ERIC Number: ED415411
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Dec
A Comparison of Interaction Needs and Performance of Distance Learners in Synchronous and Asynchronous Classes.
Miller, W. Wade; Webster, Jill King
The interaction needs and performance of distance learners in synchronous and asynchronous classes were compared in a study of 313 students enrolled in 16 distance education courses at Iowa State University in 1995 and 1996. The courses were offered through traditional face-to-face classroom instruction, over the Iowa Communications Network (ICN), and via videotape. The students completed a questionnaire consisting of 68 interaction statements that were measured on an 8-point Likert-type scale. Most learners believed that experiences aimed at interaction between learner and instructor were slightly to very positively related to their learning. They also deemed instructors' interest, teaching skills, and personal interaction with learners important to the learning process. Opportunities to discuss assignments and/or course work with instructors were viewed positively by both groups of learners. The asynchronous learners did not consider that learning individually was a hindrance to their education; however, synchronous ICN learners indicated a dislike for being the only learner at a particular learning site. When the interaction needs of learners receiving instruction by the different delivery methods were compared, no significant differences were found. Neither was there any significant difference in the two groups' grade distributions. (Contains 12 references.) (MN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the American Vocational Association Convention (Las Vegas, NV, December 1997).