The impact of altered realties: implications of online delivery for learners' interactions, expectations, and learning skills.
Although research consistently demonstrates that students learn content in online classes as well as their campus based counterparts and are equally satisfied with the quality of their learning, more information is needed that describes how the learning experiences themselves may vary. A traditional group of students was compared with an online group taking the same graduate class in research methods using the same materials and with the same instructor. Data representing learning outcomes, attitudes toward coursework coursework
work done by a student and assessed as part of an educational course
Noun 1. coursework - work assigned to and done by a student during a course of study; usually it is evaluated as part of the student's , and beliefs about the nature of their experiences were gathered and compared. Both groups scored equally on the pre and postquantitative measures of learning outcomes and satisfaction, but described decidedly different learning experiences. They valued different kinds of interactions, held different expectations for the courses, and described development of contrasting learning skills and strategies that led toward success in the course. Online learning was revealed as a distinctly different experience than face-to-face (jargon, chat) face-to-face - (F2F, IRL) Used to describe personal interaction in real life as opposed to via some digital or electronic communications medium. learning, offering insight into better understanding the nature of the experience of online learning and suggesting that online course designers focus their attention on particular elements that support the unique experiences of student who select this delivery mode.
The proliferation proliferation /pro·lif·er·a·tion/ (pro-lif?er-a´shun) the reproduction or multiplication of similar forms, especially of cells.prolif´erativeprolif´erous
n. of higher education higher education
Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art. distance learning in the last decade has provided access for an underserved group of individuals (Bickle & Carrol Car´rol
n. 1. (Arch.) See 4th Carol. , 2003; Granger & Bowman, 2003; King, 2002; Leasure, Davis, & Thievon, 2000) in part because of the flexibility it affords learners (Billings, Connors Con·nors , James Scott Known as "Jimmy." Born 1952.
American tennis player who twice won both the U.S. and Wimbledon men's singles titles (1974 and 1982) and also won the U.S. title in 1976, 1978, and 1983.
Noun 1. , & Skiba, 2001). Online delivery, in particular, can be a solution for a variety of issues and problems such as time availability, distance, and restricted course offering in traditional settings (Perreault, Walman, & Zhao Zhao can mean:
French physiologist noted for his study of the digestive and nervous systems. et al., 2004).
The online environment drastically dras·tic
1. Severe or radical in nature; extreme: the drastic measure of amputating the entire leg; drastic social change brought about by the French Revolution.
2. alters the structural elements Structural elements are used in structural analysis to simplify the structure which is to be analysed.
Structural elements can be linear, surfaces or volumes.
A trademark used for a concrete-filled steel cylinder utilized as a supporting member in a building.
Noun 1. lally - support column consisting of a steel cylinder filled with concrete
lally column & Barrett Barrett (sometimes spelled Barret or Barratt) is a surname that has been associated with several different people, places and organisations:
Barrett is a popular surname in south and west Ireland. , 1999). This view holds that the online delivery medium dictates the course's structural elements (e.g., the way the course is organized), the kinds of interactions among members of the learning community, the learners' expectations for the course, and the modes they use to facilitate learning.
More than the technologies of distance learning, however, may drive this distancing from previous educational expectations held by learners. Chappell The word Chappell may refer to:
Knowledge or understanding of one's own nature, abilities, and limitations; insight into oneself.
Noun 1. self-knowledge - an understanding of yourself and your goals and abilities , self-control self-control
Control of one's emotions, desires, or actions by one's own will. , self-care self-care
The care of oneself without medical, professional, or other assistance or oversight. , and self-creation used to promote change. Implicit in Adj. 1. implicit in - in the nature of something though not readily apparent; "shortcomings inherent in our approach"; "an underlying meaning"
underlying, inherent this position is the notion that adult learners Adult learner is a term used to describe any person socially accepted as an adult who is in a learning process, whether it is formal education, informal learning, or corporate-sponsored learning. are likely to prefer learning environments, online or traditional, that they perceive will assist them with their personal identity development and provide a good fit with and/or and/or
Used to indicate that either or both of the items connected by it are involved.
Usage Note: And/or is widely used in legal and business writing. development of their self-technologies such as ways of managing time.
Elements of Online Learning
Structure. Effective online teaching is not simply a matter of adapting the structure and attendant ATTENDANT. One who owes a duty or service to another, or in some sort depends upon him. Termes de la Ley, h.t. As to attendant terms, see Powell on Morts. Index, tit. Attendant term; Park on Dower, c. 1 7. modes of interaction of the traditional classroom environment to this online environment. Cognitive expectations, pedagogical ped·a·gog·ic also ped·a·gog·i·cal
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of pedagogy.
2. Characterized by pedantic formality: a haughty, pedagogic manner. choices, and supportive practices need to be carefully reconsidered, with recognition of the complexity of the issues (Peters, 2003). The medium of online delivery itself has the potential to alter learning experiences in important, and sometimes unforeseen, ways; therefore online teaching requires "different sets of technical and pedagogical competencies to engage in superior teaching practices" (Bernard, et al., 2004, p. 409). Structure includes good organization, clear procedures and expectations, clear timelines This article or section contains self-references.
For other uses of "Timeline", see Timeline (disambiguation).
The following is an index of timelines found on Wikipedia. , understandable texts, helpful supplementary materials, and quickly accessible technical support (Paloff & Pratt 2001).
Modes of interaction. The modes of interaction experienced by learners through the medium of online learning is dramatically different from those experienced through traditional settings. More so than with the traditional setting, meaningful modes of interaction or dialog in an online setting become an actual learning tool as well as a connection to the learning community (Bernard, et al, 2004; King, 2001; Lally & Barrett. 1999; Moore Moore, city (1990 pop. 40,761), Cleveland co., central Okla., a suburb of Oklahoma City; inc. 1887. Its manufactures include lightning- and surge-protection equipment, packaging for foods, and auto parts. & Thompson Thompson, city, Canada
Thompson, city (1991 pop. 14,977), central Man., Canada, on the Burntwood River. A mining town, it developed after large nickel deposits were discovered in the area in 1956. , 1997; Paloff & Pratt, 2001). Interactions are largely, if not exclusively, text based Also called "character based," it refers to handling text and not graphics. Simple charts and illustrations may be drawn, but they are limited to a set of special characters that are strung together to make up lines and shades (see OEM font). . Chat rooms and discussions boards are the primary vehicles for learner to learner and learner to teacher interactions.
Interactions may be synchronous Refers to events that are synchronized, or coordinated, in time. For example, the interval between transmitting A and B is the same as between B and C, and completing the current operation before the next one is started are considered synchronous operations. Contrast with asynchronous. or asynchronous Refers to events that are not synchronized, or coordinated, in time. The following are considered asynchronous operations. The interval between transmitting A and B is not the same as between B and C. The ability to initiate a transmission at either end. , extending the learning experience. These kinds of interaction with their altered forms of engagement may increase the depth of learning because they offer more time to think and process information and ideas (Lally & Barnett Barnett as a personal name can refer to:
On the other hand, distance learning has the potential to be an isolating i·so·late
tr.v. i·so·lat·ed, i·so·lat·ing, i·so·lates
1. To set apart or cut off from others.
2. To place in quarantine.
3. experience (Whipp & Schweizer, 2000), as this mode makes it far more difficult to address the basic human need of connecting to others (Ryan Ryan may refer to: Places
Art of choosing which instruments to use for a given piece of music. The sections of the orchestra historically were separate ensembles: the stringed instruments for indoors, the woodwind instruments for outdoors, the horns for hunting, and trumpets and drums of this interactive dimension.
