Title page for ETD etd-3524103039731191

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Hegngi, Yolanda Nokuri
Author's Email Address yhegng@vt.edu
URN etd-3524103039731191
Title On-Line Teaching and Learning: A description of the Development of The media Technology and Diversity Online course and Its Electronic Discourse analysis
Degree PhD
Department Teaching and Learning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Burton, John K.
Dodl, Norman R.
Garrison, James W.
Taylor, C. David
Magliaro, Susan G. Committee Chair
  • World Wide Web teaching and learning
  • on-line course development
  • on-line teaching and learning
  • electronic discourse analysis
  • World Wide Web course development
  • discourse analysis
  • on-line instruction
Date of Defense 1997-04-15
Availability unrestricted

The purpose of this study was to examine and describe the

events of the first iteration of the Media Technology and

Diversity course with an in-depth analysis of its electronic

discourse. In conceptualizing the viable alternatives for

delivering college-level distance education via on-line

technologies, Harasim (1990) cautions that the mere

introduction of computer mediated communication "does

not in itself improve learning; design (or method) is crucial"

(p. xx). The role of instructional design as the cornerstone

of all effective instruction is relevant as new technologies

are used in teaching and learning. The MTD distance

education course content was delivered via the World

Wide Web, where the course homepage was the on-line

classroom and e-mail and Webchat communication

supported participants' interaction. The participants of the

study were the instructors and teaching assistants, as well

as the undergraduate and graduate students who took the

course. The electronic archive data, student assignments,

and follow-up interviews with participants provided

multiple data points for analysis. The Webchat archive data

was analyzed using the NUD.DIST qualitative research

software to sort and produce descriptive statistics. The

analysis of e-mail and Webchat discourse revealed that

participant interaction differed between media types and

between asynchronous and scheduled the Webchat

discussions. The differences were temporal, topical, and

structural. Student initiated thought-provoking Webchat

dialogue yet on-line content delivery, course structure, and

reliability of computer systems reduced student

participation in on-line discourse and course activities.

Significantly, lessons learned from the design of the MTD

experience indicate that on-line course development

requires advance technical skill and accessible instructional

technologies. Instructional designers should develop course

materials with the end-users' lowest common denominator

technologies to increase participation and learning

opportunities. The lessons learned from the electronic

discourse analysis indicate that the WWW is a very

complex instructional environment that requires carefully

designed pedagogical activities and interaction. Research

results indicate that where as asynchronous Webchat

discussions encourage students to initiate conversation

topics, the overall participation in on-line discourse is low.

On the other hand, scheduled Webchat discussions

promote lengthy and more thought-provoking discussions,

but students generally respond to instructor-posted

questions or topics.

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