Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Joanne K. Olson


Community colleges are offering more online courses to meet the demands of the students they serve. To make these courses effective learning experiences, instructors are trying to utilize technologies and strategies to bring distance students into a virtual community where learning can best take place. This study examines the impact of adding a virtual class lecture/discussion and virtual office hours to two online physics courses offered through an urban community college. Two different courses were taught with two sections each. One section of each course added the virtual sessions for up to 4 hours per week. Effects studied include the impact on student learning as assessed by a subset of the Force Concept Inventory (FCI), shifts in student views about science and learning science as assessed by the Views About Sciences Survey (VASS), and differences in type and frequency of discussion board postings. Results indicate that the FCI posttest scores were significantly better in the sections that did not have the virtual class sessions. VASS results were not significantly different. No clear difference was found between the groups in the number and type of discussion board postings. Use of the virtual class lecture/discussion sessions and virtual office hours did not have a positive affect on these two courses.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Deanna L. Snyder Poudel



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

118 pages