Audiovisual commentary as a way to reduce transactional distance and increase teaching presence in online writing instruction: Student perceptions and preferences

Anna Grigoryan


The rapid increase in online learning programs has led to an increase in the number of students taking composition courses online. As a result, there is a need to develop teaching practices and approaches to feedback designed specifically for online learning environments, which serve a largely nontraditional student population. Addressing a current gap in the literature regarding approaches to feedback that meet the needs of nontraditional students, this quasi-experimental study used a process model of composition and post-positivist and social constructivist epistemological orientations to measure student perceptions and preferences when provided with text-only feedback or a combination of textual and audio-visual commentary. Results indicate that the majority of students, if given the choice, prefer a combination of audio-visual and text-based commentary to textual feedback alone because they consider it helpful and feel that it enhances their overall understanding of instructor feedback by providing more detail and by using auditory and visual modes of communication. Students also liked audio-visual feedback because they considered it a form of personalized and individualized interaction, and some felt that it helped them spend more time and effort on revision. 


online learning, feedback, online writing instruction, audio-visual feedback, feedback in online learning environments, writing instruction

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