This applied dissertation was designed to provide deeper insight to current knowledge about establishing teaching presence (TP) in online courses. Distance education environments are considered more convenient than traditional learning environments, as they provide more opportunities for learning that occurs in various settings. In distance education environments, effective learning should focus on the interaction between e-learning technologies and educational practice in higher education. Online courses are typically devoid of the visual cues and interaction of the traditional classroom. Online learners may experience an isolation effect as a result of learning in the perceived absence of their peers and instructor. Feelings of isolation experienced by distant students are grounded in Moore’s transactional distance (TD) theory. The concept of distance in online education does not refer simply to geographic or temporal separation, but also to the pedagogical space between students and instructors. In Moore’s TD theory, as the amount of dialogue increases, TD decreases. Establishing TP in online education can minimize the isolation effect and reduce TD in many ways.
The purpose of this study was to describe and compare student and faculty perceptions of TP in synchronous and asynchronous distance education courses at the college or university level. A mixed-method methodology was employed using a scale measuring TP for the quantitative strand and student and faculty focus groups for the qualitative strand.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/judith-slapak-barski/2/