Theories & Models

Empirical research is founded upon the use of theories and models, which provide a sense of context and applicability to the study (Rudestam & Newton, 2007).  In doing so, researchers and stakeholders alike can evaluate results from a common perspective, offering a clearer view of the outcomes and what those outcomes mean for the organization.  This page offers a brief overview of some theories and models that have been shown to be applicable to learner connection within the e-learning environment.

Transactional Distance Theory (Moore, 1989)

Model of Student Retention (Bean, 1979)

Five-factor Model of Personality Traits (McCrae & Costa, 2003)



Bean, J. P. (1979, April). Dropouts and turnover: The synthesis and test of a causal model of student attrition. Paper presented at the meeting of annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA.

McRae, R., & Costa, T. (2003). Personality in adulthood: A Five-Factor Theory perspective (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford.

Moore, M. G. (1989). Three types of interaction. American Journal of Distance Education, 3(2), 1-6.

Rudestam, K. E., & Newton, R. R. (2007). Surviving your dissertation: A comprehensive guide to content and process (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.