You are here:

Student Perceptions of Transactional Distance in Online Teacher Education Courses

, , University of Florida, United States

Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-64-8 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


As teacher education shifts to online delivery, the need grows for teacher education course designers and instructors to better understand how teaching and learning vary with delivery system. One frame for understanding the online milieu from instructional and design perspectives is the theoretical base for distance education. Transactional distance depends upon the instructor's design of the course (structure), the instructor's communication of expectations to the learner (dialogue), and the learner's ability to enhance his/her own learning experience (autonomy) (Moore 2007). This paper relates this theoretical base to the practical aspects of designing and teaching online courses in teacher education, reviews instruments for assessment of online courses, and describes an analysis of the design components in online teacher education courses. This study focuses on the assessment of transactional distance in an online teacher education course and the contributions of the course's design elements to the students' perceptions of transactional distance.


Kennedy, K. & Cavanaugh, C. (2008). Student Perceptions of Transactional Distance in Online Teacher Education Courses. In K. McFerrin, R. Weber, R. Carlsen & D. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2008--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 485-490). Las Vegas, Nevada, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved January 15, 2019 from .


View References & Citations Map


  1. Benbunan-Fich, R., & Hiltz, S.R. (1999). Impact of asynchronous learning networks on individual and group problem solving: A field experiment. Group Decision and Negotiation, 8(5), 409-426.
  2. Chang, V., & Fisher, D.L. (1998). The validation and application of a new learning environment instrument to evaluate online learning in higher education. Retrieved 18 October, 2007, from
  3. Clark, D.J., & Bekey, J. (1979). Use of small groups in instructional evaluation. Insight to Teaching Excellence, 1(1), 2-5.
  4. Fisher, D., Aldridge, J.M., Fraser, B., & Wood, D. (2001). Development, validation and use of a questionnaire to assess students’ perceptions of outcomes-focused, technology-rich learning environments. AARE 2001 Conference Papers, 2001: Retrieved 13 October, 2007, from Australian Association for Research in Education
  5. Fraser, B.J., McRobbie, C.J., & Fisher, D.L. (1996, April). Development, validation and use of personal and class forms of a new classroom environment instrument. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York.
  6. Fulford, C.P., & Zhang, S. (1993). Perceptions of interaction: A critical predictor in distance education. The American Journal of Distance Education, 7(3), 8-21.
  7. Garrison, D.R. (2003). Cognitive presence for effective asynchronous online learning: The role of reflective inquiry, selfdirection and metacognition. In J. Bourne, & J.C. Moore (Eds.), Elements of quality online education: Practice and direction (pp. 47-58). Needham, MA: Sloan Center for Online Education.
  8. Huang, H. (2002). Student perceptions in an online mediated environment. International Journal of Instructional Media, 29(4), 405-422.
  9. Jung, H.Y. (2007). Transactional distance and student motivation: Student perception of teacher immediacy, solidarity toward peer students and student motivation in distance education. ProQuest Information& Learning: US). Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, 67(7), 2541.
  10. Kennedy, J., & Dorman, J. (2002). Development and validation of the Extended Practicum Learning Environment Inventory (EPLEI). In J. Reid& T. Brown (Eds.), Challenging Futures: Changing Agendas in Teacher Education. University of New England, Armidale. Retrieved 13 October, 2007, from
  11. Krauss, F. & Ally, M. (2005). A study of the design and evaluation of a learning object and implications for content development. Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects,1, (2005), 1-22.
  12. Moore, M.G. (1980). Independent study. In R. Boyd, & J. Apps (Eds.), Redefining the discipline of adult education (pp. 16-31).
  13. Moore, M.G. (2007). The theory of transactional distance. In M.G. Moore (Ed.), Handbook of distance education (2nd ed., pp. 89-105). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  14. Rovai, A.P. (2002). Development of an instrument to measure classroom community. Internet& Higher Education, 5(3), 197211.
  15. Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (1996). Computer support for knowledge-building communities. In T. Koschmann (Ed.), CSCL: Theory and practice of an emerging paradigm.
  16. Smith, R., Clark, T., & Blomeyer, B. (2005). A synthesis of new research on K-12 online learning. Naperville, IL: Learning Point Associates. Retrieved 18 October, 2007 from
  17. Stein, D.S., Wanstreet, C.E., Calvin, J., Overtoom, C., & Wheaton, J.E. (2005). Bridging the transactional distance gap in online learning environments. The American Journal of Distance Education, 19(2), 105-118.
  18. Swan, K. (2002). Building communities in online courses: The importance of interaction. Education, Communication and Information, 2(1), 23-49.
  19. Trinidad, S., Aldridge, J., & Fraser, B. (2005). Development and use of an online learning environment survey. Journal of Educational Technology, 21(1), 60-81.
  20. Twigg, C.A. (2000). Innovations in online learning: Moving beyond no significant difference. The Pew Symposia in Learning and Technology (4th), 2000, Phoenix, AZ.
  21. Walker, S.L., & Fraser, B.J. (2005). Development and validation of an instrument for assessing distance education learning environments in higher education: the distance education learning environments survey (deles). Learning Environments Research, 8, 289-308.

These references have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake in the references above, please contact

View References & Citations Map

Cited By

  1. Supporting Student Interaction through the use of Digital Backchannel Discussions

    Heather Donnelly, Bradley University - Department of Teacher Education, United States

    Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2018 (Mar 26, 2018) pp. 1421–1426

  2. Class Map for Community in Online Education Course

    Terence Cavanaugh, University of North Florida, United States; Cathy Cavanaugh, University of Florida, United States; Swapna Kumar, Boston University, United States

    Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2009 (Mar 02, 2009) pp. 285–301

These links are based on references which have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake, please contact