As traditional educational efforts expand into the online environment, academic research is needed to determine if effective environmental education could be replicated in the virtual classroom in higher education. Although previous research showed that the online course delivery could be an effective means of teaching environmental facts, what had yet to be determined is if there was a significance difference in the development of an environmental literacy, represented by attitudes and behaviors between online and traditional campus students, at a university within the Western United States. To determine if there was a measured statistical difference in environmental literacy following course completion this causal comparative quantitative study built on the theoretical foundations of environmental literacy development and used the Measures of Ecological Attitudes and Knowledge Scale and New Ecological Paradigm. From a sample of 205 undergraduate environmental science students it was determined, through the use of two tailed t tests at the 0.05 significance level, that no statistical difference in environmental knowledge, actual commitment, and global environmental awareness were evident. However, statistical differences existed in verbal commitment and emotional connection to the environment. Both the online and the traditional campus classroom are shown to be effective in the development of environmental literacy. As technology continues to be incorporated in higher education, environmental educators should see technology as an additional tool in environmental literacy development. However, the identified differences in emotional and verbal commitment should be further investigated.
|Commitee:||Claerbaut, David, Rickey, Deborah|
|School:||Grand Canyon University|
|Department:||College of Doctoral Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Environmental education, Science education, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Distance education, Environmental education, Environmental ethic, Environmental literacy, Environmental stewardship, Online education|
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