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ED 6446 Final Project

This is the culmination of my research about student success in online learning communities

tim hasse

on 15 September 2010

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Transcript of ED 6446 Final Project

ED 6446 Final Project TIM E. HASSE STUDENT SUCCESS IN ONLINE LEARNING COMMUNITIES ONLINE LEARNING COMMUNITIES Interactivity Discussion Course Design Learning Styles Authenticity Online Learning Communities Motivation & Engagement Assessment Online Learning Communities Online Learning Communities "An encouraging and exciting finding from this study is that learners can be just as successful in the online environment as they can in the face-to-face environment, regardless of their learning style preferences. Although learning style differences were found between the face-to-face and online students, these differences were not significantly apparent when student success was controlled. However, as is the case for face-to-face instruction, online courses must be developed using adult learning theory and principles as well as sound instructional design guidelines appropriate to the content and level of instruction" (Aragon, S. , Johnson, S., and Shaik, N., 2005, p. 10 ). "Two course design issues that seem to have had a major impact on participation were the participation marks and the deadlines for participation" (Bullen, M. 1998 p.27) . "Learning styles present another important consideration for the study of drop rates. If optimal learning is dependent on learning styles, and these styles vary between online and traditional students, then teachers should consider altering their instructional methods as one means of preventing drops. Diaz (2000a) demonstrated that successful (i.e., course grade of "C" or better) online students were more strongly independent learners than were non-successful (i.e., course grade of "D," "F" or "W") online students, as evidenced by intercorrelation analysis. Successful students' independent styles of learning were significantly, negatively related (p < .01) to their collaborative and dependent learning styles. That is, their preference for independence was not tied to needs for external structure and guidance from their teacher or a need to collaborate with their classmates. This correlation did not exist in the non-successful students. Thus, a significant trait of the successful online student was a strong independent learning style" (Diaz, D.P., 2002, pp. 6). References

