Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Communication and Information



First Advisor

Dr. Brandi Frisby


Using face negotiation theory (Ting-Toomey, 1988) as a theoretical framework, this dissertation sought to determine students’ perceptions of instructor communication during classroom discussions where instructors use cold calling tactics. According to FNT, students perceived that self-construal determines their face concern as either self, other/mutual face. Therefore, an instructor must determine the best facework strategies to prevent face loss during classroom discussions to maintain optimal student outcomes in communication satisfaction and motivation to participate. This was accomplished by using 8 hypothetical vignettes, a pilot test and an experiment that measured face threat, face support, student communication satisfaction and motivation, intention to participate. Results revealed that students with high independent self-construal scores will have more concern for their self-face. Similarly, students with higher interdependent self-construal scores were more likely to be concerned with other and mutual face, respectively. I also found that the higher the participant’s independent self-construal, the lower the positive face threat reported by the participant. Additional findings show that five of the facework strategies were perceived as face supportive for both positive and negative face. There were no differences among the vignettes in terms of students’ reported communication satisfaction and motivation or intention to participate. Students rated the vignettes equally low in terms of motivation to participate. They also reported that all the vignettes were associated with their intention to participate in subsequent classroom discussions. Finally, results show that cold calling, regardless of facework strategy, does not lead to student motivation to participate. This dissertation has several implications for how instructors and higher education administrators can utilize facework strategies to engage students in the classroom.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)