Case Study: Executing the ACT Step

Case Study: Executing the ACT Step

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2984-2.ch006
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This chapter corresponds to the ACT step in the P-D-S-A cycle. It continues with the case study that was begun in Chapter 5, and examines the relative proximities of the individual elements of the significant TD factors to yield ideas that may improve relative student satisfaction. It explains the analysis that takes place to associate them with specific items in the course syllabus. Thus, this chapter provides the information that can guide syllabus changes to improve course outcomes the next time the course is offered and signals the completion of the first P-D-S-A cycle.
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Formulating Action Plans

In Table 2 of Chapter 5, relative proximity measures were presented for each of the four TD factors as well as relative satisfaction. These numbers represented by how much, in TD units, students perceived that they preferred the flipped class to the same class taught by the same instructor in a traditional lecture format. This data (not published before, except for those relating to TDSC) corresponded to the fall semester of 2013 and 2014, and served as the basis for an article published in DSJIE (Swart & Wuensch, 2016). Further, this data also provides useful information for formulating and implementing action plans to improve the relative proximity of those transactional distance factors that were found to be statistically significant predictors of relative student satisfaction. These were identified as TDSI (0.284), TDSS (0.236), and TDST (0.144) in Chapter 4. The numbers in parentheses indicate the impact on relative student satisfaction resulting from a one unit change in that factor’s relative proximity. The relative proximity of the elements associated with TDSC were shown in the DSJIE article for illustrative purposes. However, since TDSC was not found to be a statistically significant predictor of relative student satisfaction, no overt effort will be made to improve its relative proximity.

Each of the three statistically significant TD factors and their corresponding elements will be addressed in sequence below. Note that in Zhang’s original work (2003), the statistical validity and reliability of each of these factors and their elements were rigorously established. More recent work (Paul et al., 2015) reaffirmed their validity and reliability, but also found that a more parsimonious Revised Scale of Transactional Distance (RSTD) provided even better validity and reliability than Zhang’s original scale. However, that scale had not yet been developed when the work discussed in this book was undertaken. Actually, much of the work in this book led to the research that developed the RSTD.

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