Aragon, Steven R., Scott D. Johnson, and Najmuddin Shaik. 2000. The influence of learning style
preferences on student success in online vs. face-toface environments. ERIC ED448745.
Bullen, M. (1998). Participation and critical thinking in online university distance education. Journal
of Distance Education, 13(2), 1-32.
Diaz, D. P. (2002, May/June). Online drop rates revisited. The Technology Source. Retrieved
June, 2003: http://ts.mivu.org/default.asp?show=article&id=981
Gilbert, P. K. and N. Dabbagh. How to structure online discussions for meaningful discourse: A case study.
British Journal of Educational Technology 36(1): 5–18, 2005.
Herrington, J., & Oliver, R. (2000). An instructional design framework for authentic learning
environments. Educational Technology Research and Development, 48(3), 23–48. Retrieved April 24, 2007,
from http://edserver2.uow.edu.au/~janh/Elearn/Site/Authenticdesign_files/ETR&D.pdf.
Herrington, J., Oliver, R. and Reeves, T. C. (2003). Patterns of engagement in authentic online
learning environments. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 19(1), 59-71.
Howell, S. L., Williams, P. B., & Lindsay, N. (2003). Thirty-two Trends Affecting Distance Education:
An Informed Foundation for Strategic Planning. Retrieved October 12, 2003, from
Mandernach, B. J., Forrest, K. D., Babutzke, J. L., & Manker, L. (2009). The role of instructor interactivity in
promoting critical thinking in online and face-to-face classrooms. Journal of Online Learning and T
Teaching, 5(1), 49-62. Retrieved June 9, 2009, from http://jolt.merlot.org/vol5no1/mandernach_0309.pdf
Miltiadou, M. & Savenye, W. C. (2000). Applying social cognitive constructs of motivation to enhance
student success in online distance education. In K. E. Sparks and M. Simonson (Eds.). 22nd
Annual Proceedings of selected research and development paperspresented at the National
Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. Sponsored by
the Research and Theory Division. Long Beach CA.
Picciano, A.G. (2002). Beyond student perceptions: Issues of interaction, presence, and performance in
an online course. Journal of Asynchronous Learning, 6 (1).
Reeves, T. C., Herrington, J., & Oliver, R. (2002). Authentic activities and online learning. Annual Conference
Proceedings of Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia. Perth, Australia.
Retrieved April 24, 2007, from http://www.ecu.edu.au/conferences/herdsa/main/papers/ref/pdf/Reeves.pdf
Schrum, L., & Hong, S. (2002). Dimensions and strategies for online success: voices from experienced
educators. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 6(1), 57–67.
Swan, K. (2002). Building learning communities in online courses: the importance of interaction.
Education, Communication and Information. 2, 23–42.
Vonderwell, S., Liang, X., & Alderman, K. (2007). Asynchronous discussions and assessment in onlinelearning.
Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 39(3), 309-329. "...much of the abstract knowledge taught in schools and universities is not retrievable in real-life, problem-solving contexts, because this approach ignores the interdependence of situation and cognition. When learning and context are separated, knowledge itself is seen by learners as the final product of education rather than a tool to be used dynamically to solve problems" (Herrington, J., and Oliver, R., 2000, p. 1). Critical Characteristics of Situated Learning and Design Framework
1. Provide authentic contexts reflecting the way the knowledge will be used
2. Provide authentic activities
3. Provide access to expert performances and the modelling of processes
4. Provide multiple roles and perspectives
5. Support collaborative construction of knowledge
6. Promote reflection to enable abstractions to be formed
7. Promote articulation to enable tacit knowledge to be made explicit
8. Provide coaching and scaffolding by the teacher at critical times
9. Provide for authentic assessment of learning within the tasks.
(Herrington, J., and Oliver, R., 2000, p. 1). "This observation that many, particularly younger, students have little trouble adapting to the conventions and conduct of web-based scenarios may be a legacy of popular computer and strategy games that have successfully incorporated complex and sustained scenarios in their design...There is quite clear evidence that very large numbers of the students become deeply engaged. The evidence is overwhelming that the students mostly become very seriously committed to this scenario and they do find it deeply engaging" (Herrington, J., Oliver, R., and Reeves, C., 2003, p.6). "A pedagogical shift is likewise occurring within distance education, moving from a transmission model to constructivist, sociocultural and metacognitive models. These models use computer-mediated communication and emphasize students’ responsibility for their own learning" (Howell, S. L., Williams, P. B., & Lindsay, N., 2003, p. 7). "The increase in Internet usage includes competence as well as sheer numbers. By 2005, computer competence will approach 100% in U.S. urban areas.. The networked world is dominating the economy, increasing the power of the individual, and
changing business models—no one can afford to be without computer competence. Accordingly, universities are beginning to list the fluent use of technology as an outcome skill, encourage students to take online courses, and even requiring students to take at least one online course before they graduate" (Howell, S. L., Williams, P. B., & Lindsay, N., 2003, p. 10). "The key to promoting students’ critical thinking seems to lie with instructor interactivity; how the instructor facilitates and encourages the discussion is more important than the delivery style or discussion mode. These results suggest that enhanced critical thinking cannot be attributed to the simple process of discussion (synchronous or asynchronous); rather the type of discussion and the instructor’s level of interactivity within the discussion is central to the discussion’s effectiveness" (Mandernach, B. J., Forrest, K. D., Babutzke, J. L., & Manker, L., 2009, p. 54). "The six motivational constructs are (a) self-efficacy, (b) locus of control, (c) attributions, (d) goal orientation, (e) intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation, and (f) self-regulation" (Miltiadou, M., & Savenye, W. C., 2000, p. 1). "The major idea behind the value component of motivation is that task value encourages student interest in the task, which in turn fosters a deep approach to learning. How students value a task depends upon how meaningful, important, or interesting it appears to them. Therefore, how students view a task creates a value that affects motivation and engagement in that task" (Miltiadou, M., & Savenye, W. C., 2000, p. 16). "In the study, we divided an online class into three groups (high interaction, moderate interaction, and low interaction). We discovered that while the high interaction students achieved the highest performance, the low interaction group performed higher than did the moderate interaction group. Most faculty have probably observed similar situations in many classes. While much of the research relates student satisfaction and performance to the active participation in online course activities, faculty teaching these courses face a small dilemma in establishing requirements for interacting online because some students may not need to participate actively in the course to do well on a test or some other performance measure" (Picciano, A.G. , 2002, pp. 23-24). "These results indicated that there is a strong, positive relationship between student perceptions of their interaction in the course and their perceptions of the quality and quantity of their learning" (Picciano, A.G., 2002, p. 28). “Individuals must be able to recognize their own abilities and styles, in order to ask or modify the learning necessary for online environments. This means that a learner who needs to hear classmates discuss difficult theories will need to compensate for this in other ways. It may mean having chat sessions online, or even telephone conference calls. Students can take advantage of visual learning opportunities as well as multiple ways of presenting the content with an online class” (Schrum, L., & Hong, S., 2002, p. 61). Tips for Online Course Design from Experienced Educators

