Communication characteristics of a lecturer in an adult training setting as perceived by multiple audiences

Hebbard, Don W.
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The purpose of this study was to identify the communication characteristics of an adult trainer utilizing the lecture method of instruction. Communication characteristics were identified in order to focus on effective and ineffective techniques in the utilization of the lecture method with adults. The Berlo model was utilized as a communication model for the study.

The communication processes studied took place in a training environment in which the lecture method was used. Basic components of the communication model were rated by the trainees and by four additional groups of adult evaluators. These additional groups included college teachers, graduate students in adult education, professional trainers, and a general adult group. Comparisons were made of the evaluator groups and the impact of the major communication variables on the overall communication process.

Data indicated high ratings of the lecturer, method, and message by all evaluator groups. Trainees reported significantly higher evaluations of the lecturer than the college teachers, general adult group, and the trainers. When compared occupationally, business managers rated the lecturer higher than professional trainers. Similar high ratings were reported on all major variables by the trainees and the graduate students in adult education. High positive correlations were found between the lecturer, message, method, and the overall communication process. Additional item correlations for each major variable: lecturer, message, and method revealed positive correlations.

Results of this study indicate the lecturer, method, and message have a positive impact on the overall perceived effectiveness of the communication process. Analysis of group data revealed similar perceptions of lecturer effectiveness by the trainees and graduate students in adult education. Perceptions of the trainers and general adult group tended to be similar on ratings of the lecturer, message, and method. The Berlo model of communications was seen as an effective tool for evaluating the lecture in adult educational settings.

Education, Berlo communication model, Adult education instructors