Nasrin Nazemzadeh, DissertationTitle page, Abstract, and Table of Contents, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PV/Member of the Texas A&M University System
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Nasrin Nazemzadeh, DissertationTitle page, Abstract, and Table of Contents, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PV/Member of the Texas A&M University System

Nasrin Nazemzadeh, DissertationTitle page, Abstract, and Table of Contents, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PV/Member of the Texas A&M University System

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    Nasrin Nazemzadeh, DissertationTitle page, Abstract, and Table of Contents, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PV/Member of the Texas A&M University System Nasrin Nazemzadeh, DissertationTitle page, Abstract, and Table of Contents, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PV/Member of the Texas A&M University System Document Transcript

    • SOCIAL PRESENCE IN ONLINE COURSES: AN EXAMINATION OF PERCEIVED LEARNING AND SATISFACTION A Dissertation by NASRIN NAZEMZADEH Submitted to the Graduate School Prairie View A&M University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY November 2008 Major Subject: Educational Leadership
    • SOCIAL PRESENCE IN ONLINE COURSES: AN EXAMINATION OF PERCEIVED LEARNING AND SATISFACTION A Dissertation by NASRIN NAZEMZADEHApproved as the style and content by: ___________________________________ William Allan Kritsonis, Ph.D (Dissertation Chair)______________________________ ______________________________ David E. Herrington, Ph.D. Tyrone Tanner, Ed.D. (Member) (Member) ___________________________________ Solomon Osho, Ph.D. (Outside Member)_____________________________ ______________________________ Lucian Yates III, Ph.D. William H. Parker, Ed.D.Dean, Whitlowe R. Green College of Education Dean, Graduate School
    • November 2008 ABSTRACT Social Presence in Online Courses: An Examination of Perceived Learning and Satisfaction (November 2008) Nasrin Nazemzadeh, B.S., Isfahan University M.A., Florida State University M.B.A., Southeastern Louisiana University Dissertation Chair: William Allan Kritsonis, Ph.D. Online education is the fastest growing segment of the higher education industry(The Sloan Consortium, 2007). Because of its relatively recent vintage, practitioners haveadopted online education without a thorough understanding of the problems andchallenges unique to it, and also without clear view of the societal benefits, i.e., of what isbeing accomplished. This is a case of practice jumping ahead of theory. The purpose ofthe study is to examine the role of social presence in online courses at a communitycollege. Specifically, the study will examine the relationship of social presence in onlinecourses to students’ perceived learning and to their satisfaction with the instructor. Thestudy will provide administrators and faculty with information to improve the design anddelivery of online education. The study aims at identifying the factors that contribute to students’ satisfactionwith online education. Particular attention is paid to the extent to which social presence is iii
    • diminished, the motivation to learn decreases, and a sense of isolation is heightened inonline experience. Data were gathered by administering a measuring instrument to a sample ofstudents. The instrument contains both quantitative and qualitative variables. Descriptivestatistics, multiple regression analysis, and estimation of binary dependent variablemodels using the logit method were applied to the data. iv
    • DEDICATION I dedicate this work to the memory of my loving husband, mentor, and bestfriend, Dr. Asghar Nazemzadeh. Without his constant support, this work would not havebeen possible. I owe a special debt of gratitude to my mother, Mrs. Aghdas Nazemzadeh,who believed in me, and who encouraged me to finish. My son, Dr. Reza Nazemzadeh,who each day fills my heart with pride, motivated me to finish. Thank you, little Pooya,my baby, for you filled my days with happiness during your short life. v
    • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS A special thanks to my mother who instilled in me a reverence for learning. Mydeepest gratitude goes to my late husband who gave me wisdom and strength, and to myvery loving and wonderful sons. I gratefully acknowledge the wise guidance of Dr. William Kritsonis, who helpedme to see things clearly and to stay focused. He also gave me the opportunity to publishand encouraged me to do so. A special thanks to Dr. William Parker, the Dean ofGraduate School, for his constant support and encouragement. I would like to thank Dr.David Herrington for his professional expertise and time. I would like to thank Dr.Solomon Osho for his professional expertise, encouragement and support. I would like tothank Dr. Tyrone Tanner for his support. Dr. Mary Alice Kritsonis read several drafts ofthis work; her critical comments and suggestions were invaluable. I acknowledge the support of Dr. Raymond Hawkins, President of Lone StarCollege-Tomball and Dr. Judy Murray, Vice President of Lone Star College-Tomball.Professor Joe Cahill provided valuable help with the data collection by administering thesurvey to students in the Division of Business and Technology at Lone Star College-Tomball. vi
    • TABLE OF CONTENTS PageABSTRACT ……………………………………………………………………………..iiiDEDICATION……………………………………………………………………………vACKNOWLEDGEMENT……………………………………………………………… viTABLE OF CONTENTS……………………………………………………………… viiCHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………..1 Background of the problem................................................................................... 3 Statement of the Problem……………………........................................................ 4 Research Questions ……………………………………………………………… 9 Null Hypotheses………………………………………………………………….. 9 Purpose of the Study …………………………………………………………. 10 Significance of the Study.......................................................................................10 Assumptions ..........................................................................................................11 Delimitations of the Study.....................................................................................11 Limitations of the Study...................................................................................…. 11 Definitions of Terms..............................................................................................12CHAPTER II: REVIEW OF LITERATURE…………………………………………. 15 Overview...……………………………………………….……………………... 15 History of Distance Education ...………………………………………………...15 First Generation.........................................................................................15 vii