•Encourage students to post a short autobiography at the beginning of the course so make them feel they know each other. Ideally, an initial face-to-face meeting or even some informal gatherings during the course establish a sense of community and thus facilitate an active participation.
•Interact with students on a one-to-one and regular basis, especially for those who fall behind. If needed, give support over the phone as well as a site visit.
•Have students work collaboratively on their assignments. Further, encourage students to share their individual work with other students and benefit from feedback.
•Establish minimum levels of participation in a discussion and thus promote ongoing contributions to reciprocal knowledge building.
•Provide readings that are up to date and interesting but at the same time challenging.
•Create some places in an online environment where students can ask each other for help and also create an open forum where students can ask questions directly to a teacher.
•Be flexible in terms of course topics and procedures, and allow these topics to be predominantly generated by students. Even allow students to set up their individual learning goals and negotiate with them.
•Design an online environment using a technologically minimalist approach, reducing technological requirements and potential difficulties (Schrum, L., & Hong, S., 2002, p. 65).
“Researchers concerned with computer-based education have identified three kinds of interactivity that support learning in online courses: interaction with content, the ability of learners to access, manipulate, synthesize, and communicate content information; interaction with instructors, the ability of learners to communicate with and receive feedback from their instructors; and interaction with classmates, the ability of learners to communicate with each other around content to create an active learning community” (Swan, K., 2002, p. 2). “Many researchers note that students perceive online discussion as more equitable and more democratic than traditional classroom discussions. Asynchronous discussion affords participants the opportunity to reflect on their classmates’ contributions while creating their own, and on their own writing before posting them. This tends to create a certain mindfulness among students and a culture of reflection in an online course” (Swan, K., 2002, p. 2). Teachers have three roles – cognitive, affective, and managerial. They found that online the cognitive role shifts to one of deeper complexity, the affective role requires faculty to find new tools to express emotion, and the managerial role requires greater attention to detail, more structure, and additional student monitoring” (Swan, K., 2002, p. 3). “An online learning environment enables assessment to contribute to learning—through its potential to support collaborative learning, and through facilitating high quality feedback between teachers and students” (Vonderwell, S., Liang, X., & Alderman, K., 2007, p. 2). “Meaningful discourse is one of the main goals of constructivist learning because it supports knowledge construction through articulation, reflection, and social negotiation. In web-based or online learning environments, articulation, reflection, and social negotiation can be promoted through asynchronous online discussions” (Gilbert, P. K., and Dabbagh, N., 2005, p. 5) 10 Charactersistics of Authentic Activities

1. Authentic activities have real-world relevance
2. Authentic activities are ill-defined, requiring students to define the tasks and sub-tasks needed to complete the activity.
3. Authentic activities comprise complex tasks to be investigated by students over a sustained period of time.
4. Authentic activities provide the opportunity for students to examine the task from different perspectives, using a variety of resources.
5. Authentic activities provide the opportunity to collaborate.
6. Authentic activities provide the opportunity to reflect.
7. Authentic activities can be integrated and applied across different subject areas and lead beyond domain-specific outcomes.
8. Authentic activities are seamlessly integrated with assessment.
9. Authentic activities create polished products valuable in their own right rather than as preparation for something else.
10. Authentic activities allow competing solutions and diversity of outcome. (Reeves, T. C., Herrington, J., & Oliver, R. , 2002, pp. 4-5) I had to delete the two videos to get my voice to work during the presentation so please do not look for them (disregard my last two comments in the voice over) . Thanks for everything everybody!
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