The COVID-19 pandemic caused global changes in the educational system of every country. Because of the lockdowns, every educational institution was compelled to use online distance education as the temporary primary form of the study process. Moreover, this type of education is still relevant and will be used in the future as the primary way of teaching, or at least one of them. That is the reason why this dissertation is relevant and valuable in the modern world. The major problem that this work states is “the communication timeliness of instructors and student perceptions of teaching presence in asynchronous online environments” (Skramstad, 2012, p. 2). The connection between these two factors was the subject of the study.
The dissertation concerns the difference in expectations of timeliness between teachers and students. This difference can affect students negatively and worsen their perception of the teacher’s presence. The sources of information Skramstad used determined various observations by Savery, MacLean, Wickramanayake, Woods, etc. For example, Woods (2002) and Wickramanayake (2006) stated that frequent personalized messages from teachers lower the positive impact of the course. The relationship between the teacher and the student is crucial for the learning and teaching experience. Several kinds of research demonstrated that interaction is a key aspect of instructors’ presence perception by the students. The literature Skramstad reviewed fully covered the topics of interaction, communication, presence, and frequency.
Research Design and Method
A descriptive research design was used in this dissertation to evaluate teaching presence and communication importance. This type of research design is usually used to describe educational appearances. An understanding of the situation that this work provides gives an excellent foundation for future changes and reforms. Significantly, this dissertation uses multiple sources with data because it allows the author to compare and strengthen the research and bivariate correlation. The method of web-based questionnaires was used to get demographic information and measure other characteristics. This method is international and not limited by any geographical boundaries because the data is collected online. The implementation of the study allowed it to receive complete information about the subject. In this case, there were two phases of collecting information, including a survey during the 2011 Fall term and after the term.
Many sources of information were investigated to collect all the needed data and findings. The author of the dissertation states that five courses “were perceived by students to have a neutral level of teaching presence while two of the courses had a perceived teaching presence that means higher than the neutral range” (Skramstad, 2012, p. 79). The average time of assignment submissions between students was from four to seven o’clock, while the instructors responded from one to seven o’clock. The results that the dissertation moved out demonstrate the factors of education that need to be changed. This research is helpful for many educational institutions and provides high-quality information for versatile improvement in every aspect of this subject.
The results are discussed throughout the dissertation, mainly in the third and fourth sections of the work. Quantitative data was collected using two phases, the first of which gathered information with anonymous surveys conducted online. The study found that “all mean teaching presences of the courses to be neutral or slightly positive” (Skramstad, 2012, p. 83). The student’s learning experience depends on the teacher’s role in the studying process. According to Skramstad’s research, the instructional faculty’s presence is essential for gaining knowledge, student satisfaction, and promoting their interest, effort, and participation. However, teachers must update their knowledge and improve in the field of distance online education.
Skramstad’s dissertation is informative, advanced, and significant for the educational field in many aspects. The author implied that “the purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between student perceptions of teaching presence and communication timeliness of instructors in online courses” (Skramstad, 2012, p. 82). Fifty-nine students participated in the research in seven online courses. The survey contained thirteen items that measured teachers’ presence during online classes. Skramstad (2012) “used Pearson r to determine if a relationship existed between the two variables of the study, teaching presence and communication timeliness” (p. 82). This research is full of useful data that can still be used even though ten years have already passed since it was published. It raises many significant questions about education and helps teachers to improve their skills and various educational institutions to develop their structures and systems.
To conclude, Skramstad’s dissertation called Teaching Presence, and Communication Timeliness in Asynchronous Online Courses is important for education and its future. The pieces of research that were studied by the author answer many questions that are useful for the current situation related to the coronavirus pandemic changes. Even though several years ago, most children studied in schools and colleges by being physically present, and a small percentage of them learned online today, it is common to use a combined form of education. This dissertation needs to be recommended to every teacher as a way to improve their qualifications. Every educational institution, such as schools, universities, or colleges, needs to revise its system to provide an excellent education in every scenario and method.
Skramstad, E. (2012). Teaching presence and communication timeliness in asynchronous online courses [Doctoral dissertation, Nova Southeastern University].
Wickramanayake, D. (2006). Group and individualized motivational messages sent by short message service and e-mail to improve student achievement. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Nova Southeastern University, Florida.
Woods, R. H. (2002). How much communication is enough in online courses? – Exploring the relationship between frequency of instructor-initiated personal email and learners’ perceptions of and participation in online learning. International Journal of Instructional Media, 29(4), 377-394.