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Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair for Nasrin Nazemzadeh, Dissertation Defense PPT. (Dr. Kritsonis)


  • 1. Social Presence in Online Courses:An Examination of Perceived Learningand SatisfactionA Dissertation DefensebyNasrin NazemzadehDissertation Chair: William Allan Kritsonis, Ph.D.Prairie View A & M UniversityEducational LeadershipNovember 2008

2. Committee Members Dissertation Chair: William Allan Kritsonis, Ph.D. Dissertation Committee: David Herrington, Ph.D. Solomon Osho, Ph.D. Tyrone Tanner, Ph.D 3. Dissertation Defense Format What is Social Presence? Statement of the Problem Subject of Study Purpose of the Study Instrumentation Research Methodology Research Questions and Summery of Findings Null Hypotheses Tables Conclusions Recommendations Recommendations for Further Study 4. Social Presence According to Short (1976), the degree to which a person is perceived as real in mediatedcommunication. Characteristics: 1. InteractivityShort, Williams & Christie (1976), Interaction between instructorsand students, & among students 2. Mediated CommunicationThose communications that occur via computer mediated (i.e., discussion board, e-mailand chat rooms) between two or more individuals 3. ImmediacyAnderson (1979), Those nonverbal behaviors that reduce physicaland/or psychological distance between teachers and students 4. Reciprocal AwarenessRafaeli (1998), Not only the presence of interactivity but also a recognition andawareness of the interactivity by participants 5. ConnectednessRovai (2001), Sense of involvement and engagement 5. Statement of The Problem Online education is the fastest growing segment of thehigher education industry. This growth is global. Spague(2007) projects that enrollment in distance-teachinginstitutions will grow to 120 million by the year 2025.Two year colleges have recognized the importance ofonline education to their long term growth strategiesmore than other types of institutions. Therefore, it isimportant to investigate if this growth will compoundthe educational deficits that have been documented intraditional education. 6. Subjects of the Study The study was conducted on studentsenrolled in online courses in theDepartment of Business and Technologyat Lone Star College-Tomball inTomball, Texas. The results of the studymay be generalized to the population ofstudents at Lone Star College-Tomball. 7. Purpose of the Study The purpose of the study is to examine the role ofsocial presence in online courses at a communitycollege. Specifically, the study examines therelationship of social presence in online courses tostudents perceived learning and satisfaction withtheir educational experience. The result of thisstudy will help educational leaders to utilize moreeffectively the online instruction. 8. Instrumentation After careful analysis of several developedinstruments, a modified instrument consistingof 48 questions was selected. This minimizedthe need for validation. The first 42 questionsare multiple-choice, and the last six requirewritten responses. 9. Instrumentation The instrument was placed with Wonder SurveyInc. Students logged on to the Wonder Surveyweb site where they directly answered thequestions and submitted the results electronicallyto Wonder Survey. A total of 150 students, 52.1%of the invited students completed the survey.Wonder Survey tabulated the responses andprovided the results. The questions and thechoices were relabeled for convenience. 10. Research Methodology Data-Analytic Methods used: 1. Descriptive Statistics 2. ANOVA 3. Multiple Regression Analysis 4. Logit Analysis of Binary Dependent VariableModels. 11. Research Question # 1 andSummary of Findings Does the online learning experience contribute tofeelings of isolation among students? My research shows that 32% of the respondents indicatedthat they felt isolated. This proportion is significantlydifferent from zero as evidenced from a t-stat = 8.4, andits P-value = 0.000. Moreover, the greater the prevalenceof these feelings, the less satisfied students typically are,and the less they perceive to learn. 12. Research Question # 2 andSummary of Findings What factors influence student satisfaction in online classes?Listed in table 9 Instructors social presence The extent to which students feel they are part of a group, and Effective communication with the instructor and with otherstudents Factors that detract from it are:Feeling threatened,Feeling isolated, andMissing not seeing and hearing the instructor 13. Research Question # 3 andSummary of Findings Is the online learning experience detrimental to studentsmotivation? The related item in the instrument reads: Theonline course stimulated my desire to learn. According to my research, overall, 66% agreed with thestatement and 34% disagreed. The proportion thatdisagreed is significantly different from zero, t-stat = 8.76,probability value = 0.000. A significant proportion ofstudents report that the online course did not stimulatetheir desire to learn. 