Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Industrial Education and Technology

First Advisor

Roger Smith


This study examined whether there were relationships between students' perceptions of course-related interaction and their course satisfaction within the learner-centered paradigm in distance education. To study these relationships, the researcher developed the Students' Perceived Interaction Survey (SPIS) to examine nine separate hypotheses about the nature of course-related interaction. The variables tested included: student-instructor interaction, student-TA interaction, student-student interaction, student-content interaction, gender, academic classification, students' prior experiences with distance education in a partially online class setting, students' prior experiences with distance education in an entirely online class setting, and students' perceptions of the effectiveness of WebCT features in helping them learn. This study used a volunteer sample of 855 students from the 949 students enrolled in Computer Science 103 at Iowa State University in the fall of 2005;A multiple linear regression model was developed to study the relationship between different independent variables and course satisfaction. Multiple regression analysis includes many assumptions, including equality of error variances, independence, and normality of the residuals. All of these assumptions were examined and satisfied;The study concluded that student-instructor, student-student, and student-content interactions, along with students' perceptions of WebCT features and gender were predictors of course satisfaction. No significant relationships were found between student satisfaction and student-TA interaction, the student's prior partial online distance education experience, the student's prior entirely online distance education experience, and academic year. The discussion section offered many suggestions on how to create a learner-centered online class environment, which includes encouraging online instructors to incorporate effective WebCT features and increasing student-instructor interaction, student-student interaction, and student-content interaction. The results of this research can help educators create a rich distance education environment that encourages students to enjoy what they are learning and perform well.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Shu-Hui Hsieh Chang



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

172 pages