Millennial Learners and Faculty Credibility: Exploring the Mediating Role of Out-of-Class Communication

Editorial Record: Original draft submitted to the AEJMC-PRD Paper Competition by April 1, 2017. Selected as a Top Teaching Paper. Submitted to JPRE Nov. 27, 2017. Final edits completed July 13, 2018. First published online August 17, 2018.


Carolyn Kim, Biola University


Every generation experiences distinct events and develops unique values. As Millennial learners enter classrooms, they bring with them new views about education, learning and faculty/student communication. This study explores the mediating role of out-of-class communication (OCC) in relation to the historical dimensions known to compose faculty credibility. Findings indicate that OCC has a positive, mediating influence that enhances two of the three key dimensions of credibility for faculty members: trustworthiness and perceived caring. In addition, this study suggests that there is a fourth potential dimension that composes the construct of faculty credibility in the perspectives of Millennial learners: sociability, which should be included alongside the three historical dimensions scholars have used in previous studies.

Millennial Learners and Faculty Credibility: Exploring the Mediating Role of Out-of-Class Communication

The landscape of higher education constantly shifts. Shaping influences include increased faculty loads, diminished budgets, and limited resources (Kim, 2015; Swanson, 2008). A lesser-examined element, however, is the generational influence from Millennial learners. According to Pew Research Center, Millennials were born between 1981 and 1997 (Fry, 2016). As these students have filled classrooms, the educational environment and pedagogical approaches of faculty have pivoted to address the unique needs of Millennials (Kim, 2017b). One particular area of change is the emphasis on out-of-class communication (OCC) between faculty members and students. Scholars suggest OCC is a significant element for students, as it leads to increased learning and immediacy with faculty (Jaasma & Koper, 2002). Formerly faculty were viewed as the “sage on the stage” and espoused wisdom for students to gain. Now they are viewed as a “guide on the side” and encouraged to facilitate a process where students co-create a learning environment (Jaasma & Koper, 2002; Kim, 2017a). These changes have resulted in a new paradigm for learners. Due to these changes, re-examining the construct of faculty credibility in light of Millennial learners, as well as examining the mediating influence of OCC on faculty credibility, is significant.


In order to fully explore this issue, there are three significant bodies of scholarship to examine: 1) generational identity; 2) faculty credibility; 3) out-of-class communication.

Generational Identity

A growing focus among scholars has been the concept of how individuals self-subscribe into social groups within organizational settings. Scholars suggest social identities are self-designated by individuals “to impose order on the social environment and make sense of who they are” (Urick, 2012, p. 103). While there is significant focus in social identity theory that looks at classifications related to constructs such as in-groups and out-groups, race, and gender (Urick, 2012), there is an increasing need to understand generational identities, which can be defined as “an individual’s awareness of his or her membership in a generational group and the significance of this group to the individual” (Urick, 2012, p. 103).

Each generation has distinct values and attitudes that manifest via their interactions with others in organizational settings (Smola & Sutton, 2002). Kowske, Rasch, and Wiley (2010) suggest that Millennial learners are connected due to the fact that they shared key common experiences at significant development points which led to unique characteristics:

Millennials embody an age-based generational identity that has grown through strong formative influences, including parental styles that allowed them a strong voice in family decisions, nurtured their egos and self esteem, and encouraged cooperation and team oriented behavior. (Gerhardt, 2016, p. 3)

Faculty have recognized these shaping influences in Millennial learners and suggest that a shift is required to provide “nuanced pedagogies” that will provide the strongest learning environment possible (Miller-Ott, 2016; Wilson & Gerber, 2008, p. 29).

Sociability and Millennial learners. With this shift in pedagogies, faculty now are tasked with creating learning environments that Millennial learners will feel comfortable contributing to and voicing opinions in, rather than approaching education as lecture-based experiences with an instructor providing content for students to absorb (Gerhardt, 2016). In short, this kind of engaged learning environment is “essential to a successful experience for Millennials in the classroom, and this generation has a strong need to be heard, recognized and included” (Gerhardt, 2016, p. 4). Additionally, Millennial learners expect “more frequent, affirming communication with supervisors compared to previous generations” (Gerhardt, 2016, p. 4; Hill, 2002; Jokisaari & Nurmi, 2009; Martin, 2005). In other words, Millennial learners place a high value on sociability, or the opportunity to interact, connect, and engage with leaders. This value of sociability is higher than previous generations and drastically influences their satisfaction, motivation and commitment to environments (Gerhardt, 2016; Kim, 2017b). In some ways, the concept of sociability is closely aligned with the idea of immediacy.

