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Bridging the Transactional Distance Gap in Online Learning Environments

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American Journal of Distance Education Volume 19, Number 2, ISSN 0892-3647


The purpose of this study was to explore changes in satisfaction with perceived knowledge gained as a function of learner satisfaction with course structure, learner satisfaction with interaction, and technical expertise in a variety of distance learning environments. Using Moore's (1993) theory of transactional distance as a conceptual framework, the researchers obtained data from learners in six courses that varied by course format, structure, and opportunities for interaction. Results indicated that learner satisfaction with the course structure-activities, assignments, and instructor guidance and encouragement-led to greater satisfaction with perceived knowledge gained. Interaction was highly correlated with structure. Interactions initiated by the learners contributed to their satisfaction with perceived knowledge gained. Technical expertise had no effect on satisfaction with perceived knowledge gained.


Stein, D.S., Wanstreet, C.E., Calvin, J., Overtoom, C. & Wheaton, J.E. (2005). Bridging the Transactional Distance Gap in Online Learning Environments. American Journal of Distance Education, 19(2), 105-118. Retrieved September 21, 2019 from .

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