Transformational leadership, communication modalities and e-learner satisfaction
E-learners indicate that they want to have access to the same leadership and guidance that they experience in a classroom; specifically, e-learners want their support to include more interaction and dialogue with their instructor and peers (Cole & Kritzer, 2009). Because of the strong relationship that exists between the transformational leadership style used in a classroom and the engagement and satisfaction of learners (Pounder, 2006), the researcher posits that providing specific interactive social support in online courses will increase e-learners’ emotional satisfaction. To further the improvement of online learning and to increase the satisfaction of e-learners, the researcher’s question was: What impact will the use of interactive social support in the design of online courses have on the sense of community, level of social interaction, and emotional satisfaction of e-students in Trades mathematics? To facilitate transformational leadership in online learning, the researcher designed and implemented introductions/check-ins, video lesson challenges, virtual office and classroom activities, and Facebook, into online lessons at Vancouver Island University, as multimodality communication techniques. A mixed method action research study was conducted to determine if there was a change in the sense of community, level of social interaction and emotional satisfaction for e-learners. Quantitative and qualitative data was compiled and coded. The key themes, that emerged, indicated that a strong relationship does exist between the use of transformational leadership principles to design interactive communication modalities, used in online learning, and the stimulation of an e-learners’ sense of community and level of social interaction.