Title page for ETD etd-06082012-141446

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Eschenmann, Travis Wade
Author's Email Address vpitrav@vt.edu
URN etd-06082012-141446
Title An Experimental Study to Test the Relationship Between Learner Control and Locus of Control on e-Learning in a Corporate Context
Degree PhD
Department Instructional Design and Technology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Lockee, Barbara B. Committee Chair
Burton, John K. Committee Member
Moore, David Committee Member
Potter, Kenneth R. Committee Member
  • learner
  • control
  • LOC
Date of Defense 2012-04-30
Availability unrestricted
Research has identified a relationship between instructional design and learner control, principally in face to face educational settings, where the selection of control types will have an impact on the learner. However, as Miltiadou and Savenye (2003) note, more research is required that will "shed light on which motivational constructs can be identified as predictors of success in an online environment." (p. 21). In both the corporate and academic arenas, there is a growing interest in online courses; however, there is a lack of sufficient studies on the effects of design criterion that can potentially heighten learner motivation and reduce attrition rates in online courses. Abdul-Rahman (1994) identified a similar concern with respect to dropout rates and suggested that "identifying factors that interact to affect students' completion or non-completion of a distance education course" (p. 9) would go a long way to arming administrators and distance educators with information and tools that will help reduce learner attrition in distance education.

This experimental study will test the relationship between learner control and locus of control as measured by scores on an assessment administered to selected employees of the Automobile Associate of America (AAA) Mid-Atlantic. The independent variables will be learner control and locus of control. Locus of control will be defined by each learner’s score on the Adult Nowicki-Strickland Locus of Control Scale. Three dependent variables will be measured including assessment score, number of minutes spent in the learning program and amount of content viewed in an online, asynchronous course.

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