Learning Outcomes and Online Learning
Most studies indicate there are no significant differences in achievement when traditional and online learning are compared (Allen Al·len , Edgar 1892-1943.
American anatomist who is noted for his studies of hormones and for the discovery (1923) of estrogen. , Bourhis, Burrell Bur·rell , Kenneth Earl Known as "Kenny." Born 1931.
American jazz guitarist. Noted for his conservative, melodic style of bop, his best-known recording is "Midnight Blue"(1963). , & Mabry, 2002; Lockyer Lock·yer , Sir Joseph Norman 1836-1920.
British astronomer who founded and was the first editor (1869-1919) of Nature magazine. , Patterson Patterson, family of American journalists.
Robert Wilson Patterson, 1850–1910, b. Chicago, grad. Williams, 1871, became (1871) a reporter on the Chicago Times and after 1873 was attached to the Chicago Tribune. , & Harper, 2001; Navarro Navarro may refer to: Places
tr.v. con·found·ed, con·found·ing, con·founds
1. To cause to become confused or perplexed. See Synonyms at puzzle.
2. and distort comparisons on measures of achievement; the actual characteristics and effects of the learning may be very different (Smith & Dillon, 1999, p. 19).
Attitudes, Beliefs, and Barriers related to Online Learning
Attitudes. Learners' positive attitudes toward online learning (Lim & Karol, 2002; Lockyer et al., 2001; Lundberg, 2000) have been linked to course success (Sherry sherry [from Jérez], naturally dry fortified wine, pale amber to brown in tint. The term sherry originally referred to wines made from grapes grown in the region of Jérez de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain; today it may refer to any of the , Fulford, & Zhang, 1998). Performance-based orientation, group work, collaborative strategies, clear instructor presence, opportunities for reflection, clear directions, an emphasis on ideas rather than facts, and equal opportunities to participate seem to be important for positive course perceptions (Moore, 2002; Sherry et al.). These findings may be confounded by two characteristics of existing studies. First, the variability in groups also applied to learners' reports of satisfaction levels and the fact that the most dissatisfied dis·sat·is·fied
Feeling or exhibiting a lack of contentment or satisfaction.
dis·satis·fied learners dropped the classes and were not included in post-course surveys (Bernard et al., 2004). Second, there are indications that those who took online courses held qualitatively different initial expectations for their online learning than they did for their traditional learning experiences (Cooper, 2001).
Beliefs. Higher education students who choose online learning have cited advantages of convenience, time flexibility, avoiding the commute TO COMMUTE. To substitute one punishment in the place of another. For example, if a man be sentenced to be hung, the executive may, in some states, commute his punishment to that of imprisonment. to campus to "sit through" a class, and opportunities to be independent learners (Bickle & Carroll Car·roll , James 1854-1907.
British-born American physician noted for his research on yellow fever. In 1900 he deliberately infected himself with the disease for experimental purposes. , 2003; Billings et al., 2001; Cooper, 2001; Navarro & Shoemaker, 2000). Online learners described themselves as self-directed (Garrison, 2003; Leasure et al., 2000); they preferred to choose when and how to work, to be personally responsible for their learning, and to determine for themselves how much time they needed to spend on each task to be successful (Cooper, 2001). They perceived themselves as independent learners who believed in an internal locus of control locus of control
A theoretical construct designed to assess a person's perceived control over his or her own behavior. The classification internal locus indicates that the person feels in control of events; external locus and in the efficacy of effort (Navarro & Shoemaker, 2000). Online students who lacked these qualities were inclined to switch to the traditional delivery mode (Leasure et al.). Success in online courses, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. these learners, was enhanced when they believed that program offerings were congruent con·gru·ent
1. Corresponding; congruous.
a. Coinciding exactly when superimposed: congruent triangles.
b. with their own goals, when they were highly motivated mo·ti·vate
tr.v. mo·ti·vat·ed, mo·ti·vat·ing, mo·ti·vates
To provide with an incentive; move to action; impel.
mo and degree seeking, or when they were personally engaged in the excitement of learning new content (Lindner, Dooley, & Murphy, 2001).
Barriers. Four types of barriers may block learners' success and persistence (1) In a CRT, the time a phosphor dot remains illuminated after being energized. Long-persistence phosphors reduce flicker, but generate ghost-like images that linger on screen for a fraction of a second. in online learning. These barriers are described as (a) situational barriers, including the individual's learning setting and any responsibilities and obligations outside the course; (b) institutional barriers, including the procedures for access and use as determined by the offering institution; (c) dispositional barriers, including personal background variables, perceptions, attitudes, and self-regulation skills; and (d) epistemological e·pis·te·mol·o·gy
The branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity.
[Greek epist barriers, including learner beliefs about the efficacy of the online learning process (Muilenburg & Berge, 2001). For some learners, the lack of face-to-face communications with teachers and peers resulted in a sense of isolation and lack of connectedness that they found detrimental det·ri·men·tal
Causing damage or harm; injurious.
detri·men to their learning (Bernard et al., 2004; Billings et al., 2001). Even those who expressed satisfaction with their online learning experiences were vulnerable to the potential negative effects of isolation inherent in distance learning (Lally & Barrett, 1999).
Statement of the Problem
Benefits of convenience and independence in course work are apparent and highly valued by online learners; however, it is less certain that, when contrasted with face-to-face campus delivery, learners acquire the same content as deeply as their counterparts do. In spite of in opposition to all efforts of; in defiance or contempt of; notwithstanding.
See also: Spite learners' consistently positive reports of learning and satisfaction in online courses (Moore, 2002), there is, overall, a lack of research that demonstrates the viability of online learning as a substitute for traditional learning modes (Billings et al., 2001). The nationally low completion rate among those who take an entirely online course, which has been estimated as low as 50%, gives reason to reconsider re·con·sid·er
v. re·con·sid·ered, re·con·sid·er·ing, re·con·sid·ers
1. To consider again, especially with intent to alter or modify a previous decision.
2. the overall positive picture of this mode of delivery (Carr CARR Carrier
CARR Customer Acceptance Readiness Review
CARR Carrollton Railroad
CARR Corrective Action Request and Report
CARR City Area Rural Rides (Texas)
CARR Configuration Audit Readiness Review
CARR Customer Acceptance Requirements Review , 2000; Chyung, 2001; Lim, 2001; King, 2002; Navarro & Shoemaker, 2000). Since as many as one third of all learners who were successful in an online course still thought they would have learned more in a traditional setting (Cooper, 2001; Reisetter & Boris, 2004), perhaps learners perceive an inherent quality difference in the two modes of delivery. It is this quality issue that institutions and teachers need to better understand in order to improve the online delivery method that has become so influential and pervasive pervasive,
adj indicates that a condition permeates the entire development of the individual. . The existing assessments of learning, satisfaction, and course efficacy need to be evaluated with some caution until we better understand the important learning processes and outcomes beyond mastery of content as perceived by the learners themselves (Bernard et al., 2004; Billings et al.).
