Enhancing instructor credibility and immediacy in online multimedia designs

  • Miguel RamlatchanEmail author
  • Ginger S. Watson
Development Article


The design of multimedia elements used in video for online courses can increase student perceptions of their instructor’s credibility and immediacy. Credibility is the learner’s perception of the subject matter expertise of the instructor, while immediacy is the learner’s perception of the instructor’s ability to communicate and reduce physiological distance. This experiment randomly assigned research participants (N = 211) into one of five independent treatment groups, each group viewed a different design based on the same subject matter, instructor video, audio narration, and presentation slides. These presentation designs included an instructor-only, slides-only, video-switching, dual-windows, and a superimposed-slides multimedia design variation. A series of 5 × 1 Analyses of variances and Tukey post hoc calculations were conducted to test for statistically significant differences between groups. The results suggest that a balance can be established between instructor credibility and immediacy by showing both the instructor and instructional content during online classes.


Multimedia learning theory Instructor credibility Instructor immediacy Online design Distance learning 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors certify that they have no affiliations, sources of funding, or personal or professional relationships that would represent a conflict of interest as it relates to this research study or the potential to bias its results.


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of Distance Learning, Old Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA
  2. 2.Curry School of EducationUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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