CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Blending Electronic and Classroom Teaching to Support Deaf and hard of Hearing College Students

Date of Award

2006

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Technology in Education (DCTE)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Getrude W. Abramson

Committee Member

Maxine S. Cohen

Committee Member

Ling Wang

Abstract

At Gallaudet University (GU), the undergraduate computer information systems (CIS) program serves deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) students who primarily depend upon visual sensory inputs to process information. Unique environmental variables have adversely affected student learning delivered through traditional one-pace-fits-all classroom lectures. These factors include GU's liberal undergraduate admission policy, lack of a universal signing standard, extensive use of fingerspelling in CIS signed lectures, and the practice-based skill acquisition nature of CIS content which requires learning labs replicating a real-world environment. Recent literature confirms many advantages inherent in using e-Learning in an online learning environment. Major benefits experienced among the hearing population from academic institutions and the corporate training arena serve as guideposts for addressing GU's teaching and learning challenges. To realize these benefits, additional aspects of the deaf education and learning environment must be accommodated. These include close social interaction and peer support and degrees of English language difficulty among many deaf learners. To incorporate recent advances of e-Learning into GU's inclusive classroom, the study aimed to design, develop, implement, and evaluate all instructional delivery system that would blend e-Learning with classroom instruction to enhance DHH college student comprehension o/CIS content. Due to limited literature guidance for blended learning design, the special study population, and the under-researched topic, extensive pre-trial preparation work was planned and performed in the fall 2005 semester. The preparation phase involved the design and development of the blended instructional delivery system prototype. Data collection instruments and protocols were developed and validated by an expert panel as part of the groundwork. The prototype was implemented and evaluated among three selected CIS courses during the spring 2006 semester. A descriptive and explorative multiple-case study methodology was chosen to collect, analyze, and report on data. Throughout the trial, iterations of concurrent data collection and analysis were conducted in parallel with modifications and new development driven by user feedback and preliminary findings. Learning outcome and learner satisfaction were evidently improved. Results were validated through triangulation, member checking, and external audit. The chain of evidence, thus established, has indicated that the study has successfully accomplished its goal.

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