Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Brenda Branyan-Broadbent


Brenda Branyan-Broadbent


Byron Burnham


Don Sisson


Weldon Sleight


Don Smellie


The purpose of this study was to gain insight into the emerging field of electronic distance education CEDE) so as to improve and enhance the delivery of educational programs utilizing EDE. The study was conducted at Utah State University, using an EDE-method (COM-NET) as the research setting. Thirty-seven instructors taught 45 courses over the COM-NET system from Fall quarter, 1985 through Summer quarter, 1986.

The design of this study was based upon simple correlation coefficient matrices and the subsequent prediction models of multiple regression analysis. Contextual data were gathered from a solicited instructor self-reporting instrument. The objective was to identify potential relationships between teaching styles and instructional utilities employed on student satisfaction and student performance in an EDE-based learning system. Teaching style data were gathered using the Gregorc Style Delineator (GSD). Instructional utilities data were gathered using the Instructional Utilities Inventory (IUI). Student satisfaction was measured using the USU course evaluation form and student performance assessments were made by using mean grades for those courses taught via COM-NET during the time period of concern in this study. The Abstract/Random teaching style had an effect on student satisfaction. Discovery techniques had an effect on student performance. The Abstract/Random and the Abstract/Sequential teaching styles utilized abstract devices.

Instructors were generally enthusiastic about their COM-NET teaching experience. The need for improved on-campus administrative awareness and support in terms of released time and money were identified as measures to improve the system. Instructional flexibility was stressed as important. The COM-NET students performed as well as on-campus students, due in part to their maturity and experiences.

It was concluded that instructional presentations have a significant effect on student outcomes. Given the emerging EDE methods more study is necessary to determine precise instructional procedures which result in improved student performances when learning via an EDE system.