Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2019

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Sara LaBelle


Though several early instructional communication studies (e.g., McCroskey & Richmond, 1983) focused on a wide range of participants across what Fredriech and Nussbaum (2005) call the “developmental continuum,”(p. 580) the vast majority of work has centered on the college classroom. Thus, little is known about how instruction occurs in primary and secondary education contexts. Therefore, instructional communication scholars should examine the instructional communication issues faced by primary and secondary school instructors. The purpose of the proposed study was to provide a research agenda for instructional communication scholars regarding communication in the secondary (K-12) educational context. This research was an exploratory study regarding teachers’ communicative strengths and weaknesses. The assessment was guided by the following research questions:

  1. As an instructor what do you feel like your communicative strengths are?
  2. As an instructor what do you feel like your communicative weaknesses are?

The study was conducted through the use of open-ended surveys where secondary teachers were contacted via network sampling of the researchers. Every response was voluntary, and no risks were involved in this research.The data was analyzed through a constant comparative thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) guided by grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). This approach allowed meaning to emerge from participant responses, rather than subjecting them to pre-existing frameworks. Themes were identified through logical consistency (McCracken, 1988), repetition of phrases, recurrence of meaning, and forcefulness (Owen, 1984). At the 2019 conference, the results of this study were presented, as well as a research agenda to guide future work by instructional communication scholars interested in exploring the processes of teaching and learning at the secondary level.


Presented at the Spring 2019 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.