Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Joe Cardot III

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

J.D. Wallace

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Lauren Lemley


This paper looks to analyze the differences in inter-team communication created by the International Public Debate Association’s (IPDA) switch to the virtual debate format. The analysis includes a breakdown of literature covering virtual communication, the history of the IPDA, and virtual debate. Literature has shown negative gender representation, and that virtual communication has significant internal batters to the same function as face-to-face communication. Given the impacts that virtual communication has had on connectivity, and speech patterns this research attempts to find if those impacts have been consistent in its application to the IPDA. The study uses a quantitative survey methodology to assess the IPDA, and eight percent of the IPDA was polled during the 2021–2022 season. This survey used a mix of Likert and semantical differential questions to test several variables to test the impacts of virtual debate. The main independent variable is the presence of a virtual debate environment vs a face-to-face environment, and collectivism. The dependent variables are satisfaction with the virtual debate environment, level of heardness, and connectivity. The findings support that a significant difference exists between the ease of connectivity and connectivity between face-to-face and virtual debate. Post hoc analysis also revealed a significant difference in the levels of satisfaction with virtual debate and the level of heardness between virtual and face-to-face. Because of these significant negative correlated differences, it was found that virtual debate lacks key aspects of community building that are otherwise found in the IPDA.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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