    • Second Generation.................................................................................... 17 Third Generation....................................................................................... 21 Fourth Generation..................................................................................... 24 Next Generation........................................................................................ 26 Theories of Distance Learning............................................................................. 28 Transactional Distance............................................................................. 28 Interaction Theory..................................................................................... 31 Social Context........................................................................................... 31 Control (Locus of Control)........................................................................32 Online Learning: Potential Advantages and Drawbacks .................................... 32 Potential Advantage.................................................................................. 32 Flexibility, Convenience of Access and sense of Control.............33 Democratic Learning Environment................................................33 Enhanced Level of Interactivity within the Learning Community .................................................................................. 34 Potential for Collaborative Learning............................................ 35 Facilitates Higher Level Learning.................................................36 Potential Problems: Failure of Leadership............................................... 39 Online Learning Barriers ......................................................................... 39 Enrollment Growth.............................................................................................. 42 Social Presence......................................................................................................45CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY................................................................................. 52 Introduction........................................................................................................... 52 Research Questions.............................................................................................. 52 viii
    • Null Hypotheses.................................................................................................... 53 Research Methodology......................................................................................... 53 The Logit Model ................................................................................................. 58 Research Design................................................................................................... 61 Subjects of Study............................................................................................. .... 61 Instrumentation.................................................................................................... 61 Procedures............................................................................................................ 62 Reliability and Validity......................................................................................... 62 Data Collection..................................................................................................... 63CHAPTER IV: ANALYSIS OF DATA ………………………………………….……..64 Research Questions............................................................................................. 64 Null Hypotheses................................................................................................... 64CHAPTER V: SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS........... 82 Summary.............................................................................................................. 82 Problem...................................................................................................... 82 Purpose of Study....................................................................................... 82 Research Questions................................................................................... 83 Null Hypotheses....................................................................................... 83 Methodology............................................................................................ 84 Summary of Findings........................................................................................... 84 Conclusions........................................................................................................ 87 Recommendations.............................................................................................. 87 Recommendations for further study.................................................................. 90 ix
    • REFERENCES................................................................................................................. 92APPENDICES............................................................................................................. 118 Appendix A Lone-Star College-Tomball Students’ Survey............................ 119 Appendix B Consent to Participate in Research............................................... 125 Appendix C Letter to the President of Lone-Star College-Tomball................ 128 Appendix D Sample Computer Output for Table 9.......................................... 131VITA............................................................................................................................. 155 x
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