|dc.description.abstract||The purpose of this study is to understand the relationship between perceived transactional distance, course satisfaction and student characteristics (demographics, grade point average, previous online experience, self-efficacy, technology self-efficacy, and self-regulated learning), and their combined effect on academic outcomes for students enrolled in distance and blended learning courses at a large Southeastern land-grant university. A hypothesis model was constructed based on existing literature and previous study results. Limited research existed in analyzing the variables simultaneously, thus structural equation modeling was used to validate the theory-based model. The online survey hosted by Qualtrics utilized four self-report measuring instruments: Portions of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) (Pintrich, Smith, Garcia, & McKeachie, 1993), a modified version of the Online Technology Self-Efficacy Scale (OTSES) (Miltiadou & Yu, 2000), an updated version of Zhang’s (2003) Transactional Distance Scale (Paul, Swart, Zhang & MacLeod, 2015), and portions of Marsh’s (1982) Students’ Evaluation of Education Quality Questionnaire.
The study garnered 604 responses from a pool of 5,490 currently enrolled undergraduate/graduate distance education students from a large Southeastern land-grant university. After pre-analysis data screening procedures, a total of 158 cases of the original 604 cases were removed. The final “clean” dataset consisted of 446 cases.
The results of the study indicated that individual characteristics play a far more important role in determining academic outcomes than perceived transactional distance. An individual’s characteristics (self-efficacy, metacognitive self-regulation and prior GPA) directly affect academic outcomes. Additionally, self-efficacy and metacognitive self-regulation also directly affect course satisfaction. Whereas, perceived transactional distance directly impacts course satisfaction, but it only has an indirect effect on academic outcomes when self-efficacy and self-regulation serve as mediators.||en_US