Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Christopher Bogiages


As online courses continue to gain popularity in higher education, there is a need to ensure instructors are providing effective instructional feedback. Research in the theory of transactional distance points out the impact instructor interaction has on student satisfaction in courses. One way to address this is through high amounts of dialogue, feedback in this study. Throughout my years of teaching an online undergraduate course, students have continually reported in course evaluations the existence of a miscommunication gap. However, specific details around this request have been minimal. The purpose of this qualitative, action research study was to examine the impact of sustained dialogue between instructor and students on the student’s motivation to apply the feedback and the student’s overall course satisfaction. Instruments used in this study included pre and post surveys, historical student evaluations, and emergent coding of student assignments. Study results indicated that when students are given the choice of five characteristics (amount, audience, message of the feedback, mode, and timing), Amount (Providing feedback on several points about the assignment) was their top choice regarding feedback. On assignments where this element of feedback was implemented, study participants enacted 71% of the feedback recommendations in future blog assignments. An increase in the mean scores related to student satisfaction on the course evaluations was also seen. Based on these results, this study concludes that providing students with a choice in their education and increasing dialogue between students and vii instructors could possibly contribute to higher levels of student satisfaction in online courses.


© 2019, Timothy Paul Lombardo