Dissertation - Public Access
Ed.D. Doctor of Education
Higher Education Leadership
High-quality and effective online education is essential to the continuous growth of higher education. As online higher education grows in professional programs, it is especially pertinent to investigate learning designs for their effectiveness in supporting the acquisition of professional skills. Drawing upon the Community of Inquiry (CoI) and the Practice-Based Teaching (PBT) frameworks, this research investigated the effectiveness of one online graduate program designed for practicing teachers to learn new skills (i.e., diagnostic assessment and differentiated instruction) in teaching reading to elementary students. The learning design introduced a new component of virtual presence (i.e., synchronous communication) at strategic points in the online learning process during a three-course clinical sequence in which the teacher participants engaged in field learning experiences. The study used a case study approach to investigate teacher participants’ perceptions of the factors that enabled their online learning during the clinical course sequence. Findings indicated that the teacher participants perceived their online learning environment to be generally high in the CoI factor. They also appreciated that the learning environment incorporated opportunities for authentic, hands-on and practice-centered learning through the use of multiple representations of artifacts, encouraged engagement and clearly identified critical features that can be practiced and applied, with the opportunity to enact these practices learned while in the field. Teacher participants further indicated the critical importance of synchronous communication (virtual presence) component in supporting their learning of the teaching practices in field settings. Implications of these findings are discussed for the expansion of online higher education and applications to other professional learning environments.
keywords: online, virtual presence, practice based learning, community of inquiry
Fry, Michelle, "Perceptions and Experiences of Online Learning and Synchronous Communication" (2019). Dissertations. 426.
Adult and Continuing Education Commons, Curriculum and Instruction Commons, Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Commons, Educational Leadership Commons, Educational Methods Commons, Educational Technology Commons, Higher Education Commons, Instructional Media Design Commons, Language and Literacy Education Commons, Online and Distance Education Commons