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Influence of the use of online communications media on perceptions of transactional distance and student satisfaction in a hybrid education program

Fullwood, Elicia Dynae
The purpose of this study was to determine the uses of online communications media in an undergraduate hybrid course that yielded the least transactional distance perceived by students and the highest student satisfaction with distance education. The study was based on student responses to the Distance Education Learning Environment Survey having seven scales ascribable to the elements of the transactional distance theory and student satisfaction. It was found that using online communications media for purposes to increase opportunities for interactions, with the intent to mitigate high perceptions of transactional distance, was not as important as who the interactions involved. The desired state of low transactional distance was observed for all groups and marginally close p values were observed for personal relevance and instructor support. This study also found restricting communication with the instructor in an online setting yields low to moderate ratings of enjoyment and thus significantly affects student satisfaction with distance education.