolled in a variety of distance education courses offered by
the aforementioned university. This study found that there was
significant correlation between the overall adopted teacher
immediacy (verbal and non-verbal) and students’ overall online
participation and satisfaction in the investigated distance
education courses. In terms of gender differences, male
participants have higher willingness to participate than female
participants within the perceived immediacy behaviours. On
the other hand, female participants were more satisfied in terms
of communication than male participants within the perceived
“e-immediacy” behaviours. These results serve as a prompt for
further research on teacher immediacy in the rapidly
developing and increasing virtual education domain in a global
and connected world.
Index Terms—Distance education, teacher immediacy, e-immediacy, verbal immediacy, non-verbal immediacy, students’ satisfaction, students’ online participation, students’ communication satisfaction.
A. Al Ghamdi and A. Samarji are with College of Education, Victoria University, Australia (e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
A. Watt is with Victoria University Melbourne, Australia (e-mail: Anthony.Watt@vu.edu.au).
Cite: A. Al Ghamdi, A. Samarji, and A. Watt, "Essential Considerations in Distance Education in KSA: Teacher Immediacy in a Virtual Teaching and Learning Environment," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 17-22, 2016.