Integration of virtual learning environments in the learning process may lead to the realization of an educational vision in which autonomous learners realize their personal potential. But the physical separation between teacher and students may lead to “transactional distance”, which may in turn can cause a sense of threat and create anger, gaps in understanding, or misconceptions among the learners about themselves and about the learning process. Students may grasp the situation as a “challenge” or a “threat”. The aim of the study is to determine the factors that are critical to feelings of challenge and threat among student teachers in virtual and blended courses. The sample included 578 participants, divided into two research groups: virtual and blended. In a mixed-method study, participants answered a threat/challenge questionnaire, open-ended, and closed questions. The authors found three critical factors giving rise to a threat or challenge: negative feelings, a sense of threat, and a sense of challenge. A large portion of students considered forums as a “space for dialogue” with the instructor and the other students, and believed that differential interpersonal communication may lead to lowering feelings of threat and increasing the sense of challenge.

Feelings, Threat, Challenge, Virtual Course, Blended Course, Preservice Teachers, Interactions, Transactional Distance
How to Cite this Article?
Gila Cohen Zilka and Orit Zeichner (2017). Forums and Critical Factors Involved In Feelings of Challenge and Threat among Preservice Teachers Studying Virtual and Blended Courses. i-manager’s Journal of Educational Technology, 13(4), Jan - Mar 2017, Print ISSN: 0973-0559, E-ISSN: 2230-7125, pp. 1-13.
[1]. Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D.R., and Archer, W. (2001). “Assessing teaching presence in a computer conferencing context”. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 1-17. Retrieved April 3, 2004, from http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/jaln/v5n2/pdf/v 5n2_anderson.pdf
[2]. Argyris, C., and Schon, D.A. (1996). Organizational Learning II: Theory, Method, and Practice. NY: Addison- Wesley.
[3]. Bar-On, R. (1997). The Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i): A Test of Emotional Intelligence. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.
[4]. Brandt, D. (2015). The Rise of Writing: Redefining Mass Literacy. Cambridge University Press.
[5]. Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., and Cocking, R.R. (2000). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and Schools. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
[6]. Brown, M., Hughes, H., Keppell, M., Hard, N., and Smith, L. (2015). “Stories from Students in their First Semester of Distance Learning”. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning - IRRODL, Vol. 16, No. 4.
[7]. Cole, M.T., Shelley, D.J., and Swartz, L.B. (2014). “Online Instruction, E-Learning, and Student Satisfaction: A Three Year Study”. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning - IRRODL, Vol. 15, No. 6.
[8]. Ely, M., Vinz, R., Downing, M. and Anzul, M. (1997). On Writing Qualitative Research: Living by Words. London: Falmer Press.
[9]. Fraundorf, M. (1995). Why is Multimedia Important to Schools? Instructional Technology University of Houston.
[10]. Garrison, D.R., Anderson, T., and Archer, W. (2001). “Critical thinking, cognitive presence and computer conferencing in distance education”. American Journal of Distance Education, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 50-71.
[11]. Garrison, R., and Kanuke, H. (2004). “Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education”. The Internet and Higher Education, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 95-105.
[12]. Groen, J., and Li, Q. (2005). “Achieving the benefits of blended learning within a fully online learning environment: A focus on synchronous communication”. Educational Technology, Vol. 45, No. 6, pp. 31-37.
[13]. Kalogiannakis, M. (2010). “Training with ICT for ICT from the trainee perspective a local ICT teacher training experience”. Educ. Inf. Technol., Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 3–17.
[14]. Lazarus, R.S. (2000). “Toward better research on coping”. American Psychologist, Vol. 55, No. 6, pp. 665- 673.
[15]. Lazarus, R.S., and Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, Appraisal and Coping. New York: Springer.
[16]. Mbati, L., and Minnaar, A. (2015). “Guidelines towards the facilitation of interactive online learning programmes in higher education”. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning - IRRODL, Vol. 16, No. 2.
[17]. Moore, M.G. (1993). “Theory of transactional distance”. In D. Keegan (Ed.), Theoretical Principles of Distance Education, London, New York: Routledge, pp. 22- 38.
[18]. Perkins, D.N. (1993). “Person-Plus”. In G. Salmon (Ed.), Distributed Cognitions: Psychological and Educational Considerations, New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 88-110.
[19]. Richardson, J.C., Koehler, A.A., Besser, E.D., Caskurlu, S., Lim, J., and Mueller, C.M. (2015). “Conceptualizing and investigating instructor presence in online learning environments”. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning - IRRODL, Vol. 16, No. 3.
[20]. Salyers, V., Carter, L., Carter, A., Myers, S., and Barrett., P. (2014). “The search for meaningful e-learning at Canadian universities: A multi-institutional research study”. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning - IRRODL, Vol. 15, No. 6.
[21]. Toomey, R., and Ketterer, K. (1995). “Using Multimedia as a Cognitive Tool”. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, Vol. 27, No. 4,pp. 470-482.
[22]. Vgotsky, L. (1989). Thought and Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
[23]. Weick, K. (1997). The Social Psychology of Organizing, 2nd Edition. Reading, MA; Edison-Wesley Publishing Co.
[24]. Wolcott, H.F. (2001). Writing up Qualitative Research, 2nd Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
[25]. Zilka, G.C. (2017). “Awareness of ICT capabilities, digital literacy, and use of reflective processes in children who received their first home computer”. Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning. Retrieved from http://www.inderscience.com/info/ingeneral/forth coming.php?jcode=ijtel
[26]. Zilka, G.C. (2016). “Reducing the digital divide among children who received desktop or hybrid computers for the home”. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research. Vol. 15, pp. 233-251. Retrieved from http://www.informingscience.org/ Publications/3519
[27]. Zilka, G.C. (2014). Empowering Educators & Mentors in the Social Media Age – The Three Element Way. Butan- Galim (Hebrew).
[28]. Zilka, G.C. (2012). “Reducing the Digital Gap among Underserved populations in Israel”. Ma'of u-Ma'aseh Teaching and Learning in the Internet Era. Achva Academic College. pp. 101-138, (Hebrew).
[29]. Zilka, G.C. (2011). “Digital environment in the kindergartens”. In D. Chen, & G. Kurtz (Eds.), ICT, Learning and Teaching. The Center for Academic Studies, Or- Yehuda. pp. 207-230, (Hebrew).
[30]. Zilka, G.C. (2010). “Boys and Girls in the digital learning environment”. In A. Gilad, M. Shcter., S. Melat (Eds.), Gender Dialogue in Education, Practice and Theory, Achva Academic College, pp. 33-70, (Hebrew).
Username / Email
Don't have an account?  Sign Up
  • If you would like institutional access to this content, please recommend the title to your librarian.
    Library Recommendation Form
  • If you already have i-manager's user account: Login above and proceed to purchase the article.
  • New Users: Please register, then proceed to purchase the article.

Purchase Instant Access





We strive to bring you the best. Your feedback is of great value to us. Feel free to post your comments and suggestions.