Graduation Year


Document Type

Ed. Specalist



Degree Granting Department

Instructional Technology

Major Professor

Frank Breit, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ann Barron, Ed.D.

Committee Member

William Kealy, Ph.D.


Learning Environment, Instructional Design, WebCT, Student Perseverance


The primary goal of this project has been to research and create aesthetic visual environments in distance-learning media through the application of expert criteria and to explore the effects of those environments on student satisfaction and motivation. To accomplish this three instructors with distinct courses were selected to apply aesthetic criteria within the process of analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation. Courses selected were Art Appreciation -- ARTS 1100, Advanced Surveying -- ENGR 2502, and Introduction to Sociology -- SOCI 1101.

The project goal was subdivided into four objectives.

1) Develop criteria for the inclusion of visual aesthetics in the online environment.

2) Design and develop online courses using guidelines for the inclusion of aesthetics.

3) Collect and compare data from students about the level of satisfaction with the aesthetic appearance of the online environment.

4) Explore the effect of an aesthetic environment on student motivation. This project has demonstrated the environments of distance learning courses can be improved through the application of aesthetic principles. The selected criteria were useful to this Instructional Designer and could prove successful in improving the appearance of other online courses.