Section Name

Instruction in the Introductory Communication Course


Findings of many studies demonstrate that instructors are able to offer instructional interventions that mediate state anxiety. The present study therefore examined several additional interventions designed to moderate situational factors contributing to state anxiety. The interventions were tested by creating cover stories similar to the Booth-Butterfield (1988a) study that described various instructional formats through which the first required speech in the introductory public speaking course would be processed.

Respondents did not participate in actual in-class manipulations but were instructed to rate their perceived state anxiety if their first speech was structured in the manner described within each cover story.

The primary purpose of the study was to generate a list of interventions that instructors may incorporate in the classroom with confidence. Support for perceptual responses will eventually require that manipulations actually be performed within the classroom. However, an extremely large number of interventions could be tested for in-class treatment. Thus, the process of selecting interventions may best be served by first narrowing the list to those that have been found to affect anxiety levels.