Given that this environment is fundamentally different (Peters, 2003), learners' perceptions of the particular course components that are most effective in delivery of online courses are critical, as is an understanding of why and how these components work and how they could be improved. The question is clearly more complicated than learning outcomes and satisfaction; the very nature of the experience needs further investigation if we are to design courses that meet learner needs, including depth of learning, attitudes toward the experience, perceptions of the process, and beliefs about personal competence as online learners.
Three broad research questions framed our study. First, how did students in the online and traditional classes compare in their learning outcomes and attitudes toward their respective learning experiences? Second, how did the respective groups perceive themselves as competent learners? Finally, how did individuals in each group describe the essential aspects of the course that contributed most to their learning?
Our study focused on contrasting experiences of graduate learners in an introductory course in research methods. The strength of a local study, conducted in the context of a particular program, holds potential for revealing a clearer picture of the nature of online learning experiences by decreasing variability and thus focusing on specific characteristics of a delivery mode (Bernard et al., 2004). The first author taught both modes of delivery, which were offered during a summer session and subsequent semesters. Learners used the same text and supplementary materials, and completed identical assignments and requirements. We chose mixed methods to address our research questions because this approach afforded us opportunities to use two different kinds of data to address questions of interest. It allowed us to benefit from the strengths of both paradigms (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004). Quantitative data were used to compare participants' learning outcomes and attitudes to determine whether the results paralleled the no difference findings of the majority of studies in the literature (Russell, 1999). Although our quantitative comparison would form the basis of the study, our primary purpose was to better understand the experiences of these two groups of learners. This question was addressed with phenomenological qualitative methods, which allowed us to gather insights into the experiences of the respective groups and interpret essential differences and commonalities of their learning experiences (Creswell, 1998).
All class members of two online and two traditional sections of the instructor's classes were invited to participate in this study at two levels and were offered a minimal number of extra credit points for participation. Demographic data collected on the participants showed them to be similar (see Appendix A). Those students who took the course online did so primarily because of accessibility rather than because they necessarily preferred this mode of learning. Because of distance, online learning was their only option. The study was structured so that that Level One included the quantitative measures and Level Two included interviews; participants were required to complete Level 1 to participate in Level 2. Thirty-eight members of the traditional classes and 27 members of the online classes completed Level One of the study. Fewer participants--21 traditional and 19 online--chose to also complete Level 2 interviews, which were individual face-to-face, individual online, or face-to-face focus group interviews of no more than five participants. Those who chose not to participate in Level 2 listed time and availability constraints CONSTRAINTS - A language for solving constraints using value inference.
["CONSTRAINTS: A Language for Expressing Almost-Hierarchical Descriptions", G.J. Sussman et al, Artif Intell 14(1):1-39 (Aug 1980)]. as influencing this decision.
Data and Measures
The achievement outcome measure was an objective assessment aimed at mastery of course content, and was extracted from items in the teacher's test bank that accompanied the text. Questions were chosen that matched the instructor's learning goals for both groups of students. The attitude instrument, which measured course expectations, students' beliefs about their learning, their value for, and enjoyment of, the course content, and their beliefs about themselves as learners, was created based on online learning satisfaction literature. (see Appendix B for sample items). Pre and post measures of both constructs were administered to all volunteers. Differences in the means were calculated on the learning and attitude measures to determine levels of achievement and perceptions.
To extend the quantitative data, interviews were conducted with volunteer participants by the second author, who had no part in instruction for either class. The interview protocol (see Appendix C) aimed at understanding the contrasting experiences rather than further verifying ver·i·fy
tr.v. ver·i·fied, ver·i·fy·ing, ver·i·fies
1. To prove the truth of by presentation of evidence or testimony; substantiate.
2. learning. Interviews were taped and transcribed, using pseudonyms This article gives a list of pseudonyms, in various categories. Pseudonyms are similar to, but distinct from, secret identities. Artists, sculptors, architects
tr.v. ver·i·fied, ver·i·fy·ing, ver·i·fies
1. To prove the truth of by presentation of evidence or testimony; substantiate.
2. them for accuracy and completeness. The lead researchers using constant comparative methods that characterize phenomenological studies (Creswell, 1998; Moustakas, 1994) independently analyzed an·a·lyze
tr.v. an·a·lyzed, an·a·lyz·ing, an·a·lyz·es
1. To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.
2. Chemistry To make a chemical analysis of.
3. the transcripts, extracting important themes that described the essence of the experiences of these two groups. These interviews revealed more information about the nature of the experience and the qualities that support successful online learning in particular.
In keeping with the transparency (1) The quality of being able to see through a material. The terms transparency and translucency are often used synonymously; however, transparent would technically mean "seeing through clear glass," while translucent would mean "seeing through frosted glass." See alpha blending. required of qualitative researchers, information is included in Appendix D to identify authors' perspectives that may influence qualitative data analysis, which was completed by the first two researchers, and to support the readers' understanding of the experiences provided to the class participants.
Outcome data indicated that both the online and traditional groups made significant learning gains in terms of mastery of the course content. There were no between-group differences in their pretest pre·test
a. A preliminary test administered to determine a student's baseline knowledge or preparedness for an educational experience or course of study.
b. A test taken for practice.
2. or posttest post·test
A test given after a lesson or a period of instruction to determine what the students have learned. scores on outcome measures, as indicated in Table 1.
There were no significant differences on the pretest or the posttest scores on attitude measures of anxiety, confidence, and attitude between the two groups, as indicated by Table 2.
Although our group was small, our measures of learning outcomes and satisfaction were consistent with the preponderance pre·pon·der·ance also pre·pon·der·an·cy
Superiority in weight, force, importance, or influence.
Noun 1. preponderance of the literature (Bernard et al., 2004; Russell, 1999). Since we were reasonably assured that learners had equally strong learning experiences and positive responses to their respective delivery systems, we used the information provided by the interviews to gain a deeper and more complex understanding.
There were important differences in perceptions of the nature of the learning experiences, and it was clear that the context itself played a major role in defining these differences. Traditional learners attributed their successful learning to specific classroom variables such as the teacher or the classroom structure. They emphasized the focus and organization provided by the teacher and the classroom setting as key elements to their success. This group repeatedly emphasized the importance of personal interaction, with both their teacher and their peers. For example, "I like the whole experience of being in the classroom setting with the interaction that you can have. I had the professor right there to explain it to me or else other student interaction that helps make it more clear for me also." They also felt that the classroom provided them with multi-sensory learning, especially for audiovisual See A/V. modalities Modalities
The factors and circumstances that cause a patient's symptoms to improve or worsen, including weather, time of day, effects of food, and similar factors. . These respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy. perceived "accessibility" as "immediacy im·me·di·a·cy
n. pl. im·me·di·a·cies
1. The condition or quality of being immediate.
2. Lack of an intervening or mediating agency; directness: the immediacy of live television coverage. " of access to the instructor and to their peers.
