Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Shirley Walrod

Committee Member

Michael Simonson

Committee Member

Sergio Guzman

Abstract

Distance education has disrupted our educational norm, with students taking more online courses than ever before. Some research has assumed that online students experience a feeling of isolation, disconnect with their institution, and overall, have a diminished educational experience. During the last 10 years, another phenomenon, social media, has also experienced explosive growth, including the largest and most interwoven into modern society: Facebook.

With almost 92% of respondents in this study reporting they use Facebook daily, this study found there was statistical significance (1) between using Facebook for social use and the feelings of isolation; (2) between belonging and participating in an academic Facebook group and the feelings of isolation among online students; (3) between Facebook use with the engagement of online students; (4) between social use of Facebook and connectedness; (5) between belonging and participating in an academic Facebook group and the connectedness of online students; (6) between using Facebook for social use and the satisfaction among online students; and (7) between belonging and participating in an academic Facebook group and satisfaction among online students. Also, this study confirmed that there was indeed a positive relationship in four areas involving a school’s Facebook page, including visiting and participating on a school’s Facebook page and (1) the feelings of isolation among online students; (2) the engagement of online students; (3) the connectedness among online students; and (4) the satisfaction among online students.

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