Examining the Transactional Distance Theory in a Web-Enhanced Biology Course
The current article explores Moore’s theory of transactional distance in a web-enhanced introductory biology course. A questionnaire containing open-ended questions that focused on components of the transactional distance theory was utilized to examine college students’ perceptions of virtual laboratories in an introductory biology course. Virtual laboratories are computer-based simulations designed to inculcate specific scientific concepts and experimental procedures. Virtual laboratories are effective instructional tools in both online and traditional STEM courses. Previous research has suggested that reduction of transactional distance in the online and traditional classroom may positively influence retention rates and student learning outcomes. The qualitative findings in this study will further inform academic intervention strategies to enhance virtual laboratory instructional approaches in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) college courses.
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