Memorable messages in times of uncertainty: Communicative strategies to encourage motivation and connection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In times of uncertainty, the messages we receive can be long-lasting and influential. This study sought to understand what memorable messages students recalled receiving from their instructors at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and what kind of impact those messages had on them. Based on open-ended responses, students (N = 297) recalled emotional support messages most frequently, followed by motivational, solidarity/unifying, compliment/praise, and tangible/informational support messages. Students described how these messages influenced them in a variety of ways, including impacts on their motivation and performance, the instructor–student relationship, and their level of confidence and morale. The majority of these messages had the most significant associations with perceptions of the instructor–student relationship. Results highlight the influential role of instructor messages and provide important implications for instructors’ future communication practices, whether in times of uncertainty or stability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-306
Number of pages19
JournalCommunication Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 National Communication Association.


  • COVID-19
  • instructional communication
  • memorable messages
  • pandemic
  • uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics


Dive into the research topics of 'Memorable messages in times of uncertainty: Communicative strategies to encourage motivation and connection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this