Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Silas Njoroge



Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



Committee Member

Andrew Twafik

Committee Member

Amanda Szapkiw


Understanding the communication gap due to the separation of teachers-students and students-students in online learning environments can have a profound impact on improving online learning. Moores Transactional Distance Theory (TDT) is an important pedagogical theory in distance learning that can be used to gain a better understanding of K-12 distance education practices. This study sought to empirically verify the theory by investigating the relationship of dialogue, structure, learner autonomy, and transactional distance (TD) perceived by students in K-12 Online Learning Environments (OLE). The study also investigated the effect of environmental and demographic factors on TD. Participants were selected from online students taking one-year science courses in online high and middle school. A correlational design was used to analyze the association between transactional distance and the constructs. ANOVA was used to analyze the difference in transactional distance perceived by students in classes with different combinations of high to low structure and dialogue (+D+S, +D-S, -D+S, -D-S). ANOVA and two-sample t-tests were used to test hypotheses on the impact of TD on environmental and demographic factors. The results empirically showed that TD varies inversely with dialogue, structure, and learner autonomy and that environmental and demographic factors had no impact TD.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest