Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM Education & Professional Studies


Instructional Design and Technology

Committee Director

Tian Luo

Committee Member

John Baaki

Committee Member

Cherng-Jyh Yen


Multimedia technologies allow instructional designers to transform interpersonal interactions into interactions between learners and content. These learner–content interactions are more scalable in online, asynchronous distance education (DE) than interactions between learners and the instructor or interactions among learners. Additionally, learners sometimes prefer interactions with course content over interactions with their peers and instructor. Studies on learner–learner and learner–instructor interaction provide insight into the preferences and perceived effects of interaction types. However, the literature has not directly discussed the impact on performance resulting from substituting learner–content interaction for learner–learner interaction. This study examined the impact of substituting interaction types on perception of workload, perception of learning, and performance in an online, asynchronous, undergraduate-level setting of formal DE.

The results of this study showed (a) learner–learner interactions were perceived to be significantly more work than learner–content interactions, (b) learner–content interactions were perceived to be significantly more helpful in learning the material, (c) there was no significant difference in performance between the two interaction types, (d) interaction type did not significantly moderate the relationship between perception of workload and performance, and (e) interaction type did significantly moderate the relationship between perception of learning and performance.


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