Title page for ETD etd-12232004-230634

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Kassinger, Frances Duggan
Author's Email Address fdkger@msn.com
URN etd-12232004-230634
Title Examination of the Relationship Between Instructor Presence and the Learning Experience in an Asynchronous Online Environment
Degree PhD
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Boucouvalas, Marcie Committee Chair
Asche, F. Marion Committee Member
Giles, Inez Committee Member
Morris, Linda E. Committee Member
Parson, Stephen R. Committee Member
  • online instructor facilitation
  • instructor communication style frequency of instru
  • online instructor presence
  • learner prior experience
Date of Defense 2004-11-30
Availability unrestricted
Frances Duggan Kassinger, Abstract

This study identifies and assesses a more specific relationship between the online instructor presence and the online learner's experience than is currently offered in previous studies. Guided by three questions, the study asked: (a) What is the relationship between the online instructor communication style and the learning experience, as defined by the adult learner's cognitive achievement, ratings of the overall course experience, and perceptions of the instructor's performance; (b) What is the relationship between the strength (contact frequency with the learner) of that communication style (facilitating or non-facilitating) and the learning experience; and (c) What is the relationship between selected learner demographic variables (previous subject experience on the job and previous experience with the vendor's online learning environment) and the learning experience.

The study included an examination of ex post facto data that depicted the interactions between 89 students and 9 instructors in 358 asynchronous, professional development class discussions. The examination revealed the presence and frequency of select instructor behaviors more acutely define the communication style and strength of the online instructor's relationship to the professional adult's online learning experience. The study's additional findings support earlier research that suggests prior learner experience relates positively to online learning outcomes. These findings contribute to the larger body of knowledge related to online instruction.
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