Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication


Journalism and Mass Communication


Although online technologies are often seen as channels through which entire courses could be delivered, in fact online technologies are more commonly used as supplements to the classroom. This study examined this supplementary use of one online technology-WebCT, in a manner consistent with the learner-centered principles. Pre- and post-surveys were administered to students in a communication technology class in fall, 2001, to measure comfort with online technologies, attitudes toward traditional and online learning and motivation. In addition, the relationship between the course instructor and instructional designer was examined. Using the discussion tool, students took ownership of their learning, selecting topics for study and team presentations. The post-class survey indicated that students felt very positive about this learner-centered approach. Survey results showed that most students in the class were already comfortable with use of computers for learning. However, many had not used the communication tools such as chat and discussion in a classroom environment. Student enjoyment with using online technologies increased significantly after using these technologies. Results also indicate that students in general like both online and traditional classroom learning approaches, rather than having a strong preference for one or the other. Interviews with the instructor and instructional designer indicate that to be effective, early course assignments should require use of online tools rather than assuming that students will use them automatically. In addition, the instructor should clearly indicate how both face-to-face and online supplements should be used and how they fit into the overall course plan.


Copyright Owner

Matthew David Wagner



OCLC Number


File Format


File Size

107 pages