Online learners attributed their successful mastery of the course content to the structure of the website itself in addition to feedback from, and access to, the instructor. They, however, identified self-regulation and self-discipline as the key factors to their success. They recognized that the lack of face-to-face interaction presented unique challenges and responsibilities, as this online learner described: "No one in the class is going to tell you what they're doing, and the teacher isn't really going to explain this to you when you go to class this week. You've got to figure it out yourself." Access to the teacher as the "expert" and her feedback was also highly rated. Online learners perceived "accessibility" as "convenience" of time and distance.
The overall contrasts defined by context also led to identification of particular core ideas, including contrasts in Structural Elements, Interaction, and Learning Preferences.
Learners' descriptions of important structural elements included organization, support, and responsibility, all of which contrasted depending on the mode of delivery.
Organization. Traditional learners related organization to the physicality of the classroom, the activities of the class (discussions, lectures, small group activities, handouts, attendance, etc.), and the presence of others in the classroom setting. As one traditional learner said "... the best was putting it into action in classroom discussion because if I had questions I could write in the margin. Then if she didn't address it, then we could ask right then. Or a lot of times my questions would be answered by someone else's questions."
Online learners perceived organization as the ease and accessibility of the website itself. They even identified some advantages of not being in the classroom: "As a teacher [myself], I did miss the discussion and the interaction but I also felt I got things done in a more deliberate and timely manner. Sometimes all those class discussions get too carried away and I find myself distracted dis·tract·ed
1. Having the attention diverted.
2. Suffering conflicting emotions; distraught.
dis·tract from the material." Although both groups completed the same assignments and activities, these seemed particularly important as vehicles for online learners. They identified critical elements that provided the necessary organization for learning including an accessible textbook textbook Informatics A treatise on a particular subject. See Bible. , online chats with the teacher, introductory remarks prefacing each unit, and specific assignments, most notably writing reflective Refers to light hitting an opaque surface such as a printed page or mirror and bouncing back. See reflective media and reflective LCD. essays.
Online learners valued the resources provided for structured interaction with the course content: "The chat room helped because the instructor gave us a specific question that would relate to the reading material, and then you had to be able to explain it and discuss it with our partners." Online learners also appreciated the coherence coherence, constant phase difference in two or more Waves over time. Two waves are said to be in phase if their crests and troughs meet at the same place at the same time, and the waves are out of phase if the crests of one meet the troughs of another. and availability of resources: "You had it all there. It wasn't like you had to go to a different website. It was all there."
Support. Traditional learners perceived both their teacher and their classmates Classmates can refer to either:
I would write a list of all the words that I didn't know that were the terminology but they didn't mean anything to me until I came to class and heard her use them and people asking questions and like made a picture out of things and worked with the material and so, coming to class in this setting was vital to my learning of this material.
Teacher "availability" was supplemented by learner interaction in the traditional classroom setting. Learner-to-learner interactions were frequently mentioned as beneficial to the process.
Online learners did not identify these same sources of support. They accepted the lack of instructor and peer presence as the nature of online learning. One learner summarized it this way: "That's the way an online class goes." However, online participants valued alternative sources of support. The expert voice of the online teacher was especially powerful for some online learners because it led to clearly focused content that could be lacking in a traditional setting. "I would rather be with an expert teacher ... Sometimes (in the traditional class) the expert is kind of in the background. I really want that expert opinion ... I want them to share with me their current knowledge. Because it is really valuable," one online learner said.
Online learners also emphasized the value of readable read·a·ble
1. Easily read; legible: a readable typeface.
2. Pleasurable or interesting to read: a readable story. resources, including teacher-created materials and well-chosen textbooks. Occasionally, online learners commented on the alternative support provided by interactions with peers. One online learner's experiences with online chats contributed to a sense of a connectedness: "I felt like a part of a learning community because of the chats with my partner and some various other classmates who happened to be online when we were chatting."
Responsibilities. Responses indicated that discipline and self-regulation were important, but were defined differently by the two groups. The traditional group as a whole expressed the need for external regulation of their learning, motivation, concentration, and accountability. The very existence of the class supported learning for one traditional learner: "It kept me focused. I wasn't distracted. If I would have done that online class I know I would have been probably at home and [doing other things]." The classroom context was a signal to engage academically: "The whole idea of coming to a classroom ... I am better able to concentrate. There are fewer distractions ..." In addition, peers provided an important context for some traditional learners as they felt responsible to the learning community: "I think that even if you don't Even If You Don't is a single released by the band Ween in 2000 on Mushroom Records. Formats
Enhanced CD single
Includes the quicktime video of "Even If You Don't" directed by Matt Stone & Trey Parker of "South Park". feel the responsibility to yourself or to your professor for the learning, you might feel it towards your peers, in that if you don't do your part that lets them down also."
Online learners defined their responsibilities differently. They acknowledged the self-discipline requirements of their online course and recognized their inherent advantages. They described themselves as more focused and prepared and valued their self-reliance. Independent effort was important to these online learners because they realized that they couldn't rely on others to supply the learning: "It probably made me study harder because I was in charge of my own responses to things." These responsibilities also contributed to the development of life-long learning skills: "I've learned to be more organized and know that this has to be done by this date and this has to be done by this date."
Online learners recognized that the online learning environment required a different set of learning skills from them: "When you first jump in it's a whole different style of learning." They frequently described the strategies used to function in this new context.
I set aside specific times to study and write and worked that into my current work schedule. I did not let anything around me distract me from studying. I need a very quiet place to study and I "demanded" that of myself and my environment ... I understand that something needs to replace the face-to-face discussions and the interactions in a standard classroom. I have also talked to many learners who have told me they had a very hard time with online classes because they could not keep up. So I also knew I would need to be very disciplined.
Peer interaction. Traditional learners valued "seeing" others and appreciated the immediacy of their teacher and peers. These traditional learners perceived working with others in groups as an important factor in their success, including the informal interactions outside of instructional time: "I think the small talk before and after class and on breaks was real beneficial to me to get other people's feelings or thoughts or feedback on how they are feeling about the course, not necessarily the content but just to know that you are on the same track." Other participants stated that both formal and informal peer interaction provided the necessary structure, support, and stimulation. They appreciated the dynamics of classroom discussions: "I love conversations. I love questions. So that's what it was like. I just really felt that people were giving input and there was certainly time allowed for that." Another traditional learner identified the importance of "bouncing other ideas off of people verbally." This interactive dynamic used students' varied backgrounds and expertise as a source of support for growth and learning. One described some classmates who "had a lot of education in research. So it was nice if you could sneak into one of those groups and talk to some of them ..."
