Susan Gebhard

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 2007


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Instructional Technology (EdDIT)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Barbara M. Manner

Committee Member

A. Lee Williams

Committee Member

Claudia Balach


aliteracy, children's literature, influential teacher, reading attitudes, teacher education, teacher modeling


This study sought to determine whether the design and/or the instructor of a required literacy course impacted preservice teachers' attitudes toward reading. Furthermore, the study sought to contrast the attitudinal impact of varying course delivery (onsite versus online). Additionally, the study attempted to identify those course activities and/or instructor behaviors perceived by the preservice teachers to have most affected their reading attitudes.

Using mixed methodology research design, this study made use of empirical data obtained from three subscales of the Adult Survey of Reading Attitudes, or ASRA, (Smith, 1990a): Reading Activity and Enjoyment; Social Reinforcement; and Tutoring. Preservice teachers enrolled in two sections (online versus onsite) of an undergraduate literacy course completed pre- and post-course instruments. In order to determine whether the design of a required literacy course impacted preservice teachers' attitudes toward reading and if varying course delivery (onsite versus online) affected any such impact, the pre- and post-course data was subject to statistical analysis. The study also utilized qualitative narrative analysis of pre- and post-course writing pieces, "Reading Autobiographies" and "Final Reflections," to identify specific course activities and instructor behaviors perceived by the preservice teachers to have affected their reading attitudes.

Statistical analysis in this research confirmed that intentional course design and delivery of both online and onsite literacy classes does significantly impact respondents' attitudes in terms of Reading Activity and Enjoyment. Participation in an onsite section was also determined to significantly impact respondents' attitudes with regards to the Social Reinforcement of reading; however, no statistically significant result was obtained on the Social Reinforcement subscale in the online section. Neither online nor onsite course delivery significantly impacted respondents' reading attitudes as displayed on the Tutoring subscale. Qualitative narrative analysis of preservice teachers' assigned writings was consistent with previous studies indicating that social modeling, learning communities, and authentic experiences with literature most influence students' dispositions towards reading. Narrative analysis also provided subjects' perceptions about those course activities and teacher behaviors believed to have most affected attitudinal change. Because these activities and behaviors are replicable, future teacher education courses may be intentionally modified to attain similar results.