Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Many public speaking students experience some level of public speaking anxiety, a subtype form of generalized social anxiety/communication apprehension that is tied to a specific speech event. Public speaking instructors traditionally draw on an array of pedagogical strategies to help students mediate public speaking anxiety (systematic desensitization, cognitive modification, skills training, etc.). This study explores the use of semester-long small groups organized by public speaking anxiety level that utilizes a social activity to mediate public speaking anxiety and promote a positive classroom climate by surveying 171 student-participants at three points during the semester and interviewing participating instructors at the conclusion of the semester. While change in public speaking anxiety levels was not associated with positive evaluations of the small groups, both students and instructors evaluated the pedagogical tool favorably.
Whitaker, Rebekah Christine, "Get in Your Posse: An Exploratory Study of Semester-Long Small Groups in Public Speaking Courses" (2019). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 5043.
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