Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Virtual high schools and instructional design strategies to reduce transactional distance and increase student engagement: A Delphi study
by Wheatley, Diana M., Ph.D., Capella University, 2016, 170; 10168359
Abstract (Summary)

In the last 20 years online virtual high school has become a viable alternative to traditional high school. The dropout rate for online programs rivals that of brick and mortar high schools. Among the reasons students drop out of online virtual high school programs is the experience of isolation from teachers and peers. Moore (1972, 2013) described this sense of isolation as transactional distance and created a theory of how this phenomenon can be countered to promote academic success. Transactional Distance Theory stated that the sense of isolation could be reduced by carefully balancing interaction between student and teacher, student and student, student and course content, course structure and student autonomy. The research question was whether or not a group of experts would reach consensus on which instructional design strategies could reduce transactional distance and increase student engagement for virtual high school students. An exhaustive literature review found that very little is written about this topic. However, the literature does provide information about transactional distance theory, instructional design strategies, the characteristics of high school students, and the role administrators and policy makers can play in supporting these instructional design strategies. A three round Delphi study was conducted with a nationwide panel of instructional design experts with online virtual high school experience via an Internet based research software. The results of the research study indicated that there are a number of instructional design strategies that could be used to for this purpose. This research study led to the creation guidelines that could be used with a variety of instructional design models. Ultimately these guidelines could become an instructional design model.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lane, Carla
Commitee: Czelusniak, Vern, Redden, Charlotte
School: Capella University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Instructional Design, Secondary education, Educational technology
Keywords: Distance learning, Instructional design, Online learning, Teaching and learning, Transactional distance, Virtual high school
Publication Number: 10168359
ISBN: 978-1-369-22644-7
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