Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Degree Granting Department
Educational and Psychological Studies
Ann Barron, Ed.D.
Kristine Hogarty, Ph.D.
Colleen Kennedy, Ph.D.
Steve Downey, Ph.D.
Community of Inquiry, Interaction, Perceived Learning
This mixed method study examined how integration of synchronous Web-based desktop conferencing affects undergraduate distance learning students' educational experience. Specifically, it compared students in one distance learning section of an introductory technology course delivered through a synchronous-enhanced mode (employing both synchronous and asynchronous tools) with students in a second section of the same distance learning course provided in the asynchronous only mode to examine variations in cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence through the lens of the Community of Inquiry model (Garrison, Anderson, and Archer, 2000). Additionally, this study measured perceived learning, learner-instructor interaction, and learner-learner interaction to determine whether observable differences between the two groups occurred. Benefits of the synchronous-enhanced distance learning environment predicted in this study included a statistically significantly stronger sense of cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence. It was also hypothesized that the synchronous-enhanced distance learning environment would yield statistically significantly higher reported perceived learning and interaction in contrast to the asynchronous condition. This study qualitatively explored how students perceived their experiences in synchronous-enhanced and asynchronous distance learning environments through focus group interviews and deductive analysis. Results of the analysis revealed no statistically significant differences between the synchronous-enhanced and asynchronous groups in measuring cognitive presence, social presence, teaching presence, perceived learning, learner-instructor interaction, and learner-learner interaction. Qualitative results evidenced higher frequencies in the synchronous-enhanced group with regard to clarification, collaboration, direct instruction, and interaction.
Scholar Commons Citation
Wheeler, Kimberly M., "A Mixed Method Study Examining Synchronous-Enhanced Learning in Distance Education" (2015). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.