How Far Is Distance?

Nathan O. Lowell, Ph.D.

National Center on Low-Incidence Disabilities

Introduction


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Transactional Distance Theory

Perceived distance is a function of


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The Problem

Transactional Distance Theory


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Literature

Saba & Shearer

Chen & Willets

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Possible Other Factors


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Fluency


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Social Presence

Original Short, Williams, Christie definition:
The maximum capacity of a given communications channel to transmit social cues.

In English:
You can't see over the phone.

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Social Presence

Current usage of the term:
The degree of social salience of an individual in a social engagement.

In English
The degree to which you are percieved as "being there" by the others present.

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Context

Tinto on persistence

Each student has unique personal context

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Research Questions

  1. To what extent does context contribute
  2. To what extent does social presence contribute
  3. To what extent does fluency contribute
  4. To what extent does the combination of context, social presence, and fluency predict perceived transactional distance

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Methods


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Methods


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Methods


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Findings: Reliabilities

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Findings: Transactional Distance

  • Correlations Significant
  • Dialog was not reliable
  • Interdependence in the wrong direction

Distance to
Teacher
Dialog -0.46*
Structure 0.21*
Interdependence 0.16*
Independence -0.17*

* p < .05

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Findings: Transactional Distance

Correlations

  • Only Dialog and Independence

Dialog wasn't reliable

Distance to
Students
Dialog -0.42*
Structure 0.04  
Interdependence 0.08  
Independence -0.21*

* p < .05

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Findings: Transactional Distance


FactorCoeffStd ErrorBeta
Dialog -0.09 0.02 -5.48*
Structure 0.02 0.01 1.79  
Interdependence 0.01 0.02 0.61  
Independence -0.04 0.02 -1.54  

* p < .05; R2 = 0.25

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Findings: Transactional Distance


FactorCoeffStd ErrorBeta
Dialog -0.09 0.02 -5.16*
Structure 0.00 0.01 -0.31  
Interdependence 0.00 0.02 0.08  
Independence -0.04 0.02 -1.98*

* p < .05; R2 = 0.20

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Research Question 1.

To what extent does context contribute to perceived transactional distance?


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Research Question 2.

To what extent does social presence contribute to perceived transactional distance?


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Research Question 3.

To what extent does fluency contribute to perceived transactional distance?


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Research Question 4.

To what extent does the combination of context, social presence, and fluency predict perceived transactional distance?


FactorCoeffStd ErrorBeta
Intercept -0.15 1.31 -0.11
Social Presence 0.17 0.02 8.57*
Context -0.11 0.07 -1.46  
Fluency -0.01 0.02-0.26  

* p < .05; R2 = 0.55

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Research Question 4.

To what extent does the combination of context, social presence, and fluency predict perceived transactional distance?

FactorCoeffStd ErrorBeta
Intercept -4.31 1.30 -3.31
Social Presence 0.16 0.02 8.15*
Context 0.03 0.07 0.43  
Fluency 0.08 0.02-3.16*

* p < .05; R2 = 0.57

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Research Question 4.

To what extent does the combination of context, social presence, and fluency predict perceived transactional distance?


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Research Question 4.

To what extent does the combination of context, social presence, and fluency predict perceived transactional distance?


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Post Hoc Analyses


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Novice vs Expert


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Age of participant


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Data collection period

Data collection period


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Large Implications


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Thank you!


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