Date of Award

Fall 12-21-2018

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Renee Harmon


visual presence, online, engagement


This study involved looking at the effect that providing a visual presence in online classes had on the students’ success on tests, overall achievement in the class, and retention. The instructor provided a weekly visual video to review weekly outcomes, summarize weekly expectations, and provide clarification on content and assignments. The literature on the importance of including engagement by the instructor and adding a human component to online classes for the most part supports the positive effects it can have on students completing online courses successfully. This research included comparing the results of two exams given in a Methods and Curriculum in Early Childhood course, the students’ overall grades in the course, and retention. The first year there was no visual presence in the course and the second year the visual presence was added. It was determined that it would be more accurate if a survey was conducted to see who actually watched the videos. A survey was conducted with college students at a community college. Students were asked how many videos they watched and if the videos were helpful. The results from the survey were compared to the students’ overall grades. In analyzing the data, it was shown that the test scores were not higher when the visual presence was added. There was no significant difference in the overall course grade. There were, however, more students who completed the Methods and Curriculum course with the addition of the instructor video. Moreover, when comparing the students who viewed the majority of the videos, and their success in the class, there was a strong connection between those who received higher grades and those who watched the videos.



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