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ERIC Number: ED557884
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 252
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-9838-2
ISSN: N/A
Distance Education, Disciplinary Environments and Deep Learning: A Quantitative Exploration of Faculty Instruction
Bucci, David Andrew
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University
Many institutions have increasingly turned to distance education as a way to meet student and institutional needs while living within a constantly shrinking budget. While distance education has the potential to meet many resource-based challenges, its presence provides additional challenges to the faculty who direct the learning environment and their instructional practices. However, the extent to which instructional format influences faculty instructional practices is unknown. Furthermore, while we know a lot about faculty cultures and their disciplinary relationships, we know little about the influence of disciplinary affiliation on faculty instructional practices in distance education. This study was grounded in the theories of Holland (disciplinary environments), Moore (transactional distance), Holmberg (distance education), and Chickering and Gamson (quality educational practices) to explore the individual and intersecting influences of instructional format and disciplinary affiliation on faculty instructional practices. This study used a base of deep learning to explore faculty instructional practices because of its relationship to quality educational practices that contributes to effective student learning. Data from the 2010 and 2011 Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) was used to quantitatively explore the impact of instructional format and academic disciplinary affiliations on the extent to which faculty emphasize deep approaches to learning. Two primary independent variables, instructional format and faculty disciplinary environment, were used to explore faculty deep learning approaches. The dependent measure was comprised of a primary construct (Deep Approaches to Learning) and its three sub-constructs (Reflective Learning, Integrative Learning, and Higher-Order Thinking). The methodology employed was a set of Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression models. The study found that faculty in distance education environments are more likely to emphasize deep approaches to learning than faculty who instruct in classroom environments. The results also indicated varying degrees of disciplinary effect on the extent to which faculty are likely to emphasize deep approaches to learning in distance education. In particular, the results suggested that faculty in the Social disciplinary environment are most likely to emphasize deep approaches to learning. The results also indicated that faculty in Realistic and Conventional (incongruent) disciplinary environments are least likely to emphasize deep approaches to learning when referenced to the Social disciplinary category. Furthermore, when controlling for all other variables in the models, the results suggested the presence of interaction effects between instructional format and disciplinary environments on faculty emphasis on deep approaches to learning. Overall, the results suggested that faculty emphasis on deep approaches to learning is likely to be similar between disciplines and the Social disciplinary category in distance education. However, there is a substantial difference of emphasis on deep approaches to learning in on-campus environments when referenced to the Social disciplinary environment, particularly between the Investigative and Social disciplinary environments, which confirms the interaction effects. The results from this study have implications for policymakers, administrators, and faculty who desire to provide quality learning environments for students across disciplines and in diverse instructional formats. In particular, the results of this study indicated that both disciplinary environments and distance education impact the extent to which faculty are likely to emphasize deep approaches to learning. Overall, this study provides an important next step in understanding the impact of external factors on faculty instruction. [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: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A