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ERIC Number: ED549800
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 220
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2672-9105-9
An Exploration of the Roles of Communication Apprehension, Online Technology Self-Efficacy, and Retention in an Online Public Speaking Course
Stout, Carla Sulivant
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of South Alabama
Although the growth rate of online learning continues to increase, online courses are yielding higher attrition rates compared to traditional learning courses (Carswell, Thomas, Petre, Price, & Richards, 2000; Clark & Jones, 2001; Nash, 2005; Park & Choi, 2009). The literature has previously linked online technology self-efficacy and communication apprehension to retention (Ericson & Gardner, 1992; Joo, Bong, & Choi, 2000; McCroskey, Booth-Butterfield, & Payne, 1989; Osborn, 2001). The purpose of this study was to explore the roles of online technology self-efficacy, communication apprehension, and retention in an online public speaking course. The participants in this mixed-methods study were students enrolled in the course at a community college in the southeastern United States during the fall 2011 semester. Data were gathered through questionnaires, interviews, and several other supplementary sources. The supplementary sources in this study were the amount of time a student spends in the online classroom logged in to the online classroom, participation in threaded discussions, scores on speech assignments, and a withdrawal timeline. The open-ended questionnaire results and interview transcripts were analyzed from an inductive approach to allow for the discovery of patterns, themes, and categories in the data (Patton, 2002). There were three main findings in this study: communication apprehension had a minimal amount of influence on retention, online technology self-efficacy had a minimal amount of influence on retention, and the requirement of gathering a live audience for speech presentations had a great amount of influence on retention in this online public speaking course. In addition, procrastination was cited as a possible influence on a student's ability to successfully gather an audience for speech assignments. By offering alternative options for presenting speeches and more frequent and in-depth instructor to student communication, retention rates in this course could improve. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A