Immediacy. Immediacy has been defined as “those communication behaviors that reduce perceived distance between people” (Thweatt & McCroskey, 1996, p. 198). A number of scholars have explored the influence of immediacy within the context of faculty/student relationships (e.g., Christensen & Menzel, 1998). In the context of Millennial learners, however, immediacy seems to incorporate concepts that were not as prevalent for earlier generations. Thus, sociability, or the desire to have a voice, receive feedback and interact, are key components for Millennial learners’ perspective of immediacy. In the context of this paper, sociability is used to represent immediacy viewed through the lens of Millennial learners’ expectation of two-way communication, which includes gaining a voice in decision making.

In summary, Millennial learners represent an age-based generational identity that is prevalent in higher education today. Millennial learners have a high focus on participatory culture, having their voice heard, and developing immediacy with those who are leading them, which are more distinct traits from previous generations of learners. It is reasonable, therefore, to expect that these values would influence the overall perspective of a faculty person’s credibility.

Faculty Credibility

Research indicates that faculty credibility plays a significant part in the educational process (Kim, 2017b). For example, student perceptions of faculty credibility influence evaluations of courses (Tindall & Waters, 2017). With the new wave of technology, scholars have also examined how faculty use of social media within a course influences perceptions of the faculty member’s credibility (DeGroot, Young, & VanSlette, 2015). Examining the role of faculty credibility becomes more salient when placed in the larger context of a theoretical framework for credibility.

The construct of credibility has a rich history in communication scholarship. This construct is a composite of perspectives held by receivers of communication toward a particular source, message or medium (Newell & Goldsmith, 2001, p. 236). Credibility is a fluid construct, as it is based on perceptions held by individuals instead of a set state of being. Thus, scholars use dimensions that contribute to individuals perceiving something as credible in order to understand the specific components that enhance or diminish credibility (Kim & Brown, 2015). Scholars examine the construct of credibility through specific categories such as source credibility (Berlo, Lemert, & Mertz, 1969; Hovland, Janis, & Kelley, 1953; McCroskey, 1966), media or medium credibility (Gaziano & McGrath, 1986; Kiousis, 2001; Meyer, 1998; West, 1994) and message credibility (Appelman & Sundar, 2016; Kim & Brown, 2015). Scholars focusing on faculty credibility do so using the dimensions from source credibility.

Historically, scholars suggested that the two primary dimensions present in source credibility were trustworthiness and expertise (Hovland & Weiss, 1951; Teven & McCroskey, 1997). Trustworthiness is a dimension where receivers perceive that a source will keep promises, fulfill obligations, and act in a manner consistent with what is communicated. Expertise deals with competencies, qualifications, and skills. While these two dimensions have consistently shown to be significant in a receiver’s perceptions of a source’s credibility, there is a third dimension that has recently been measured as a distinct dimension for faculty credibility: perceived caring.

Perceived caring. The concept of goodwill has been present in the construct of source credibility since its inception with Aristotle’s rhetoric and discussion of ethos (Teven & McCroskey, 1997). Scholars suggest that goodwill, caring, or affinity (all terms applied to the same concept) is the perception of whether someone genuinely cares about an individual, which is decidedly different from trustworthiness as an overall source (Kim, 2017a). Initially, scholars suggested that the reliability of measurements related to goodwill were too highly correlated to the dimensions of trustworthiness to truly be distinctly measurable. However, in 1997, Teven and McCroskey created a scale that successfully measured “perceived caring” as a distinct dimension, and thus they argued for the inclusion of this as a third piece to consider in faculty credibility. The concept of “perceived caring” (McCroskey, 1992; McCroskey & Teven 1999; Teven & McCroskey, 1997) for this study is defined as immediacy, or the feeling of closeness due to the perception of personal care.

