Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM Education & Professional Studies


Instructional Design & Technology

Committee Director

Richard C. Overbaugh

Committee Member

Terrell L. Perry

Committee Member

Steve P. Myran

Committee Member

James A. Marken


The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of five different eLearning modality practices on workplace learning and perceived learner satisfaction. Using a factorial posttest comparison design (with a control group), this experimental field study explored the learning effects and learner perceived satisfaction associated with the use of different modality approaches within an eLearning course delivered in a workplace. More than 3,000 study participants, who are part of a U.S. federal workforce, where randomly assigned to one of five narration groups. A Learning Management System (LMS) gathered demographic data, administered the course, recorded individual test scores, learner satisfaction scores, and recorded times associated with course completion.

Findings from this study suggest that in a U.S. workplace environment, eLearning using text-only (i.e., no voice narration) has similar learning outcomes to eLearning with narration. The important potential benefit of this finding is the reduction to costs associated with eLearning development and implementation—that is, faster and cheaper eLearning development while achieving almost the same learning outcomes. Coupled with the learner satisfaction finding in this study, that workplace learners preferred text-only over any of the forms of narration in this study, then a strong case begins to form for using text-only with straightforward content, for eLearning to be implemented in a U.S. workplace setting.