Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Shirley Walrod

Committee Member

David Graf

Committee Member

Lynne Schrum

Abstract

This applied dissertation was designed to provide better access to current information for best practices in kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) online learning. Virtual schooling is becoming a mainstream option for high school students, especially when some courses are not offered in every traditional school. Despite its increased popularity, very few studies had been conducted in K-12 virtual schooling. There was a need for more research based on the perspectives of adolescent students to understand the importance of quality interactions that can bridge the psychological and communications gap that may result when the learner and teacher are separated by time and distance. A quantitative study was conducted at a district-level high school located in the southeastern area of Florida to understand the relationship between adolescent students’ perceptions of the quality and level of learner-teacher, learner-learner, and learner-content interactions; academic achievement; and satisfaction in an online course. Transactional distance theory was used to explain if the quality interactions utilizing synchronous and asynchronous tools have the potential to increase the dialogue within this online course, thereby, reducing the transactional distance. Data was gathered by using a nonexperimental, self-reported, Web-based interaction preferences survey of approximately 50 high school students. Descriptive and nonparametric inferential statistical methods were used to guide, interpret, and analyze students’ responses from this survey.

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