Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Newman, Michael

Committee Member

Hunt, Barry

Committee Member

Grace, Cathy

Committee Member

Deeds, Jacquelyn

Committee Member

Taylor, N. Walter

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Agricultural Information Science and Education

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


School of Human Sciences


The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to compare three types of instruction: online synchronous, online asynchronous, and traditional, and assess which would yield more learner achievement. Participants for the online groups volunteered then were randomly assigned to either the online synchronous or the online asynchronous. Participants for the traditional group were also voluntary but were not randomly assigned; all that volunteered for the traditional group were accepted. In the final sample, a total of 96 Mississippi child care professionals completed the course Early Learning Guidelines: Lesson Plans and Thematic Units for Three Year Old Children: 31 in the online synchronous group, 32 in the online asynchronous group, and 33 in the traditional group. The dependent variable was learner achievement and the independent variable was type of instruction. The design of the study was pretest-posttest control group. Two hypotheses guided the study: (1) Participants in the synchronous online class will exhibit higher achievement than participants in the asynchronous class and (2) Participants in the asynchronous or the synchronous online class would exhibit achievement equal to or higher than the traditional group. Synchronous participants provided with instruction did perform higher than did the traditional participants. The synchronous and asynchronous groups were not statistically different, nor were the asynchronous and the traditional group.