Traditional learners also perceived that contrasting perspectives and responses indicated to the learning process: "Now, maybe I came out with one interpretation of what was said in that chapter and someone else came with another interpretation of the same materials ... being able to discuss that with your peers." The physical arrangement of the room and the subsequent interactive nature of the class were vital to these traditional learners: "We were working in kind of a semi-circle ... so that we could see who was talking, we could look at them, and interact with the class ..."
Online participants acknowledged that peer interaction was not as readily available in their course, and many of them saw this as a weakness in the online format. "... you didn't really have anyone in the classroom to talk to ... I learn a lot from my peers. Even though I loved the convenience of not having to drive to class, I really did miss all the input and the learning that you get from your peers in a classroom." However, other participants felt that certain aspects of online learning provided an alternative to fill this gap. "Having a chat partner made it easier to discuss material and get another perspective on things. We didn't get to know all the other learners that well, but [we were in contact with] at least one." Some learners went above and beyond classroom expectations and requirements for their peer interactions. "We talked on the phone, we talked on e-mail, we kept in touch, and we still are in touch even after the class is over."
Interaction with the teacher. Both groups emphasized the importance of learner-teacher interaction, although it took different forms and included different expectations depending on the class format. Traditional learners again referred to the visibility and accessibility of the instructor: "She's friendly. She smiles. And she knew our names." Traditional learners described this interaction as both personal and instructional in nature.
I think the face-to-face interaction with [the instructor] was really helpful because you know she would go through with overheads and examples and just getting her in conversation and giving more examples of how everything applied and it was really valuable ... so much of it really for me made sense when I heard her restate the concepts and when I talked through it with somebody else.
Online learners concurred with the value of instructor interaction, but they described ways this communication differed from that in the traditional setting. Instructor feedback was a particularly important form of interaction for them: "She was very specific in her comments and suggestions and I felt I received a great deal of direction from her during the class." Timelines were also critical to these learners for receiving support and reassurance REASSURANCE. When an insurer is desirous of lessening his liability, he may procure some other insurer to insure him from loss, for the insurance he has made this is called reassurance. . One learner described his perception of this type of interaction: "I did contact the instructor a few times during the course via the chat room times that were set aside. I felt that the feedback I got helped or was reassuring re·as·sure
tr.v. re·as·sured, re·as·sur·ing, re·as·sures
1. To restore confidence to.
2. To assure again.
3. To reinsure. to me." However, the limitation of online communication was clearly noted: "But, you know, how many times do you have to e-mail back and forth to make it clear?"
Learning modes. Traditional learners specifically emphasized the importance of the multi-sensory nature of the classroom experience: "I am a visual person and I liked seeing people's faces and seeing the nuances and the expressions." Some learners from the traditional class were very specific and detailed about their perception of the importance of this dimension. One traditional learner put it this way: "Being in the class helps me a lot because I listen ... and maybe I am a better learner by my ears so I listen and listen and something gets into my long term memory eventually because I remember everything," and "I am one of those people who kind of has to see it right in front of me all the time and hear the stories and the things that go along with that and to read it." Another traditional learner appreciated the diversity of learning styles afforded by the traditional setting: "She did different things, there were group activities, individual ... a lot of different ways of learning and I think if a person was a certain, maybe visual or whatever, auditory auditory /au·di·to·ry/ (aw´di-tor?e)
1. aural or otic; pertaining to the ear.
2. pertaining to hearing.
adj. learner, I think you could have gotten something out of it somewhere."
Learners in the online course identified important aspects of the learning experience that "fit" their learning preferences. These included flexible time frames, independent learning, and the emphasis on the visual modality modality /mo·dal·i·ty/ (mo-dal´i-te)
1. a method of application of, or the employment of, any therapeutic agent, especially a physical agent.
2. typically used in this type of learning. Many of their comments reflected a different perspective from that of traditional class learners. One online learner identified an advantage of the distance from the teacher and fellow learners: "It gives you more time to think than if you and I were sitting in a classroom talking face-to-face and you say, 'Okay this is the question--answer it.' Now I have to give you an on-the-spot answer whereas if I'm online, I can think about that for a while before I structure that answer."
Online learners perceived independence as an important factor in their learning preference. An online learner had this to say: "I am a person who learns best on an independent level. Working in this environment matches." Online learners also looked at the modality aspect of their learning: "I really think I retained a great deal from this class because it matches my learning style so well. I am very visual and this was fun for me." One learner described her reluctance to interact with others in the format that was provided in the course website, suggesting her preferred learning mode: "I wasn't a big fan of getting online and chatting about questions--I guess I don't really learn well that way."
Community needs. An important contrast that emerged between the two groups was between independent versus group learning preferences. Traditional learners tended to emphasize the need for a group context and emphasized their value for, and connection to, the learning community. "I feel lost without a community; it would be hard to do it by yourself," said one, and "I can't imagine trying to learn that content without having the rest of the group to be able to help explain, or bring questions in that we haven't thought of," another stated.
Online learners perceived the group process as less beneficial than did their traditional counterparts. The individualized in·di·vid·u·al·ize
tr.v. in·di·vid·u·al·ized, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·ing, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·es
1. To give individuality to.
2. To consider or treat individually; particularize.
3. approach of online learning appealed to many of them. One online learner said, "I feel a little more relaxed to perform when it is WebCT because there is no pressure. You set your own pace." Another stated, "I am not a group type of learner." Many learners identified the additional responsibility that online learning requires: "I felt like I learned a lot, but I felt you really did have to teach yourself. I think it is very much a class where you have to be self-motivated to read the information and if you don't understand it, to make sure you get online when the teacher is online ..."
There was also a vivid contrast between the perceptions of accessibility for these two groups of learners. For the traditional learners, accessibility implied that they had easy physical access to their teacher. They focused on the personal support and learning community inherent in the traditional setting: "She was always accessible ... she stayed, she was here, she was available. If anybody ever needed her she was there."
The online learners defined accessibility as having contact with the "user-friendly" course itself and the flexibility offered in this format. This was expressed in various ways. One online learner said, "I could fit it into my time schedule-I didn't have to take my preschooler pre·school·er
1. A child who is not old enough to attend kindergarten.
2. A child who is enrolled in a preschool.
Noun 1. to daycare for it." Another stated, "It gave me the freedom to study when I could and did not lock me into a schedule." Still another said, "I love the convenience of being able to do the work at home. Basically everything I looked up for the class I did online. I never had to go to a classroom or a library or anything ... I loved that part of it, especially not wanting to have to drive ..."
SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION
The course content, materials, requirements, and instructor were identical as possible for both groups, which were initially comparable. The only difference was delivery mode. Performance measures indicated that learners in both groups learned the course content equally well. Although most learners expressed initial anxiety about the material, by course completion all had positive attitudes toward themselves as effective learners and were equally positive about the importance of research for education professionals. Attitude surveys indicated that both groups were satisfied with the learning experiences they had. These findings are consistent with other comparison studies (Cooper, 2001; Leasure et al., 2000; Lindner et al., 2001; Smith & Dillon, 1999).
