Case Study: Executing the STUDY Step

Case Study: Executing the STUDY Step

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2984-2.ch005


This chapter is a continuation of the STUDY step material presented in the prior chapter, and consists of a numerical example illustrating the computational steps for applying the Scale of Relative Proximity. A case study is then initiated, which will be carried through the remainder of the book. In this chapter, the relative proximities for each transactional distance factor and student satisfaction are presented for the case study. This will indicate the end of the STUDY phase and provide the information that will be used during the ACT step to develop improvement alternatives.
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Calculating Relative Proximities

In order to illustrate how the relative proximities are calculated for each element and for each factor, the element TDST will be used as an example. Furthermore, a sample of five students will be used to illustrate the steps that are involved in moving from a survey to the final usable relative proximity values.

The elements of TDST as given in Table 1 of Chapter 4 are shown in Table 1 below. Each of the elements in the table becomes a question in a survey. Any survey software instrument can be used with the caveat that the survey data must be downloadable as an Excel file because it will require further manipulation, as shown herein, to be transformed into relative proximity values. Qualtrics is an example of a commercial survey product, while Google Forms provides excellent capabilities free of charge. In this case, Qualtrics was used, and its results were downloaded into Excel. Qualtrics assigns question names and numbers (in this case “Q’s”), to the downloaded file. For example, Figure 1 shows element st1 in the survey named “Q2.” The survey also contains a number of questions not related to transactional distances (for example, in this case Q1 asked the gender of the respondent). Thus, the question numbers do NOT follow the element numbering scheme of Table 1 for TDST. Q2 corresponds to element st1, Q3 to element st2, Q4 to element st3 and so on.

Table 1.
Factor TDST and its corresponding elements
TDSTTransactional Distance Between Students and Teacher.
st1The instructor generally answers the student's questions.
st2The instructor pays no attention to me.
st3I receive prompt feedback from the instructor on my academic performance.
st4The instructor was helpful to me.
st5The instructor is available to answer my questions.
st6The instructor can be turned to when I need help in the course.

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