Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type



Communication and Information Studies



First Advisor

Dr. Derek R. Lane


After three decades of research, instructional communication scholars find themselves facing several key challenges. These range from an overemphasis in past studies on variable-analytic, atheoretical research to a lack of connection to learning outcomes. Many in the field contend that the time has come for instructional communication researchers to define instructional communication theories, test hypotheses, tie research efforts to learning outcomes, and clarify key terms. The present study addressed these shortcomings by proposing the Content Relevance Centric Theory and testing related hypotheses.

The research occurred in a professional training environment and involved the use of a modified content relevance instrument that assessed both teacher communication characteristics and message content relevance. The study gathered data from 247 trainees. Results indicate the importance of the construct as a predictor of trainee behavioral intentions both directly and when mediated by both trainee state motivation and trainer credibility. Study outcomes also question the role of trainee engagement in learning and the connection between behavioral intentions and learning application.

Included in

Communication Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.