Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 2005

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Communication Studies

Advisor

Carol Haggard

Abstract

Distance education has grown rapidly in the United States, reflected by more students and increased numbers of institutions offering distance learning. Studies on distance education primarily focus on domestic distance education in the United States. With economic globalization, distance education in the US is spreading beyond the nation's boundary. Fort Hays State University (FHSU) in the United States and SIAS University in China have cooperated with each other to issue American bachelor's degrees in China since 2000. Ten courses are offered by FHSU to SIAS students. Two of them are taught face-to-face by FHSU instructors. The other eight are offered through the Virtual College al FHSU. Instruction in the eight distance courses is realized by FHSU instructors' distance teaching, with a SIAS cooperative American teacher's assistance, via videotapes or DVD, CD-ROM, and Web. The unique feature of this joint education program is the combination of FHSU instructors' teaching and SIAS cooperative American teachers' assistance or instruction. Therefore, SIAS student interaction with FHSU instructors and with SIAS cooperative teachers is an interesting area of research. From a theoretical perspective, Michael Moore (1989), a scholar in distance education, developed the theoretical analysis of instruction, which classified three essential elements in distance education: learner-to-instructor, learner-to-learner, and learner to content interaction. Based on Moore's theoretical analysis of interaction, with consideration of interaction features of the FHSU/SIAS program, this paper examines SIAS students' expected and reported interaction with FHSU instructors, SIAS cooperative teachers, SIAS classmates, and learning content. Moreover, correlations between each of the four types of interaction and student overall satisfaction was also explored. The study found that students' reported experience basically met their expectations, and there are significant correlations between student satisfaction and each of the four types of interaction.

Rights

Copyright 2005 Jiangbo Huangfu

Comments

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