Date of Award

Winter 1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Robert Lucking

Committee Director

Petra Snowden

Committee Member

Michael Overstreet

Committee Member

J. R. K. Heinen

Committee Member

Dana Burnett

Committee Member

Donna B. Evans


This two-part study used quasi-experimental research methodologies to analyze and assess students' perceptions of the level of their personal interaction, overall interaction, observed interaction, attitude, satisfaction and direct participation in synchronous computer-based interactive remote instruction (IRI) and two-way audio/one-way video (TELETECHNET) intra-urban distance learning environments. For the first part of this study 101 subjects were measured during a semester of instruction in three 4-week interval observations. Intact groups assigned to two different treatment environments, computer-based upper division and graduate level computer science distance learning courses, and two-way audio/one-way video upper division computer science distance learning courses were observed at an urban university's main campus site location and an adjacent intra-urban remote site location.

Subjects in the two learning environments differed significantly in the three trial mean of their perceptions of individual interaction. Computer-based distance learning environment subjects had a more positive mean score on perceptions of individual interaction than did their two-way audio/one-way video counterparts. Perception of individual interaction for computer-based subjects was significantly higher than two-way audio/one way video environment subjects perceptions of individual interaction and relatively flat across trials one and two with a large linear increase at trial three. Scores for observed interaction were significantly higher for two-way audio/one-way video subjects both as an overall mean and as a function of each trial. Direct participation was significantly higher for computer-based students both as a function of overall score across and as a function of trial. Perceptions of overall interaction did not vary significantly between the environments. Subject attitude stayed nominally, but not significantly, higher in the two-way audio/one-way video environment both overall and by trial. Measured levels of student satisfaction did not differ significantly by overall mean, by trial or by trend between each environment. There were no significant differences in the dependent variables between the main or remote intra-urban sites for either environment.

A multiple regression analysis revealed that 63% of the variance in satisfaction in the computer-based environment and 52% for the two-way audio/one-way video environment could be explained by the combined influence of the criterion variables of student attitude and perceptions of individual interaction measured in this study.

In the second part of the study, the researcher defined and categorized IRI classroom events. A modified interactional analysis methodology was presented to provide a framework for future quantitative analysis that can capture the component elements of student perceptions of interaction measured in the first part of the study.

Implications of the findings for educators, policy makers and student populations within the urban milieu were discussed. Recommendations for increasing student perceptions of each environment's less prevalent forms of interactivity and directions for future research were offered.