However, qualitative data collected in interviews gave deeper insights into the learning experiences of the two groups. Learners, although demo-graphically similar, were very different in other ways. They contrasted in terms of reasons for initial course engagement, descriptions of personal needs, and preferred modes of learning, including the need for interactions and contextual expectations. They also relied on very different skills to be successful in course work and to maintain levels of engagement (Lindner et al., 2001). Although both groups learned the content and according to outcome measures demonstrated virtually identical performance and satisfaction, their experiences by nature were different in important ways. Online learners emphasized the different context created by the mode of delivery and consequently held contrasting expectations for the whole experience; traditional learners, in turn, described expectations for the campus delivery which they were convinced would not be available in online delivery.
Learners accounted for their successful course learning in three contrasting themes that characterized char·ac·ter·ize
tr.v. character·ized, character·iz·ing, character·iz·es
1. To describe the qualities or peculiarities of: characterized the warden as ruthless.
2. their experiences. Traditional and online learners (a) placed value and emphasis on different interactive modes, (b) had different expectations of the course and themselves, and (c) developed different learning skills as a result of course participation. The delivery mode itself was apparently responsible for drawing out these contrasts.
Previous literature has identified three kinds of learner interactions that are equally important to promote learning--Learner-to-Content, Learner-to-Teacher, and Learner-to-Learner, indicating that each of these modes should be addressed for optimal learning to occur (Moore, 1989).
In the traditional setting, learners noted that all three were important. However, the comments from learners in the traditional setting showed that Learner-to-Teacher interactions were critical. Important to this group was an accessible teacher who served as a mediator mediator n. a person who conducts mediation. A mediator is usually a lawyer, or retired judge, but can be a non-attorney specialist in the subject matter (like child custody) who tries to bring people and their disputes to early resolution through a conference. of learning. These learners looked to the teacher to translate content, clarify issues, scaffold scaffold
Temporary platform used to elevate and support workers and materials during work on a structure or machine. It consists of one or more wooden planks and is supported by either a timber or a tubular steel or aluminum frame; bamboo is used in parts of Asia. their learning, define terms, and use examples to connect content to experiences. Learner-to-Learner interactions were also important. To further develop and support their learning, these students drew upon on interactions with peers through small group processing. They perceived that course materials and accessibility of ideas--Learner-to-Content variables--were mediated me·di·ate
v. me·di·at·ed, me·di·at·ing, me·di·ates
1. To resolve or settle (differences) by working with all the conflicting parties: through the teacher's organization and presentations that were supported by well-designed group activities.
In contrast, Learner-to-Content variables were given highest value by learners in the online setting, indicating that their strongest interaction priority was for a coherent, accessible course. Their primary value was for course materials with clear procedures and expectations, models of previous learner work, and resources that explained difficult course concepts. Second-place value was placed on Learner-to-Teacher variables. Online learners drew upon the resources of an expert teacher who mediated content primarily through "teacher voice" documents that created structure, linked meaningful ideas, and connected their experiences to course concepts. They valued real time accessibility to this teacher through online communications, but did not emphasize that dimension as much as the teacher voice woven A woven is a cloth formed by weaving. It only stretches in the Bias directions (between the warp and weft directions), unless the threads are elastic. Woven cloth usually frays at the edges, unless measures are taken to counter this, such as the use of pinking shears or hemming. throughout the course. Unlike the face-to-face learners, most of the online learners perceived required Learner-to-Learner interactions as less important in meeting their goals.
Both groups aimed at the same learning outcome: mastery of course content. However, the path to this goal was decidedly different depending on the class medium and consequently, the role of the teacher as expert was experienced differently by the learners. In both environments, teacher knowledge of the content appeared equally important. The way this knowledge was imparted to the learners, however, was a crucial discerning dis·cern·ing
Exhibiting keen insight and good judgment; perceptive.
dis·cerning·ly adv. element that affected teaching practices such as method and timing of scaffolding, communication format, and the relative importance of certain teacher characteristics. Online learners perceived organizational skills, written language abilities, and website expertise as key characteristics of the effective teacher. Lacking the benefit of personal interaction during the learning process put additional demands on the instructor for careful preparation of website materials in order to prevent confusion while students were engaged in their independent learning.
In summary, since the traditional learners stressed the immediacy of a teacher's scaffolding skills, they valued the oral communication skills, and an approachable personality in their teacher as key to their success. In the online course, the teacher's anticipatory skills were pivotal to preventing mistakes and misconceptions Misconceptions is an American sitcom television series for The WB Network for the 2005-2006 season that never aired. It features Jane Leeves, formerly of Frasier, and French Stewart, formerly of 3rd Rock From the Sun. . The timing of teacher input was a critical pedagogical difference for these two learning environments.
Learners had different expectations for the nature of their experiences in the two different modes of delivery, which, in part determined their explanations for their own success. After course completion, traditional learners believed that they were unlikely to be successful online because their learning needs included a face-to-face teacher presence and learning tasks that responded to the dynamic of immediate group and individual needs. This translation and mediation mediation, in law, type of intervention in which the disputing parties accept the offer of a third party to recommend a solution for their controversy. Mediation has long been a part of international law, frequently involving the use of an international commission, could take place as the needs became apparent. They also credited their positive learning outcomes to good teaching and supportive fellow learners.
Online learners knew that the environment would be dramatically different from their face-to-face learning experiences but were relatively confident of their ability to manage those requirements. Good teaching as represented in effective course design was critical for their learning, but they expected little of fellow learners. Instead, they consistently referred to their own self-regulation and effort as fundamental to their success. This perspective is also consistent with the literature (Bernard et al., 2004).
Expectations of the teacher also contrasted. The campus groups expected her to interact effectively, to mediate MEDIATE, POWERS. Those incident to primary powers, given by a principal to his agent. For example, the general authority given to collect, receive and pay debts due by or to the principal is a primary power. the content to support their learning, and to be available for help other times. The online class members expected her to create a course that was well-structured, organized, coherent, and user-friendly--one they could use without further support. They expected also that the course not make too many real-time 1. real-time - Describes an application which requires a program to respond to stimuli within some small upper limit of response time (typically milli- or microseconds). Process control at a chemical plant is the classic example. demands that reduced the flexibility they valued.
Development of Learning Skills
Both groups of learners believed that they gained valuable learning skills in these two delivery systems, but these skills were also different. The traditional group members stated that they learned to rely on the interactive and supportive learning community to develop their understanding. They commented on their individual responsibilities to be prepared for class discussion with information and questions to further and support group learning. They believed their contributions were important and they needed other group members to enrich their own understanding. The dynamic of the community defined good learning, which meant active engagement in the process itself to actually structure their knowledge through interaction.
The online groups, consistent with research (Bernard et al., 2004; Garrison, 2003; Lindner et al., 2001) believed that they developed self regulation skills, including time management, self discipline, independence, effective use of resources, and problem solving problem solving
Process involved in finding a solution to a problem. Many animals routinely solve problems of locomotion, food finding, and shelter through trial and error. skills. They learned to recognize their preferred cognitive modes and to make use of optimal learning times to process content and expected that most of their learning and scaffolding would be independent. As a result, they looked for and appreciated opportunities to improve their individual learning skills. Peers and immediate teacher presence did not play a role in developing this set of skills. A few online learners did recognize a personal need for face-to-face interaction and they attempted to meet these needs by finding convenient face-to-face partners who were either enrolled in the class or who had prior knowledge of course content.
