Date

4-2014

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Randall Dunn

Keywords

Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Online, Phenomenological

Disciplines

Adult and Continuing Education and Teaching | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Disability and Equity in Education | Education | Educational Methods

Abstract

This qualitative phenomenological study investigated the effects of online learning for deaf college students as opposed to the mainstream classroom setting. This study specifically analyzed the writing and reading skills of deaf students in general and the development of English literacy of prelingually deaf students and those from non-English speaking countries. The use of online teaching tools had significantly improved postsecondary education for deaf students in the United States, particularly in these three categories. A phenomenological study was conducted to express the perspectives of deaf college students regarding the topic. Participants of this research were sixteen deaf online college students who use American Sign Language (ASL) as their native tongue and currently attend an online class in one of the three Conviron Colleges in Northeast Florida. Results of this qualitative phenomenological study were obtained directly from the deaf student participants. Their direct statements highlighted several areas in which they felt their interactions with computer and internet technology could be improved. Namely, there was a consensus among the deaf student participants. They related there was a "technology gap" to overcome before they could optimally pursue learning online. Also, participants noted that teachers in service to the deaf students attempting to access online learning software were themselves lacking in the know-how necessary to achieve optimal learning. This study can provide prospective students and educators within the higher education sector a better understanding of the experiences of deaf students in a distance-learning program. Moreover, the findings of the current study provide an opportunity for potential distant learning students to understand the implications of online learning before their actual participation.