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Graduate Students' Communication Practices and Perceived Sense of Community: An Examination of Information Sources

Quarterly Review of Distance Education Volume 11, Number 4, ISSN 1528-3518


This study explores the relationship between graduate students' communication practices and their perceived sense of program-level community within a graduate program. The program under study consists of both traditional on-campus students, as well as students who take classes via a distributed-learning model. This particular program has made a concerted effort to improve its distance education offerings, and to improve information provision on its website to improve the students' sense of community within the program. Self-reported data were collected and analyzed from students (both on-campus and off-campus) enrolled in the graduate program at a midsized Southeastern public university. This study contributes to the body of empirical literature on distance education by providing evidence regarding the relationship between student communication practices and students' perceived sense of community within a distance education program. A review of the contemporary distance education literature suggests that carefully-designed courses offered via distance education can be as effective as, or in some cases more effective than, those offered in a more traditional education setting. The literature review discusses communication practices, and presents important information seeking models, and sources of information. (Contains 3 tables.)


Reinhart, J. (2010). Graduate Students' Communication Practices and Perceived Sense of Community: An Examination of Information Sources. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 11(4), 223-238. Retrieved April 4, 2020 from .

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