Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Instructional Technology

First Advisor

Monica Tracey


The impact of Appreciative Inquiry on university instructor’s Nonverbal Immediacy was explored. Nonverbal Immediacy has been investigated extensively through the perception of students and rarely used as an instructional strategy or to enhance Appreciative Inquiry. Self-determination Theory informed this research with the constructs competence, relatedness, and autonomy inherent in Nonverbal Immediacy and Appreciative Inquiry. An adapted instrument collected data from Communication courses, twice during one semester. The Coronavirus interrupted research, so the second survey was modified for online. The research question could not be answered conclusively. However, both instruments were found reliable, valid and replicable. The recent online nonverbal immediacy research shifted to the logistics: emojis, visual aids, Wiki’s, timing, and feedback, negating Mehrabian (1971) and Gorham's (2003) specific physiological constructs. This study suggests rather than replacing their work, utilize VINI-Virtual Interpersonal Nonverbal Immediacy as an instructional strategy tool. Three in-person Appreciative Inquiry interviews were scheduled with instructors. The third interview was conducted virtually. The themes emerged were how instructors manage their instructional strategies and keep the momentum going for future classroom engagement. The instructors’ expectations for managing diverse student groups were identified through their own cultural backgrounds. Gender international culture, language, and social change factors shape their instructional strategies. Appreciative Inquiry and Nonverbal Immediacy are strong tools for training and/or instruction for anyone involved in the management of interpersonal context.