Date of Award

8-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

C. Michael Robinson

Abstract

Community colleges have a mission of affording students open access to higher education. Student attrition in online courses at community colleges directly reduces student access to higher education and successful course and program completion and negatively impacts student success and institutional outcomes. From a social cognitive theory, social presence theory, and community of inquiry perspective, students’ perceptions of social presence, collaborative learning, social interaction, and satisfaction with their learning experience are critical components of student learning. This quasi-experimental study examines the impact of an instructional strategy, team-based learning, on students’ perceptions of social presence, collaborative learning, social interaction, and satisfaction with their learning experience in an online medical terminology course at a community college in Upstate New York. An online course instructional design assessment model emerged to assess students’ perceptions of social presence, collaborative learning, social interaction, and satisfaction with their learning environment through the intersection of social cognitive theory, social presence theory, and community of inquiry. Students’ perceptions of social presence, collaborative learning, social interaction, and satisfaction with their learning experience in an online course increased as a result of the student team-based instructional course design strategy. Recommendations support preparation of course designers, instructors, and implementation and evaluation of online courses. A circle of responsibility and success emerged in which student success is contingent on institutional commitment to research and best practices, course designer and instructor professional development, and student orientation and resources. Increasing higher education access and successful course and program completion is significant as a pathway out of poverty to improve social justice and equality. Recommendations include direct practice application, policy development, and future research..

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