Using digital video technology to reduce communication apprehension in business education


Information Systems

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Several studies have shown that communication apprehension (CA) plays a significant role in reducing the effectiveness of oral communication in business settings. To compound this problem, environmental needs for large classes deny students the opportunity to present in the classroom and prevent universities from adequately addressing CA. In this study, digital video was used as a multimedia replacement for in-class oral presentations. A digital video treatment was designed and tested on a sample of second year management information systems (MIS) students at a large southeastern state university to determine its impact on CA. McCroskey's [McCroskey, J. C. 1982. An Introduction to Rhetorical Communication, 4th ed. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ] Personal Report of Communication Apprehension (PRCA-24) was used to measure CA in a retreatment/posttreatment design. Results showed that the treatment is associated with a reduction in CA. A feedback survey indicated that participants in the treatment group spent more time on average practicing oral communication skills and most felt the treatment prepared them to present again. Digital video can benefit students through reduced CA, increased practice time, and the ability to review their presentation delivery. In a large class environment digital video may be used as an alternative to in-class presentation in order to benefit students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to present.

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