Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Howard, Esther

Committee Member

Person, William

Committee Member

Verhoek-Miller, Nancy

Committee Member

Dilworth, Reuben

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Elementary Education

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction


The purpose of this study was to investigate host site participants' perceptions of a shared distance learning experience. The participants for the study were 12 students enrolled in the course, Teaching Strategies in Elementary Education at Hunt University during the fall semester of 2000. The course was offered simultaneously to students at a distance site. Both groups of students received instruction from the same instructor during the course. According to the review of the literature numerous studies have been conducted to obtain data from the perspectives of distance site students. However, no literature was found that pertained specifically to the perceptions of host site participants. As a result, this study is unique and significant as it provides data from the perspectives of the host site participants. A case study was the research design for this study. The researcher collected data through classroom observations, individual interviews and documents. Data were triangulated from multiple data sources to answer each of the following five research questions: 1. What motivated the participants at the host site to enroll in this course? 2. How do the participants at the host site perceive the quality of instruction? 3. How do the participants at the host site rate the quality of communication between the instructor and themselves? 4. To what extent do the participants at the host site perceive the instructor to be accessible? 5. What improvements can be implemented to ensure the success of the program at the host site? Reflective analysis was utilized to draw conclusions about the data collected. Overall analysis revealed that participants were satisfied with their experience in the course. Recommendations to improve the course included the following: 1. Potential students should be told in advance that the course will be offered simultaneously to students at a distance site. 2. A facilitator should be provided at distance sites to communicate with the instructor about student participation. 3. Technology problems or difficulties should be anticipated and handled swiftly. 4. The instructor should provide ongoing feedback on course assignments throughout the semester. 5. The instructor should respond to electronic mail from students promptly. 6. The instructor should monitor the pacing of the course to avoid unnecessary delays.