Date

11-2013

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Donna Joy

Keywords

achievement, online, satisfaction, synchronous

Disciplines

Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Methods | Higher Education | Instructional Media Design

Abstract

The purpose of this quasi-experimental static-group comparison study was to test the theory of transactional distance that relates the inclusion of synchronous class sessions into an online introductory computer course to students' levels of satisfaction and academic achievement at a post-secondary technical college. This study specifically looked at the effects of adding live, synchronous class sessions into an online learning environment using collaboration software such as Blackboard Collaborate and the impact that this form of live interaction had on students' overall levels of satisfaction and academic achievement with the course. A quasi-experiment using the post-test only, static-group comparison design was utilized and conducted in an introductory computer class at a local technical college. It was determined that incorporating live, synchronous class sessions into an online course did not increase students' levels of achievement, nor did it result in improved test scores. Additionally, the study revealed that there was no significant difference in students' levels of satisfaction between those taking online courses using live, synchronous methods and those experiencing traditional online methods. In light of this evidence, further research needs to be conducted to determine if students prefer a completely asynchronous online learning experience or if, when, and how they would prefer a blended approach that offers synchronous sessions as well.