Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Paula A. Cordeiro, EdD, Chair; Fred McFarlane, PhD; Eugene J. Rathswohl, PhD


college students, Confucianism cultural factors, higher education, Japanese, perception, qualitative, quantitative, Test of English as a Foreign Language--TOEFL, web-based instructional designers, women


The burst of the Japanese bubble economy in 1992 brought about many reforms in Japanese education. One example of these reforms is the recent introduction of web-based instruction into Japanese classrooms. Since traditional Japanese education has been greatly influenced by elements of Confucianism, many educators are concerned about the integration of web-based instruction with traditional Japanese teaching methods. The purposes of this study were to investigate Japanese female junior college students' attitudes and/or perceptions of learning in a web-based environment, and to measure performance between students in a traditional teacher-centered course with another group of students learning via web-based instruction. This study utilized a mixed-methodology design to investigate the following two research questions: (a) What cultural factors related to Confucianism influence Japanese freshman female college students' perceptions of learning in a web-based environment, and (b) Are there significant differences between pre and posttest mean scores on the Pre-TOEFL Test of those Japanese female college students taking a TOEFL preparation course via web-based instruction, and the mean pre and posttest scores of another group of Japanese female college students taking a similar course in a teacher-centered class? Sixty Japanese female college students aged 18–19 years old participated in the study. The students were randomly assigned by last name into a Treatment group which took a TOEFL course via web-based instruction, and a Control group which studied via a teacher-centered class. For the qualitative section, six students from the Treatment group were interviewed three times each; before, during, and after the treatment. Results indicated a movement away from cultural influences of Confucianism as the treatment progressed. For the quantitative investigation, a Pre-TOEFL test was given to both groups before and after the treatment. Results indicated there were significant differences of the pre and posttest mean scores at the .05 level within each group; however, there was no significant difference in the gain scores between the groups. Incorporating results from both the qualitative and quantitative sections provided implications for instructional designers of web-based courses for Japanese female college students. Because the study was limited to the sample population, results cannot be generalized to the larger Japanese population, therefore, recommendations for further research were listed.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access