A different set of assumptions about learning seemed to underlie these contrasting approaches and assessments of learning skills. The face-to-face group emphasized the learning community and clearly operated from a social constructivist con·struc·tiv·ism
A movement in modern art originating in Moscow in 1920 and characterized by the use of industrial materials such as glass, sheet metal, and plastic to create nonrepresentational, often geometric objects. view (Barron, 2000; Cognition cognition
Act or process of knowing. Cognition includes every mental process that may be described as an experience of knowing (including perceiving, recognizing, conceiving, and reasoning), as distinguished from an experience of feeling or of willing. and Technology Group at Vanderbilt, 1997; Gauvain, 2001), whereas the online learners emphasized the individualist in·di·vid·u·al·ist
1. One that asserts individuality by independence of thought and action.
2. An advocate of individualism.
in cognitive perspective and the self-regulation aspects of the experience (Pintrich, 2000; Schunk & Zimmerman, 1994). The interactive learning community was central to the actual process and product of learning for the traditional groups; the online groups focused on individual mastery of content.
Two elements in the experiences of the online learners appeared particularly important--their lack of expectation for the support of a learning community and their representations of the role of expert teaching. Their responses support the contention that online learning is by nature quite different from the kinds of learning experiences they expect and value in traditional learning environments.
Online learners did not expect to experience a virtual learning community and had less value for it in their online learning process. Instead, they developed self-regulation skills and self-efficacy self-efficacy (selfˈ-eˑ·fi·k perspectives--and they saw the opportunity to refine these skills as critical to lifelong learning. This finding, which is contrary to prevailing evidence and efforts (Lally & Barrett, 1999; Paloff & Pratt, 2001; Reeves & Reeves 1997; Whipp & Schwietzer, 2000), has significant implications for online course design. A good deal of time, research, effort, and expense has been aimed at creating a virtual online learning environment that approximates as closely as possible the environment and learning community of a face-to-face class. Of particular interest has been creating an interactive environment to replicate rep·li·cate
1. To duplicate, copy, reproduce, or repeat.
2. To reproduce or make an exact copy or copies of genetic material, a cell, or an organism.
A repetition of an experiment or a procedure. the dynamic of traditional delivery. Learners' responses in this study indicated that this effort might not be appropriate or necessary. Since those who choose online learning have very different needs and expectations, perhaps efforts could better be directed toward a focus on strong course designs that allow learners to systematically build and develop the self-regulatory skills necessary to lifelong learning. This variety of learner needs and motivations for selection of online learning experiences may also be addressed by emphasizing course design efficacy and optimal use of asynchronous learning Asynchronous learning is a teaching method using the asynchronous delivery of training materials or content using computer network technology. It is an approach to providing technology-based training that incorporates learner-centric models of instruction. opportunities and reducing real time exchanges or required interactions.
Online learners' descriptions of the role and function of the expert teacher are noteworthy as well. Personality, oral communication skills, and other teacher traits typically identified as important were not highly rated by these learners. They valued written communication, an organized course structure, and supportive resource materials as indications of expert teaching.
This new role for the teacher, perhaps a result of the lack of power learners perceive in online interactions, demands that a good deal of anticipation of the process of learning frame online course design. A through understanding of the role of cognitive learning theory and to implications for systematic and scaffolding of knowledge structures are fundamental for effective course design, since teachers cannot rely on the dynamic of classroom interactions to supplement learning via questions and immediate re-teaching. Materials should include a good deal of teacher voice material, whether audible A protected MP3 file format from the Audible.com audio download service. See Audible.com. or written, to engage the learner in content beyond academic materials.
Both learning theory and content knowledge impact pedagogy, but this relationship is mediated by characteristics of the learning environment. The filter of the medium itself (Peters, 2003) has to reframe Re`frame´
v. t. 1. To frame again or anew. our decisions about effective course design. Teaching to support online learning requires a different set of skills and strengths, particularly when asynchronous learning is emphasized (Bernard et al., 2004). Results of this study suggest that contextual differences between online and traditional classroom courses dictate TO DICTATE. To pronounce word for word what is destined to be at the same time written by another. Merlin Rep. mot Suggestion, p. 5 00; Toull. Dr. Civ. Fr. liv. 3, t. 2, c. 5, n. 410. the selection of specific teaching practices conducive con·du·cive
Tending to cause or bring about; contributive: working conditions not conducive to productivity. See Synonyms at favorable. to successful learning in that environment. Instructional practices and designs that are effective working within the conditions of the structure should become central so that the medium becomes simply another delivery mode, creating conditions for "purposive pur·po·sive
1. Having or serving a purpose.
2. Purposeful: purposive behavior.
pur learning" (Bernard et al., p. 411).
Although we may be able to compare and verify (1) To prove the correctness of data.
(2) In data entry operations, to compare the keystrokes of a second operator with the data entered by the first operator to ensure that the data were typed in accurately. See validate. comparable objective learning outcomes and satisfaction levels of online learning gains and those of traditional learners, the experiences are markedly different. Valued interactions, expectations, and learning skills achieved contrast with traditional modes in important ways. As the participants described their online experiences, it was apparent that they encountered the mode as a new environment that calls for a new pedagogy. The approach must fit the filtered realities of online learning, which distances teachers and learners in more than geographic terms (Peters, 2003). Educators cannot simply copy teaching practices that work effectively in a face-to-face classroom and "paste" them into the electronic classroom. Future research focused on what direction and shape these changes should take will help move the pedagogy of online learning to the multi-dimensional modes achieved in the most successful traditional classrooms.
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Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop. .
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1. Of or relating to the essential nature of a thing.
2. and extrinsic EVIDENCE, EXTRINSIC. External evidence, or that which is not contained in the body of an agreement, contract, and the like.
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This study was supported in part by a Research Development Grant from the University of South Dakota Nomenclature
APPENDIX A -- DEMOGRAPHIC DATA
Total Traditional Online (N=45) (n=38) (n=7) n % n % n % Female 37 82.2 32 84.2 5 71.4 Male 8 17.8 6 15.8 2 28.6 Master's Level 23 51.1 21 55.3 2 28.6 Doctorate Level 3 6.7 1 2.6 2 28.6 Age 18-24 14 31.1 14 36.8 0 0 25-34 16 35.6 14 36.8 2 28.6 35-44 10 22.2 8 21.1 2 28.6 45-54 4 8.9 2 5.3 2 28.6 55-65 1 2.2 0 0 1 14.3
APPENDIX B: SELECTED ITEMS -- OUTCOMES AND ATTITUDES MEASURES
Pre & Post: Objective Test Measure
1. Research outcomes that are accurate and grounded in data are referred to as
d) Purposeful pur·pose·ful
1. Having a purpose; intentional: a purposeful musician.
2. Having or manifesting purpose; determined: entered the room with a purposeful look.
2. Which of the following is generally NOT true about qualitative procedures?
a) Findings are usually considered unique and are not generalized gen·er·al·ized
1. Involving an entire organ, as when an epileptic seizure involves all parts of the brain.
2. Not specifically adapted to a particular environment or function; not specialized.
3. to other settings.
b) Random selection and assignments are used frequently.
c) Sample sizes may be smaller than those in quantitative studies.
d) Purposeful sampling is seldom used to provide rich data for the study.
