Description: The Online Student Connectedness Survey (OSCS) was introduced to the academic community in 2012 as an instrument designed to measure feelings of connectedness between students participating in online degree and certification programs. The purpose of this study was to examine data from the instrument for initial evidence of validity and reliability and to establish a nomological network between the OSCS and similar instruments utilized in the field. The study utilized sequential exploratory factor analysis- confirmatory factor analysis (EFA-CFA) and correlational analysis to assess results of the data. Students enrolled in online courses at higher education institutions located in the United States served as the sample for this study. Three instruments were used during the study. The OSCS was administered first so that the factor structure could be examined for factor validity. Once confirmed, the Classroom Community Scale (CCS) and the Community of Inquiry Scale (COI) served as the instruments to examine nomological validity through correlational analysis of data.This study provided evidence of factor validity and reliability for data from the OSCS. After the initial EFA-CFA, the four-factor structure held, and 16 of the 25 original items remained for nomological testing. Statistically significant correlations were demonstrated between factors contained in the OSCS, CCS, and COI, providing further evidence of construct validity. These results indicate that for the sample used in this study, the OSCS provides data that are valid and reliable for assessing feelings of connection between participants in online courses at institutions of higher learning.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Zimmerman, Tekeisha