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Matching Instructors and Spaces of Learning: The impact of classroom space on behavioral, affective and cognitive learning.

John A. McArthur


This study examined the extent to which instructional proxemics – the physical space of the learning environment -- impacts student behavioral, affective, and cognitive learning. Participants included 234 college students enrolled in 15 sections of public speaking. Each section was assigned to a study learning environment and an instructor, ensuring that each of the five instructors taught one section in each of the three learning environments. A 2 (student gender) x 3 (learning environment) x 5 (instructor) factorial ANOVA produced significant interactions between instructor and learning space on all three learning measures. Post-hoc analyses reveal that the instructional environment influences student learning outcomes and that these influences are moderated by the instructor. These results further the General Model of Instructional Communication (Valencic, Richmond, & McCroskey, 2004) by offering the instructional environment as a measurable facet of this model. In addition, these results suggest the importance of considering instructional proxemics as a facilitator of classroom success. 

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ISSN: 21586195

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