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ERIC Number: ED567351
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 150
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3038-0460-1
Using Knowledge of Transactional Distance Theory to Strengthen an Online Developmental Reading Course: An Action Research Study
Minor, Jacquelyn Ileen
ProQuest LLC, D.Ed. Dissertation, Capella University
Low retention rates for students enrolled in online developmental reading courses prompted instructors at 1 large Texas community college to examine their online classrooms for elements that were creating psychological distance and disconnectedness for their students. The purpose of this action research study was to assess the efficacy of using a conference call as a way for instructors to hear from online students about their experiences with distance and disconnectedness in the courseroom. Having received training on transactional distance theory, instructors allowed the discussion to inform them about their students' experiences. M. Moore's (1993) theory of transactional distance provided the central framework for training the instructors, conducting the call, and analyzing the outcomes of the conference call conversations. Findings suggest that through the conference call conversation, instructors were able to use knowledge of transactional distance theory to identify course elements that created an increased sense of distance among students. Additionally, the conference call conversation helped instructors recognize areas in which they held mistaken beliefs about their students' experiences. Furthermore, instructors identified changes they could make to their courses to reduce transactional distance. Finally, students reported feeling a greater sense of connection to their instructors as a result of having participated in the call. One drawback to the study was low participation by students; therefore, a recommendation for future implementation was to require participation as a graded assignment. Another recommendation was to poll participants early to find the best days and times to host the call. [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
Identifiers - Location: Texas