CAT in the classroom: A multilevel analysis of students’ experiences with instructor nonaccommodation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study incorporates communication accommodation theory to investigate how student perceptions of instructor nonaccommodation influence affective and cognitive classroom outcomes. A series of two-level hierarchical linear models (students nested within instructors) revealed significant, negative associations between specific modes of instructor nonaccommodation (i.e., nonaccommodation related to nonverbal responsiveness, content knowledge, and student support) and students’ reported outcomes. Specifically, nonaccommodation related to nonverbal responsiveness and student support resulted in less communication satisfaction and instructor–student rapport when controlling for student sex and expected grade in a course. Contrarily, only nonaccommodation related to content knowledge predicted processing fluency. The research provides instructional communication researchers with a unique theoretical framework for conceptualizing and assessing student perceptions while also raising important questions regarding how students prioritize effective teaching behaviors in context. Practical implications are provided for how instructors better assess and enact behavior relative to individual student needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-246
Number of pages24
JournalCommunication Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to extend their gratitude to Drs. Marko Dragojevic, Xin Ma, and William Howe, as well as the anonymous reviewers, for their support in the construction of this manuscript. Their insights and feedback were critical to the research—thank you.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 National Communication Association.


  • HLM
  • communication accommodation theory
  • nonaccommodation
  • student perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics


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