Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Co-Major Professor

Anthony Concepcion, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Committee Member

Rachel Garcia, Ph.D., BCBA-D


student response, online higher education, text and video discussions


Since 2020, over 3 million students have enrolled in a postsecondary distance learning course (National Center for Education Statistics, 2020). One challenge in distant learning is fostering student engagement. Student engagement is a broad construct that refers to increasing contact between three pillars of education. Students, teachers, and course material. Past research has shown increasing engagement leads to improved student performance and instructor evaluations. Unsurprisingly, promoting student engagement is desirable for both students and instructors (Cobb, 2009). Discussion boards allow student engagement between themselves and Instructors while knowledge can still be tested. Few studies have evaluated the modality of student responses (e.g., text, picture, video) and potential effects on student engagement. The present study evaluated the effects of the structure of discussion boards and further assessed student preference for response modalities.