Staying Connected: MPA Student Perceptions of Transactional Presence

Author/Creator ORCID





Citation of Original Publication

Naylor, L., Wilson, L.A. (2009). Rethinking Connection: MPA Student Perceptions of Transactional Presence. Journal of Public Affairs Education NASPAA, 22(1), 317-331.



Online education has increased exponentially in the past five years and is now considered part of mainstream higher education. It has significantly changed bricks and mortar institutions, but has the change been effective? One of the most common concerns regarding online education is the physical separation between teachers and students (Robertson, Grant, & Jackson, 2005; Moore, 1997). In order to bridge the physical distance of online education, Shin (2003, 2002) argues that universities should enhance transactional presence. However, little is known about transactional presence and online public administration courses. This study examines Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) student perceptions of transactional presence with two groups: faculty and peers. Findings support previous research of no significant difference between teaching mediums in regards to student perceptions. Contrary to previous studies, neither ethnicitynor gender appear to play a prominent role in whether students are satisfied with the contact they have with peers or with faculty.