While McCroskey and Teven (1999) argued for “perceived caring” to represent the third and final dimension of source credibility, this construct does not fully capture the new value Millennial learners place on interaction. While perceived caring is based on perceptions of the faculty member toward the student, sociability focuses on the two-way communication and role of student voice within interactions. This distinction is important to the overall construct of faculty credibility. Thus, sociability is used to represent a fourth dimension to perceived source credibility that will be unique to Millennial learners.

Lastly, in recent years, perceptions of faculty members’ credibility and their interest in students has been a growing focus among scholars. The concept of OCC is regularly identified as an influence in faculty/student relationships and may provide a powerful mediating influence for Millennial learners’ perspectives of credibility, particularly in relation to out-of-class communication.

Out-of-Class Communication

What takes place inside of a classroom is only a partial view of what influences student learning. Over the last several years, scholars have increasingly focused on understanding out-of-class communication and its impact to areas such as student motivation, student retention, student/faculty trust, and immediacy (Jaasma & Koper, 2002; Kim, 2017a; Kim, 2017b; Terenzini, Pascarella, & Blimling, 1996).

Dimensions of OCC.  Like many constructs that deal with humans, OCC is multi-faceted and cannot be understood simply as a one-dimensional activity. For example, OCC can be either formal or informal communication between a student and faculty member that occurs outside of the classroom. An example of formal OCC would be a student attending office hours, whereas an example of informal OCC would be a student sending a text to a professor (Furlich, 2016).  Beyond classifying OCC into formal or informal communication patterns, it is also evaluated on criteria such as frequency of occurrences, length, content, and student satisfaction (Jaasma & Koper, 1999). Building on these dimensions are also the perspectives, values and ideals of the individuals involved, including both faculty members and students.

Faculty behaviors and OCC. The role of an individual instructor also has an impact to the theory of OCC. Teacher behaviors in a classroom have been shown to influence students’ perceptions of quality, trust, and immediacy, and, ultimately, a student’s decision to engage in OCC with a specific faculty member (Faranda, 2015; Kim, 2017b). Just as faculty behaviors can enhance learning, Thweatt and McCroskey (1996) identified that faculty “misbehaviors” are those activities that faculty do which result in interference to learning. Misbehaviors do not have to be overtly intentional actions that interfere with students but rather may also encompass more subtle activities, such as actions that communicate a sense of distance or disinterest in student interaction (p. 199).   

Understanding the multi-faceted nature of OCC theory, it is logical to expect a connection between the perceptions students hold of OCC and the perceptions they hold of faculty credibility. Scholars have explored these two constructs and verified that they seem to be correlated in some manner (Gerhardt, 2016; Kim, 2017a; Myers, 2004). In light of this connection, examining the construct in light of Millennial learner expectations is also important.

In light of the existing body of research, as well as the gap in understanding Millennial learners’ perceptions of faculty credibility and the mediating role of OCC, the following research questions guided this study:

RQ1: In what ways does OCC influence Millennial learners’ perspectives of faculty credibility?

RQ2: In what ways does OCC enhance the perceived sociability between Millennial learners and their faculty?

H1: The more students believe that faculty are A) more trustworthy, B) more of an expert, and C) have a greater affinity for students because of OCC, the more likely they are to rate faculty higher on final evaluations.  

H2: The more students believe that faculty are genuinely interested in their lives because of OCC, the more likely they are to rate faculty higher on final evaluations.

H3: The more students believe that faculty are A) more trustworthy, B) more of an expert, C) have a greater affinity for students, and D) possess a genuine interest in their individual life because of OCC, the more likely they are to rate faculty higher on final evaluations.


To address these research questions, an online survey was employed using Survey Monkey, a well-known survey platform. With approval from the Institutional Review Board, participants were recruited via email from a private university in the spring 2017 semester. Participants were recruited from all majors and class ranks and were not compensated for participation in the survey. In addition, participants could opt out at any point or skip questions on the survey instrument.

