Title page for ETD etd-05042008-181650

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Croghan, Tammy L.
URN etd-05042008-181650
Title When Shakespeare Meets Al Gore: Imagined Interactions, Communication Competence, and Immediacy in Traditional and Online-Based Distance Education
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Communication Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Loretta L. Pecchioni Committee Chair
Andrew King Committee Member
Geraldine Johnson Committee Member
James M. Honeycutt Committee Member
Hugh W. Buckingham Dean's Representative
  • distance education
  • imagined interactions
  • communication competence
  • immediacy
  • motivation
Date of Defense 2008-03-28
Availability unrestricted
The growth of distance education, in its many forms, has had consequences for both online universities as well as more traditional universities. This study examines instructional behaviors and communication strategies used in face-to-face and online educational settings. The purpose of this study is to explore student perceptions of instructor immediacy, motivation, and communicator competence in addition to their own motivation and intrapersonal communication use in higher education settings. This dissertation follows a social scientific organizational pattern: introduction, literature review, methods, results, and discussion. The first two chapters examine the purpose of the study and the appropriate research on distance education, teacher immediacy, communication and communicator competence, student motivation, and imagined interactions. The third chapter describes the participants, instruments, and methods utilized in both the pilot and current study. The fourth chapter presents the results of the 6 hypotheses and 5 research questions posited for this current study. Finally, the discussion considers how the results clarify the potential and pitfalls associated with online education. Conclusions about the roles of immediacy, motivation, communicator competence and imagined interactions in online education are posited. The role of sample demographics and different methodological approaches are examined and implications for future research are considered.

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