Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Daniel C. Robinson


This dissertation is organized in three sections. The first section includes a review of the literature related to distance education covering (1) the history and definition of distance education, (2) a review of evaluation instruments used to assess student perceptions and attitudes, and (3) a summary of research findings in five areas of distance education: student motivation, student persistence, student achievement, student satisfaction, and comparisons of students in distance and traditional education settings. The focus of the literature review is on distance education using telecommunications technologies;Second, an article describing the development of an evaluation instrument for use in an interactive television instructional environment is presented. The instrument was developed for the Iowa Distance Education Alliance as part of the Iowa Star Schools project. The article describes the process of developing the instrument and defines five constructs important in evaluating an interactive television system. The five factors are instruction, technical aspects, membership, course management, and satisfaction. On the basis of factor and reliability analyses, the article concludes that the instrument is a useful tool for measuring student attitudes in interactive television courses;Third, another article describes the results of an evaluation of community college instruction over the Iowa Communications Network (ICN), Iowa's two-way full motion interactive fiber optic network. The article looks at the relationship between student satisfaction and classroom interaction, age, gender, previous student experience with distance education, location at a remote or origination site, and number of sites connected. The article concludes that students appear satisfied with their distance learning experience, although remote students appear less satisfied than their origination site counterparts. There were some differences between male and female students and between students of different age groups. No differences were found based on previous student experience in distance education or on number of sites connected;Even though they were satisfied, students still felt technical problems interfered, materials were not delivered promptly, information on distance classes was not readily available, discipline problems occurred in sites without a teacher present, and the level of interaction was inhibited. Recommendations for improvement are provided and instruments are included.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Christine Knupp Sorensen



Proquest ID


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File Size

132 pages