TITLE

A Path Analysis of the Concepts in Moore's Theory of Transactional Distance in a Videoconferencing Learning Environment

AUTHOR(S)
Chen, Yau-Jane; Willits, Fern K.
PUB. DATE
October 1998
SOURCE
Journal of Distance Education;Fall98, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p51
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The lack of empirical testing of theories in past studies in distance education has resulted in a fragile theoretical basis of this field. Investigating 121 learners' experiences with videoconferencing, this study used path analysis to examine the postulates of Moore's Theory of Transactional Distance. A major focus of the study was estimating the effects of the dimensions of dialogue, structure, learner autonomy, and transactional distance--the constituent concepts of Moore's theory--on learning outcomes in such a learning environment. In-class discussion, one of the dimensions of dialogue, was found to contribute positively, directly, and indirectly to learning outcomes, whereas transactional distance between instructors and learners was inversely related to learning outcomes. None of the dimensions of structure and learner autonomy was found to have significant effects on learning outcomes. The data suggested that when learning outcomes were assessed only in terms of the student's perception of how much he or she has learned, the relationships among the concepts in the transactional distance theory were only partly supported.
ACCESSION #
31735605

 

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