Participant Demographics

A total of 289 qualified responses were collected. Of those who reported gender, 29.9% (n = 86) were male and 69.9% (n = 201) were female. Of those who identified class rank, 13.1% were freshmen (n = 38); 22.1% were sophomores (n = 81); 34.9% were juniors (n = 81); and 34.9% were seniors (n = 101). Participants represented all seven schools at the university and 30 majors, including Public Relations, Journalism and Integrated Media, Business Administration, Communication Studies, Nursing, Intercultural Studies, Education, Cinema and Media Arts, Biological Sciences, Anthropology, and others. By sampling a variety of majors, participants were able to represent the diversity in degree programs and student personalities, allowing for the results to be more representative of an entire student body.

Instrument Design

In addition to the demographic information collected, participants also responded to Likert-scale items related to credibility and OCC. Three scale items related to previously identified dimensions of faculty credibility (trust, expertise, and perceived caring) were used in the survey instrument. Since scholars have previously identified that these three dimensions are present and distinct within the construct of faculty credibility, it was important to include them each as a scale item (Teven & McCroskey, 1997). Each item asked participants to evaluate whether OCC resulted in an increased perception of the particular dimension.

In addition, this study sought to measure the way in which OCC would influence all three of these dimensions as a unified construct. In order to evaluate the combined influence, a fourth scale item asked students to respond to whether OCC would likely lead them to rate faculty higher on evaluations. This is an important measurement as previous research has shown that credibility is “positively correlated with students’ overall rating of the level of excellence of the course and instructor” (Beatty & Zahn, 2009, p. 275). Knowing that previously scholars found credibility to influence faculty evaluations, it was significant to measure whether OCC had a positive, mediating impact on the evaluation as well.  

Finally, in light of the new findings related to Millennial learners (Gerhardt, 2016), this study incorporated a scale item related to sociability. Participants rated whether they felt that faculty who engaged with them through OCC “genuinely cared about their lives” more than faculty who did not engage in OCC.


RQ1: In what ways does OCC influence Millennial learners’ perspectives of faculty credibility?

In order to address the first research question, three Likert-scale questions were used, based on the three commonly identified dimensions of faculty credibility: trustworthiness, expertise and perceived caring. These questions were posed to assess whether students who experienced OCC were likely to have increased perceptions of specific dimensions related to faculty credibility. Each scale question specifically asked whether, in light of out-of-class communication, the participant perceived trustworthiness, expertise, or perceived caring to be greater.


Out of the 287 participants who responded, 78.4% (n = 225) either agreed or strongly agreed that they trust faculty who are willing to meet with students outside of class more than faculty who do not meet with students outside of class. The mean for this scale item was 4.02.


Out of the 288 participants who responded, only 18.8% (n = 54) either agreed or strongly agreed that faculty who are willing to meet with students outside of class are more of an expert in their field than faculty who do not meet with students outside of class. The mean for this scale item was 2.54.

Perceived Caring

Out of the 288 participants who responded, 68.8% (n = 198) either agreed or strongly agreed that faculty who are willing to meet with students outside of class care more about students than faculty who do not meet with students outside of class. The mean for this scale item was 3.72.

Internal Reliability of Scale

While these three dimensions have previously been shown to influence faculty credibility within the classroom, it was important to verify the internal consistency or reliability of these dimensions in relation to the credibility scale and OCC. The Cronbach alpha for the scale was .68, indicating a moderate internal reliability. In addition, none of the scale items had a high correlation (> 0.60), indicating that they did, in fact, measure distinct dimensions.

RQ2: In what ways does OCC enhance the perceived sociability between Millennial learners and their faculty?

A majority of students (84.75%; n = 239) agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that when a professor interacts with them outside of class, it indicates faculty are genuinely interested in individual students’ lives. The mean for this Likert-scale item was 4.12.

H1: The more students believe that faculty are A) more trustworthy, b) more of an expert, and C) have a greater affinity for students because of OCC, the more likely they are to rate faculty higher on final evaluations.  

While 69.3% (n = 194) of the participants either agreed or strongly agreed that they rate faculty higher on course evaluations if they interact outside of class, it is useful to also examine the influence of the dimensions of credibility on this scale item. This hypothesis was used to examine the influence of OCC and credibility on perceived faculty excellence.  

