Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Forde, Connie

Committee Member

Yu, Chien

Committee Member

Xu, Jianzhong

Committee Member

Abraham, Jimmy

Committee Member

Durrington, Vance

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Instructional Systems and Workforce Development

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Instructional Systems, Leadership and Workforce Development


This study examined the perceptions of law enforcements officers employed by rural and small law enforcement agencies on the effectiveness of the use of distance education technology as a delivery system for training programs. Four research questions were designed to assess officers’ perceptions. This study used both quantitative and qualitative analysis of data to assess these questions. Quantitative data were collected through the use of a pretest and post-test, and a survey. Qualitative data were collected through observations of subjects’ interaction with the treatment, interviews with participants, reviews of survey comments, and analyses of budget documents. The results of this study suggested that officers found the use of distance education technology as a means for delivering training courses to be effective. Agencies should ensure that their technology is compatible with the modality in which the course is presented and that their officers are trained in the use of this technology. Course material should include core information and supplemental material similar to that found in traditional face-toace courses. Online courses should contain the same structure as found in traditional face-toace courses. The environment in which the learning occurs should be comfortable, distractionree, and suitable for engaging in online learning.