Date of Award

6-16-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Middle-Secondary Education and Instructional Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Christine D. Thomas - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Nikita D. Patterson

Third Advisor

Dr. Clara Nosegbe Okoka

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Janice S. Scott

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Pier A. Junor-Clarke

Abstract

Besides the traditional face-to-face learning medium, online media are now available for students in various learning environments. The delivery of coursework through online media is on the increase in colleges and universities. However, research on the use of online learning media in beginning collegiate level foundational mathematics courses for non-mathematics and non-science majors is limited. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate, within a foundational mathematics course, connections between media used for instruction in hybrid and online enhanced face-to-face learning environments and students’ media preferences. The online Web Course Tools (WebCT) Vista template used in this study was designed by the researcher and her colleague as a part of the hybrid fellowship project for a two-year college. Applying transactional distance theory and engagement theory, designers carefully analyzed each concept and determined which concepts would be delivered most effectively in each learning medium. This study was quantitative in nature. During Fall 2005, thirty-eight students in the Introduction to Mathematical Modeling course at a community college in the southeast participated in the final study. Students in the hybrid sections comprised the treatment group while students in the online face-to-face section comprised the control group. Throughout the semester, all students were asked to respond to questions on the following instruments: Assignment Feedback, Quiz Feedback, Test Feedback, and Project Feedback. Chi-Square analysis showed that significant differences were found in the majority of items on the Test Feedback instrument related to the linear and quadratic modules. In general, the treatment group preferred online learning at least half of the time and believed online resources provide the basic resources for learning the subject matter. Students’ written responses from the treatment group indicated that both online learner-content interactions, and in-class learner-instructor interactions supplemented the learning of mathematics. The control group preferred predominantly face-to-face learning and believed that learning primarily took place in a physical setting. The findings showed that the proportion of students who completed the course using the hybrid and face-to-face learning environments was not significantly different. Therefore, the data showed the success rate for both learning environments was about the same.

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