This hypothesis was supported: F = 19.92, df = 3, p = .000. The factor with the greatest influence on whether students were likely to rate faculty higher on evaluations due to OCC was the belief that faculty who are willing to meet outside of class care more about students (affinity).

H2: The more students believe that faculty are genuinely interested in their lives because of OCC, the more likely they are to rate faculty higher on final evaluations.

Hypothesis 2 was also was supported, F = 50.54, df = 1, p = .000.

H3: The more students believe that faculty are A) more trustworthy, B) more of an expert, C) have a greater affinity for students, and D) possess a genuine interest in their individual life because of OCC, the more likely they are to rate faculty higher on final evaluations.

The third hypothesis was supported, as well, F = 22.94, df = 4, p = .000.


OCC and Faculty Credibility

While OCC has previously been shown to have a strong connection with faculty credibility and student learning (Jaasma & Koper, 2002; Kim, 2017a), this study leads to a more precise understanding of the way OCC enhances credibility. Participants indicated that they are much more likely to perceive faculty members as trustworthy and to perceive care from faculty who engage in OCC. However, expertise is not a dimension that seems to be particularly influenced through OCC. So, while OCC does enhance students’ perceptions of credibility, it does so by increasing perceptions of two of the three dimensions. While participants indicated that OCC would have the greatest influence on trust, when it comes to evaluating a professor, the perception that faculty who engage in OCC care more about students seems to play the greatest role in evaluations. This indicates that, while trust is built through OCC, when students determine the overall excellence of a faculty person, perceived care plays the most significant part. This study supports the idea that, while faculty credibility is a fluid set of perceptions that is heavily influenced by in-class behaviors, faculty who choose to engage in OCC have a significant opportunity to build trust and illustrate care for students.

OCC and Faculty Sociability

In addition to previously identified measures, faculty sociability seems to be a particularly poignant component to an educational experience for Millennials (Gerhardt, 2016). In light of this, it was important to understand how OCC may influence the perception of sociability. Participants reported not only that OCC would significantly influence their perception of a faculty person genuinely caring about their lives, but also that this would result in higher evaluations of that faculty member. This seems to indicate that, beyond simply perceived caring, which is an existing dimension, the concept of being genuinely interested in the individual student’s life is a shaping factor for student perceptions of faculty. Recognizing that source credibility is a construct that evaluates whether the perceptions of a receiver toward a source will result in changed attitudes, opinions, or behaviors, it seems like there is strong theoretical support to consider whether sociability should be a fourth dimension in faculty credibility (Hovland et al., 1953). Findings indicate that incorporating sociability alongside of the three existing dimensions did not result in highly correlated variables and, as a unified construct, provided a model that led to higher evaluations of a faculty person.

Theoretical Contributions

This study provides two significant theoretical contributions. First, it expands the construct of faculty credibility in the context of Millennial learners to suggest the inclusion of a fourth dimension: sociability. Second, it advances the understanding of OCC as a pedagogical approach by identifying it as a positive, mediating influence on the perception of faculty credibility.

Faculty credibility theory. Historically, faculty seem to have a larger focus on establishing expertise and trust with students. However, recently, faculty have begun focusing on the dimension of perceived caring. With Millennials filling classrooms, it is more important than ever to understand what dimensions truly build their perceptions of credibility. Beyond simply goodwill or affinity for students, Millennials are looking for personalized interest and connection. They want a voice in their educational process and to know their contributions are heard. In addition, they want to have leaders, or, in this case, faculty, who are authentically interested in their personhood. This study goes beyond calling for sociability as something that Millennial learners value and instead identifies it as something at the heart of their perspective toward faculty. If faculty fail to illustrate sociability or a genuine interest and engagement with Millennial learners, their credibility will be diminished. Furthermore, this may result in misbehaviors (Thweatt & McCroskey, 1996) that ultimately diminish learning and reduce the impact of what faculty set out to do in the first place.

