Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Educational Technology


Educational Technology

Major Advisor

Patrick R. Lowenthal, Ph.D.


Chareen Lee Snelson, Ed.D.


Ross Perkins, Ph.D.


The first online course was taught over 30 years ago. Over that time, instructors have primarily used text-based asynchronous communication in the online courses they teach. However, advances in technology over the last ten years have given rise to more opportunities to use new synchronous and semi-synchronous communication technologies (e.g., video, mobile and social networking technologies) in online courses. These advances in technology are likely to not only influence how instructors today communicate in the online courses they teach but ultimately influence their instructor immediacy. Instructor immediacy is the degree of psychological closeness students perceive there to be with their instructor. Overall, though, there has been very little research conducted on instructor immediacy in online learning. Given this, the purpose of this study was to explore behaviors that students perceive to contribute to or detract from instructor immediacy. More specifically, I conducted a sequential explanatory mixed methods research study to investigate student perceptions of instructor immediacy in online programs. Quantitative results found significant and moderate correlations between instructor immediacy and student learning and course satisfaction. Additionally, five themes emerged in the qualitative phase of the study. Synthesis of the results led to seven key findings.