14. Research Question # 4 andSummary of Findings What factors influence learning outcomes? According to myresearch: Feeling part of a group Being able to communicate with other students and with theinstructor Learning about the instructor Feeling isolated Feeling threatened Missing not seeing and hearing the instructor The motivation to participate. 15. Research Question # 5 andSummary of Findings Is perceived learning related to social presence? The evidence in Tables 11 and 12 shows that astatistically significant proportion of thosereporting decreased learning, missed not seeingand hearing the instructor, reported decreasedquantity and quality of interaction with theinstructor and with students, expressed feelings ofisolation, were less motivated to learn, and learnedless about the instructor. All of the above arecomponents of the larger picture of social presence. 16. Research Question # 6 andSummary of Findings What are the perceived strengths and weaknesses of online education? The main perceived strength is flexibility: Ninety-four % of the respondents inthis study indicated that they took the online course because it allowed moreflexibility in time management. Consistent with this finding, the overwhelmingmajority of respondents indicated that they are willing to take another onlinecourse. Weaknesses: The results also indicate that the respondents missed not seeing andhearing the instructor, felt isolated and threatened, were less motivated to learn,were less satisfied with the educational experience, reported that the amountlearned decreased, their motivation to participate decreased, the amount andquality of interaction with the instructor and students decreased, and the onlinecourse did not provide an educational experience similar to the classroom . 17. Null Hypotheses H01. There is no statistically significant differencebetween the personal experience of the onlinecourse and that of the classroom. (Rejected). H02. There is no statistically significant relationshipbetween labor force activity as measured byaverage weekly hours of work, and the decision toenroll in online courses. (Not Rejected) 18. Ho2. There is no statistically significant relationship between labor forceactivity, as measured by average weekly hours of work, and the decision toenroll in online courses (Not Rejected). Table 4________________________________________________Hours/Week Percent of Respondents t-Stat P-value_________________________________________________1-10 18.7 -1.12 0.2611-20 14.0 -2.22 0.0321-30 10.7 -3.09 0.0031-40 32.7 1.66 0.1Over 40 24.0 The decision to enroll in online classes is not systematicallyrelated to hours worked per week. 19. Does the decision to take another online course dependon labor force activity? Answer: No Table 5_______________________________________________Hours/Wk Percent of respondents willing t-Stat P-valueto take another online course__________________________________________________1-10 89 -0.75 .4611-20 95 0.11 .9221-30 94 -0.08 .9331-40 90 -0.77 .44Over 40 94 The difference in means is not statistically significant at .05 and .01 level. 20. Null Hypotheses H03. There is no statistically significantrelationship between commuting time toschool and the decision to enroll in onlinecourses (Not Rejected). 21. H03. There is no statistically significant relationshipbetween commuting time to school and the decision toenroll in online courses (Not Rejected). Table 6 ____________________________________________________________Commuting Time Percent of(minutes) Respondents____________________________________________________________0-15 4416-30 30.731-45 17.346-60 5.3Over 60 2.7Contrary to expectations, commuting time does not systematically relate to thedecision to enroll online. Evidently, 74% percent of the students live within ashort distance from the school. 22. Commuting time and the willingness to takeanother online course (No Relationship isFound). Table 7____________________________________________________________________Commuting Time Percent of respondents willing t-Stat P-value(minutes) to take another online course________________________________________________________________0-15 95 -0.33 .7416-30 96 -0.32 .7431-45 73 -1.91 .0646-60 100 0.00 1Over 60 100 There is no statistically significant relationship between commuting time and thewillingness to take another online course. 23. Explaining the decision to enroll inonline coursesTable 8. __________________________________________________________________Took the online course primarily because it allowed me more flexibility in managing mytime and schedule________________________________________________________________Strongly agree 64%Agree 30%Strongly disagree 0.7%Disagree 5%The overriding motivation for taking online courses is flexibility in managing time. Ninety-four percent of respondents say so. 24. Null Hypotheses H04. There is no statistically significantrelationship between student satisfaction withthe educational experience


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