OCC mediating faculty credibility. A further contribution of this study is the finding that not only are OCC and faculty credibility interconnected, OCC actually mediates the perceptions of faculty credibility in Millennial learners. Participants identified that they view the trustworthiness, perceived care, and sociability of faculty members to be greater when they engage in OCC compared to those who do not. In other words, this study confirms that OCC is a direct mediator of increased perceptions of credibility. Moving forward, faculty may benefit from recognizing that OCC can play a pivotal role in pedagogical practices. Those who do not purposefully engage in OCC may end up experiencing students who perceive them as less credible, particularly when compared against other faculty who have adopted this pedagogical approach.

Future Research and Limitations

This study has made two significant contributions to theoretical frameworks. First, it has suggested that for Millennial learners, sociability is a key dimension in faculty credibility. Second, it suggests that OCC is a positive, mediating factor in developing faculty credibility. Future research should explore these two constructs by examining it on a variety of college campuses, as well as incorporating additional scale components that may measure the validity of each of these elements in relation to the existing concept of faculty credibility.

There were several limitations within this study. First, the study took place at a private institution. It would be beneficial to expand the participants and include a variety of institutional types to validate the findings. Additionally, this study did not control for factors such as previous interactions with highly social (or not social) faculty members and the way those interactions might have influenced participants’ perceptions within this study. Finally, self-reported measures on behavioral outcomes have the potential to differ from ways people might actually respond. In light of this, while students reported certain behavioral intentions, it would be beneficial to conduct additional research to see if those self-reported concepts align with real-world application.


While source credibility has a rich history of scholarship, the presence of Millennial learners suggests that the current approach to faculty credibility needs to be adjusted. Their values are distinct compared to other generations and, thus, their perspectives on what makes faculty members credible are equally distinct. While trustworthiness, expertise, and perceived caring continue to be important, the addition of sociability is something that changes the current model. Additionally, OCC is more than simply an enhancement to student motivation or learning. It, in fact, enhances perceptions of credibility by bolstering the dimensions of trustworthiness, perceived care, and sociability. Thus, engaging in OCC seems to be more than a pedagogical approach; this study indicates it may be a crucial component to faculty that hope to have a meaningful influence on Millennial learners.


Appelman, A., & Sundar, S. S. (2016). Measuring message credibility: Construction and validation of an exclusive scale. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 93(1), 59-79.

Beatty, M. J., & Zahn, C. J. (1990). Are student ratings of communication instructors due to “easy” grading practices?: An analysis of teacher credibility and student‐reported performance levels. Communication Education, 39, 275-282.

Berlo, D. K., Lemert, J. B., & Mertz, R. J. (1969). Dimensions for evaluating the acceptability of message sources. Public Opinion Quarterly, 33, 563- 576.

Christensen, L. J., & Menzel, K. E. (1998). The linear relationship between student reports of teacher immediacy behaviors and perceptions of state motivations, and of cognitive, affective, and behavioral learning. Communication Education, 4, 82-90.

DeGroot, J. M., Young, V. J., & VanSlette, S. H. (2015). Twitter use and its effect on student perception of instructor credibility. Communication Education, 64, 419-437.

Faranda, W. T. (2015). The effects of instructor service performance, immediacy, and trust on student–faculty out-of-class communication. Marketing Education Review, 25, 83-97.

Fry, R. (2016, April, 25). Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from

Furlich, S. (2016). Understanding instructor nonverbal immediacy, verbal immediacy, and student motivation at a small liberal arts university. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 16(3), 11-22.

Gaziano, C. & McGrath, K. (1986). Measuring the concept of credibility. Journalism Quarterly, 63, 451-462.

Gerhardt, M. W. (2016). The importance of being…social? Instructor credibility and the Millennials. Studies in Higher Education, 41, 1533-1547.

Hill, R. P. (2002). Managing across generations in the 21st century: Important lessons from the ivory trenches. Journal of Management Inquiry, 11(1), 60-66.

Hovland, C. I., Janis, I. L., & Kelley, H. H. (1953). Communications and persuasion: Psychological studies in opinion change. New Haven, CT: Yale University.

