Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

1-2009

Abstract

As technology advances, online instruction has the capabilities to create and present the environment of modalities and interactivity found within the traditional classroom. The learner's experiences within Web-based courses can serve to either increase or decrease motivation. Conversational narration is one strategy that can be used in Web-based learning to increase immediacy and affect motivation. This study examined the effect of personalized narration on learner motivation in a Web-based environment. Using a mixed methods design, participants completed a portion of Richmond's motivation scale to determine initial motivation levels. Following this, participants accessed a Web-based module that contained either personalized narration or formal narration. Upon completion of the module, participants once again completed the same portion of Richmond's motivation scale, as well as selected items from Gorham's Verbal Immediacy Behaviors Scale and a set of open-ended questions. Data analysis included results from t tests as well as triangulation from qualitative data. Research findings indicated that there was no statistically significant difference (pin motivation scale rating for either the control group or the treatment group from the presurvey to the post survey. Findings for the immediacy scales were mixed. There was no statistically significant difference (p=.11) between the treatment groups and the control group for the immediacy factors of use of humor, asking questions, personal examples and personalized language (the use of "we" or "our"). Participants in the study had diverse opinions and perceptions about personalized narration, and were also able to explain aspects and factors of their motivation. Additionally, they accurately described and advocated for social presence, an indicator of immediacy, in the Web-based environment. The study determined that personalized narration did not increase motivation; however, immediacy can be increased through the use of multimedia and personalized narration in the Web-based environment.

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