Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Science courses in the online environment: A needs assessment of instructor attitudes that affect the design process
by Ward, Diane F., Ph.D., Capella University, 2008, 187; 3324826
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to identify the attitudes of college and university science instructors regarding the online delivery of science courses as part of the needs assessment process. Instructor attitudes regarding science courses were examined in three areas: curriculum, instructional design of the course, and the laboratory component. A quantitative research methodology was followed to identify the attitudes of science instructors regarding the online delivery of general introductory science courses as part of the needs assessment process. The study utilized descriptive research to identify common patterns in the attitudes of science instructors. An online survey questionnaire (STOIC) was developed and administered to 103 science instructors currently teaching in one of the four science disciplines (biology, chemistry, geology, or physics) at a public community college or university. Pearson chi square test of independence was performed using the four different science disciplines as variables. The results of the study showed no significant relationship between the science disciplines and the attitudes of instructors regarding the online delivery of science courses in the areas of curriculum, instructional design, or the laboratory component. It was also found that no significant relationship existed between the science disciplines and the instructor acceptance of science courses offered online for non-science majors. The study concluded that science instructors in all four science disciplines were unified in their opinions regarding the laboratory component of an online science course. The majority believe that the laboratory component should be conducted on campus in a live setting as opposed to alternative scenarios, such as simulations or in the student's home. Science instructors do not perceive a science course designed for online delivery to be capable of including the same instructional design components utilized in a science course delivered live in the classroom. For the field of instructional design, the implications are that college and university science instructors are unified in their attitudes regarding science courses designed for online delivery and they are resistant in the acceptance of these courses.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lane, Molly
Commitee: Bullock, Cheryl, Redden, Charlotte
School: Capella University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 69/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational software, Science education, Higher education
Keywords: Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Instructional design, Instructor attitudes, Needs assessment, Online education, Physics
Publication Number: 3324826
ISBN: 9780549778363
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