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Instructors of distance education courses have many choices when it comes to designing course materials and learning experiences. One approach has been to develop interactive presentations – audio voice-over slide presentations or presentations incorporating voice-over narration plus other interactive elements. Some of the previous research has focused upon the impact of these types of instructional materials on student academic achievement (Stephenson, Brown, Griffin, 2008; Lents & Cifuentes, 2009; Savoy, Proctor, & Salvendy, 2009; and Geri, 2011). Others have examined interactive presentations from a limited instructor perspective, focusing on the tools and preferences in specific disciplines (Pace & Kelly, 2006; Burke, James, & Ahmadi, 2009; and Gupta, 2011). Little is known, however, about the instructor's perspectives and experiences in actually creating interactive presentations or how they use these materials in distance education environments.
This qualitative study sought to offer insights into those experiences. Using an embedded single-case study design (Yin, 2014), interviews with instructors from a Midwestern metropolitan university were conducted during the spring 2014 semester.
Themes emerging from interviews as to why they chose to create interactive presentations included: voice/persona, sharing personal experiences, expanding or clarifying information, and prior experience with the chosen technology. The majority used the presentations as lectures. Instructors predominately used Microsoft PowerPoint® software, with starting points, slide design and audio narration choices mentioned. Other themes arising from the interviews referenced time, assessment, and advice.
Combined, these themes and details provide a clearer picture of the instructor experience in creating and using interactive presentations in distance education courses.
Advisor: David W. Brooks