Community of inquiry, social presence, teaching presence, cognitive presence, web 2.0 tools, online learning, hybrid class, distance education, class size


The purpose of this research study was to explore the impact of specific Web 2.0 tools on students' experience of teaching, social, and cognitive presence and motivation when enrolled in a very large hybrid course. With online course enrollments continuing to grow at a higher rate than traditional enrollments in higher education (Allen & Seaman, 2011) and universities increasing class sizes as a way to meet this demand with fewer fiscal resources, it is imperative to find ways to keep students engaged and motivated when enrolled in very large classes. This study used the Community of Inquiry framework (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000) to examine the effect of specific Web 2.0 tools (asynchronous discussion, streaming lectures, multimedia lecture demonstrations, Twitter, and the Second Life virtual world) on teaching, social, and cognitive presence and motivation. The sample population for this study (n = 567) consisted of undergraduate students enrolled in a very large hybrid accounting course in the fall of 2010 at the University of Central Florida. The total enrollment for the course was 943 students. Students could attend face-to-face (f2f) class sessions in a large lecture room that seated 285 students or they could view a streaming video capture of the lectures online. Students were not required to attend the f2f class sessions and could complete the course entirely online. Data were analyzed using one-way analysis of variances (ANOVA), and results of the statistical analyses indicated that students who frequently used the Web 2.0 tools had statistically significant higher mean motivation scores than students who did not use the tools as frequently. Additionally, students who frequently attended the f2f sessions had statistically significant higher mean social presence scores compared to students who attended sometimes or not at all. Attending the f2f sessions, however, did not result in higher mean scores of teaching or cognitive presence. When examined for the impact of the specific Web 2.0 tools, analysis of the ANOVA results indicated that students who used the discussion, streaming lectures, multimedia lecture demonstrations, and Twitter all of the time had significantly higher mean scores of teaching, social, and cognitive presence compared to those students who used the tools less frequently. Further research should be conducted on large hybrid and online courses in different content areas and on those that use different types of learning approaches.


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Graduation Date





Gunter, Glenda


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Education and Human Performance

Degree Program

Education; Instructional Technology








Release Date

November 2013

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic

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