Hovland, C. & Weiss, W. (1951). The influence of source credibility on communication effectiveness. Public Opinion Quarterly, 15, 635-650.

Jaasma, M. & Koper, R. (2002). Out-of-Class communication between female and male students and faculty: The relationship to student perceptions of instructor immediacy. Women’s Studies in Communication, 25, 119-137.

Jokisaari, M., & Nurmi, J. E. (2009). Change in newcomers’ supervisor support and socialization outcomes after organizational entry. Academy of Management Journal, 52, 527-544.

Kim, C. (2017a). Out-of-class communication and personal learning environments via social media: Students’ perceptions and implications for faculty social media use. Teaching Journalism & Mass Communication, 7(1), 62-76. Retrieved from

Kim, C. (2017b). Millennial learners and out-of-class communication: Expectations and perceptions. Teaching Journalism and Mass Communication, 7(2), 23-31. Retrieved from

Kim, C. (2015). Pedagogical approaches to student-run PR firms using service learning: A case study. Teaching Journalism & Mass Communication, 5(1), 57-68. Retrieved from

Kim, C., & Brown, W. (2015). Conceptualizing credibility in social media spaces of public relations. Public Relations Journal, 9(4). Retrieved from

Kiousis, S. (2001). Public trust or mistrust? Perceptions of media credibility in the information age. Mass Communication and Society, 4, 381-403.

Kowske, B. J., Rasch, R., & Wiley, J. (2010). Millennials’ (lack of) attitude problem: An empirical examination of generational effects on work attitudes. Journal of Business and Psychology, 25, 265-279.

Martin, C. A. (2005). From high maintenance to high productivity: What managers need to know about Generation Y. Industrial and Commercial Training, 37, 39-44.

McCroskey, J. C. (1992). Reliability and validity of the willingness to communicate scale. Communication Quarterly, 40, 16-25.

McCroskey, J. C. (1966). Scales for the measurement of ethos. Speech Monographs, 33, 65-72.

McCroskey, J. C., & Teven, J. J. (1999). Goodwill: A reexamination of the construct and its measurement. Communications Monographs, 66, 90-103.

Meyer, P. (1988). Defining and measuring credibility of newspapers: Developing an index. Journalism Quarterly, 65, 567-572.

Miller-Ott, A. E. (2016). Helicopter parenting, family communication patterns, and out-of-class communication with college instructors. Communication Research Reports, 33, 173-176.

Myers, S. A. (2004). The relationship between perceived instructor credibility and college student in-class and out-of-class communication. Communication Reports, 17, 129-137.

Newell, S. J., & Goldsmith, R. E. (2001). The development of a scale to measure perceived corporate credibility. Journal of Business Research, 52, 235-247.

Smola, K. W., & Sutton, C. D. (2002). Generational differences: Revisiting generational work values for the new millennium. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 23, 363-382.

Swanson, J. (2008). Training future PR practitioners and serving the community through a “learn by doing” undergraduate university curriculum. Public Relations Quarterly, 52(3), 15-20.

Terenzini, P. T., Pascarella, E. T., & Blimling, G. S. (1996). Students’ out-of-class experiences and their influence on learning and cognitive development: A literature review. Journal of College Student Development, 37, 149-162.

Teven, J. J., & McCroskey, J. C. (1997). The relationship of perceived teacher caring with student learning and teacher evaluation. Communication Education, 46, 1-9.

Thweatt, K. S., & McCroskey, J. C. (1996). Teacher nonimmediacy and misbehavior: Unintentional negative communication. Communication Research Reports, 13, 198–204.

Tindall, N. T., & Waters, R. D. (2017). Does gender and professional experience influence students’ perceptions of professors? Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, 72, 52-67.

Urick, M. J. (2012). Exploring generational identity: A multiparadigm approach. Journal of Business Diversity, 12, 103-115.

West, M. D. (1994). Validating a scale of the measurement of credibility: A covariance structure modeling approach. Journalism Quarterly, 71, 159-168.

Wilson, M., & Gerber, L. E. (2008). How generational theory can improve teaching: Strategies for working with the “millennials.” Currents in Teaching and Learning, 1(1), 29-44. Retrieved from