Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Juntunen, Jacob


The past few years have proven a need in higher education for tools that help educators and students maintain a flexible and highly adaptive approach to their coursework. Research into applied improvisation has shown that the improvisational mindset is beneficial to educational settings in this way, in part because of the way it encourages collaborative negotiations as part of the education process. Building on the work of improvisers in the fields of music, law, business, theatre, and medicine, this dissertation breaks down three specific types of negotiations found within improv: 1) Negotiations of Status; 2) Negotiations of Rule-Making; and 3) Negotiations of Authenticity. This work identifies the key components for success in those negotiations. It also provides opportunities for practical application of these negotiations using improv-based games and activities. This research indicates several benefits for educators and others who incorporate improvisational training into their work. Special attention is paid to the application of improvisation in areas such as classroom management and interpersonal relationship-building with students. It also highlights a few key games and activities that could prove beneficial as part of training for anyone engaged in the work of negotiations and communication.




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