Access to Communication for Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing and ESL Students in Blended Learning Courses

  • Gary Long National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Karen Vignare Michigan State University
  • Raychel P. Rappold Online Learning, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • James R. Mallory National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology
Keywords: Blended learning, deaf and hard-of-hearing students, online learning, learning community, cooperative learning

Abstract

In an effort to better understand student perceptions of communication in blended (online and traditional) learning courses, a 22 item questionnaire was developed and sent to all students registered for these courses at a large technology-focused college during three quarters of instruction. The respondents were divided into four groups: 1) hearing, 2) deaf, 3) hard-of-hearing (D/HH), and 3) English as a second language (ESL). Their perceptions of communication and the blended learning experience were examined. While the hearing and ESL students were positive about blended learning, the findings indicated that deaf and hard-of-hearing students reported that both the quality and quantity of their interactions with the professor and other students was greatly improved by the inclusion of an online component. ESL and hearing students were also positive about the blended experience; but the greatest benefit to communication access was observed by students with a hearing loss.

Author Biographies

Gary Long, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology
Gary Long PhD is a research psychologist at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology. Gary has over 30 years of experience teaching and conducting research on the teaching/ learning process with deaf and hard-of-hearing students. He has received three national awards in recognition of his research on classroom communication, academic engagement, and concept mapping. He recently was co-investigator with Dr. Susan Foster on two Department of Education grants focused on helping deaf and hard-of-hearing students obtain equal access to information in college classes (www.rit.edu/classact).
Karen Vignare, Michigan State University
Ms. Karen Vignare currently serves as the Director of MSU Global Ventures at Michigan State University. In that role, Karen is responsible for creating online entrepreneurial approaches for extending both non-credit and credit programs at MSU. Before that, she was the Senior Research Analyst for the Online Learning Department at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). She also served in other roles at RIT in the Online Learning department. Before coming to RIT, Karen was a full-time faculty member at SUNY-Alfred State in the marketing, retail, and computer technology fields. She also served as a vice president and political economist for a Wall Street financial firm. She publishes regularly on various topics in online learning. She has an MBA from the University of Rochester’s William Simon School of Business and a BS from Frostburg State University in political science and economics. She is currently attending doctoral classes at Nova Southeastern University.
Raychel P. Rappold, Online Learning, Rochester Institute of Technology
Ms. Raychel P. Rappold graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with her B.Sc. in Science and Technology, with a dual concentration in Social Welfare and Business Management, as well as a minor in Psychology. Ms. Rappold began her career at RIT at the Online Learning Department as the Research Analyst Assistant in 2002. During which she assisted with surveying faculty and students courseware usefulness, performed an online course inventory, surveyed faculty’s use of technology and online strategies, and researched textbook publishers online supplemental options. She then became Online Learning’s Customer Services Liaison, where she worked closely with prospective and current online learning students. In 2005, Ms. Rappold became the Curriculum Resource Supporter for the Online Learning Department at RIT. She is the coordinator of annual and quarterly student surveys, faculty quarterly information, course media production and materials, as well as database management of online learning and online affiliated courses.
James R. Mallory, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology
James R. Mallory PhD is a professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Professor Mallory is a teacher, author and a consultant. Prior to his academic career beginning in 1982, he was a project engineer for Mobil Chemical Company. Since becoming a faculty member at RIT/NTID he as developed, tutored and taught a wide variety of curricula in the areas of computer applications, computer programming, industrial electricity and electronics and the like in traditional, blended and distance learning formats. He earned the Eisenhart Outstanding Teaching award at RIT in 1999 for his teaching and curriculum efforts. He has developed training programs for companies such as Eastman Kodak and Xerox. Professor Mallory currently consults in the Internet industry with a variety of individuals and businesses in the business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) sectors of e-Commerce and i-Commerce.
Published
2007-12-05
How to Cite
Long, G., Vignare, K., Rappold, R. P., & Mallory, J. R. (2007). Access to Communication for Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing and ESL Students in Blended Learning Courses. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 8(3). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v8i3.423
Section
Research Articles