3. The results of a survey can only be generalized to a population if the
a) sample was significantly large
b) sample was selected randomly
c) sample was selected using a non-randomized strategy
d) survey data were specific and systematic
Pre: Attitude Measure
1. I am confident that I will succeed in this course.
2. I expect that I will learn important information in this class.
3. I know how to function in a class set up as this one is.
Post: Attitude Measure
1. I am pleased with my level of success in this course.
2. I have learned important information in this class.
3. I functioned well in the traditional delivery medium.
APPENDIX C: INTERVIEW PROTOCOL
WebCT or Traditional?
Pseudonym pseudonym (s`dənĭm) [Gr.,=false name], name assumed, particularly by writers, to conceal identity. A writer's pseudonym is also referred to as a nom de plume (pen name). ______
1. Why did you take this class? Why in this medium?
2. When you enrolled in this class, what did you expect? Why?
3. Were your expectations met? Why/not?
1. How satisfied are you with your learning in the class?
2. How satisfied were you with [traditional: classroom experiences; WebCT: course procedures]
a. What elements in the class were most important for your success?
b. What strategies did you use learn course content?
c. What elements gave you difficulty?
d. Where did you find help if you had difficulties?
e. What did you particularly like about this class?
f. What did you particularly dislike?
1. How did the [classroom context] or [WebCT environment] facilitate your learning?
2. How did the [classroom context] or [WebCT environment] impede im·pede
tr.v. im·ped·ed, im·ped·ing, im·pedes
To retard or obstruct the progress of. See Synonyms at hinder1.
[Latin imped your learning?
3. To what extent did you feel part of a "learning community"? How important is that to you?
4. To what extent did the medium of delivery influence your learning? Your attitude toward the class?
1. What did the teacher do that made it possible for you to learn course content?
2. What else should the teacher have done?
3. In what ways was the teacher accessible to you? Was that enough?
4. What would you like to tell the instructor of this course?
1. What suggestions would you give future students who enroll in this course?
2. Would you like to take another course like this one? Explain.
APPENDIX D: RESEARCHER PROFILES
Marcy, first author: My areas of study are cognitive learning theory and motivation. I think of myself as a social constructivist. In online settings I try to scaffold student learning from a distance. Lengthy unit introductions and teacher created support materials are used to address particularly difficult content and tried to capture a dynamic community in entirely web-based learning environment. There are opportunities for student to student and student to teacher exchanges built into the courses. Logged partner discussions of questions I post have been required parts of my online courses.
Lory lory: see parrot. , second author: I am a doctoral student in Educational Psychology with a background in teaching and administration. My practices and beliefs are grounded in psychological need theory, particularly Self-Determination Theory This article is about the psychology theory. For the self-determination in politics, see Self-determination.
Self-determination theory (SDT) is a general theory of human motivation concerned with the development and functioning of personality within social . I believe that the degree to which learners' needs are met in a learning environment significantly impacts their subsequent performance and satisfaction.
James, third author: I am a counselor educator. Philosophically, I approach teaching from the social constructionist con·struc·tion·ist
A person who construes a legal text or document in a specified way: a strict constructionist. and constructivist perspectives. David Kolb's construct of experiential ex·pe·ri·en·tial
Relating to or derived from experience.
ex·peri·en learning guides my course design. Every course I teach has an online component, a format that can be adapted to any part of the learning cycle. I teach one course entirely online; two more are in the works. My primary role in this research project was to structure the content for the manuscript manuscript, a handwritten work as distinguished from printing. The oldest manuscripts, those found in Egyptian tombs, were written on papyrus; the earliest dates from c.3500 B.C. and to provide an outside perspective on the qualitative data.
MARCY REISETTER, LORALEE LAPOINTE, AND JAMES KORCUSKA
University of South Dakota, USA
Table 1 Pre-Post Outcome Data Traditional N=38 M SD t df p Pre-Post Difference 7.6 4.00 -11.702 37 <.001* Online N=27 M SD t df P Pre-Post Difference 8.57 5.74 -3.951 26 .008* Table 2 Group Comparisons on Outcome and Attitude Measures Traditional Online Variables M SD M SD t df p Preobjective 16.48 4.14 17.57 6.5 -.583 43 .563 Postobjective 24.08 3.94 26.14 5.55 -1.194 43 .239 Preconfidence 5.18 2.01 5.00 4.18 .097 4.2 .927 Postconfidence 8.40 1.07 8.60 1.67 -.379 41 .707 Preattitude 54.03 5.30 52.60 7.37 .541 41 .591 Postattitude 36.89 3.12 35.20 3.27 1.137 41 .262 Table 3 Summary: Core Contrasting Ideas Traditional Delivery Online Delivery Structure Organization Physical nature of class; Ease and accessibility of the Focused nature of the Website, Organization of activities, participation resources provided with others in problem solving Support Immediacy of instructor Expert voice of online and classmates instructor represented in course materials. Focus provided by resources. Clear information. Responsibility Learn best when Learn best when are responsible to a group, responsible for own instructor. External achievements, self- regulation appreciated discipline. Prefer internal Prefer internal regulation Interaction Peers Valued "seeing" others to Not important to interact consider contrasting with peers, though considered perspective, problem a resource if needed. solve as a group Individual choices to pursue connections. Teacher Valued visibility, Valued specificity of accessibility, individual feedback, approachable and engaging individualized guidance as manner needed Learning Preferences Mode Valued multi-sensory, Valued flexibility, variety of activities, independence diversified opportunities Community Valued community and Valued individualized, self- group context for support motivated approach. No need in processing, exchange for a cohesive learning of ideas community Accessibility Of the group, in and out Primary definition of of class meetings, and of accessible was to the course an engaged, available itself; secondary to the teacher teacher Table 4 Summary: Defining Characteristics of the Experiences Traditional Online Valued 1. Teacher as a mediator of 1. Interaction with Interactions content course structure 2. Peers to support the process 2. Interaction with teacher online voice 3. Individual interaction with 3. Interaction with content peers-distant 3rd Expectations for the success Self Expected success from good Expected success from teaching and supportive peers strength of individual learning skills Teacher Expected good interactive Expected clear and skills, content mediation, user friendly course availability for clarification, design. Expert voice feedback, support to facilitate learning, minimal real-time demands Development of Learned to work effectively in Expanded self Learning Skills a learning community, to regulation skills, collaborate with peers and to became metacognitively fulfill responsibilities to aware. Honed group. independence and self-discipline.