Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Cornelious, Linda F.

Committee Member

Forde, Connie

Committee Member

Prince, Debra

Committee Member

Scott-Bracey, Pamela

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Instructional Systems and Workforce Development

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Instructional Systems and Workforce Development


The purpose of this study was to examine students’ perceptions of quality of online courses as they relate to the IHEP Teaching/Learning Process Benchmarks, Course Structure Benchmarks, and Student Support Benchmarks. The research design for this study was correlational. Out of 3,310 students enrolled in online courses, 97 successfully participated in the study at an urban southeastern university. A survey instrument consisting of three parts was used in this study. Part I of the survey instrument contains 24 Likert Scale questions, examining students’ online learning experiences. Part II of the survey contained four Likert Scale questions, gathering students’ rating on the overall quality of the online course in which they were enrolled. Part III of the survey instrument sought to obtain demographic information from the participants. The research questions were designed to determine students’ perceptions of online course quality distance education and whether a relationship exists between online students’ perception of quality and the operational variables: peer interaction, instructor feedback, course structure, and student support services. Pearson’s r correlation was used to analyze the survey data. After the data were collected and analyzed, the researcher determined that peer interactions, feedback from the instructors, and course structure contribute to predicting students’ perceptions of online course quality in the online courses studied. Students rated the quality of online teaching, online learning and course structure above average to excellent. Students’ perceptions of the quality of student support services were rated the lowest. An examination of the relationship between student perception of course quality and, instructor feedback, peer interaction, course structure, and student support services was also conducted. The results of the examination indicated that moderately statistically significant relationships existed between student perceptions of course quality and each of the three variables. Conclusions and recommendations based on the findings in this study indicated peer interaction, instructor feedback course structures, and student support services contribute to students’ perceptions of online course quality.



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