Theory application for online learning success.Abstract
The article compares two educational modes: online and traditional classroom. In this pilot study, the results suggest that student perceptions of online learning are equal or superior to the classroom experience. A theoretical framework is provided for a successful online educational design. Recommendations are made for future studies that could contribute to distance learning in human services education.
With the advent of internet technology, distance learning, a long standing educational phenomenon, has reached new levels of sophistication so·phis·ti·cate
v. so·phis·ti·cat·ed, so·phis·ti·cat·ing, so·phis·ti·cates
1. To cause to become less natural, especially to make less naive and more worldly.
2. and pervasiveness and is bringing profound change for students, faculty, and educational institutions. The pervasiveness and impact of internet technology is attested at·test
v. at·test·ed, at·test·ing, at·tests
1. To affirm to be correct, true, or genuine: The date of the painting was attested by the appraiser.
2. to by Robinson (2001) who predicted that, by 2003, up to 85 percent of two and four year institutions would offer online courses. As with most educational environments, internet technology offers human services new 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. options and challenges. Specifically, online courses offer human services' students convenient access to course material. However, questions of educational appropriateness, quality, and standards have gained new focus. Guided by two theorists, Lev Vygotsky Lev Semenovich Vygotsky (Russian: Лев Семёнович Выготский) (November 17 (November 5 Old Style), 1896 – June 11, 1934) was a Soviet developmental (1978) and Paul Duchastel (1997), this article outlines the development and implementation of an introductory online course in human services with the goal of creating a learning environment where educational standards and quality are comparable to that of the traditional classroom. In this article, we review the relevant literature and offer a theoretical framework. The methodology, results, discussion, and recommendations are then presented.
Formal distance learning has been a part of education for more than a century, and the preponderance pre·pon·der·ance also pre·pon·der·an·cy
Superiority in weight, force, importance, or influence.
Noun 1. preponderance of research is supportive. Russell (1999) presents an extensive survey of the literature, 323 studies over the past century, indicating the "no significant difference phenomenon," meaning, learning outcomes in the classroom when compared to distance learning formats show no recognizable differences. Furthermore, Schutte (1996) conducted a scientific study of two randomly assigned groups of students, one in a traditional classroom, the other entirely online. When compared, the online students had 20% higher scores in both mid-term and final examinations, reported more peer contact, spent more time on class-work, had better content comprehension, and enjoyed the educational experience more. Souder (1993) and Sonner (1999) reach similar conclusions with the use of technology in distance education, where students have equal outcomes in both distance education and traditional classroom settings. Boehler (1999) Concludes: "The internet and the World Wide Web provides opportunities to do things differently than in the past, to make learning more student centered and more personally interactive." Freddolino and Sutherland (2000), in assessing 13 interactive instructional TV courses in graduate social work education, concluded that there is no statistical difference in student perceptions of onsite versus distance education classes. Both were equally supportive of learning. Tucker (2001) in a comparative study of online versus face-to-face instruction concludes that online is just as effective as traditional education. However, besides the comparison of online versus face-to-face instruction, the effect of online instruction on other aspects of the educational environment must be considered also. Hergert (2003) suggests that, on the program level, careful planning is necessary in order to insure that online educational programs can be successfully integrated into the university curriculum.
Since our study entails college students, the effectiveness of distance learning for adults is of particular interest. Knowles (1980), the father of andragogy, writing before the onset of online learning, has concepts applicable to online courses. His ideas on distance learning generally suggest that online courses could foster greater student responsibility in engaging with course material and instructional tasks, increased student involvement in tracking their own progress and performance, and more self-direction in using the freedom of the format. However, he cautions, on the one hand, that many students who have become accustomed to the instructor-centered learning experience of the classroom might have difficulty transitioning to the freedom of the distance-learning format; these students will not respond positively if thrown into the distance learning deep waters "Deep Waters" is a short story by P. G. Wodehouse, which first appeared in the United States in the March 25 1910 issue of Collier's Weekly, and in the United Kingdom in the June 1910 issue of the Strand. without careful attention to learning styles that encourage and promote self-direction. On the other hand, Knowles points out that the adult learner 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. , returning to the educational setting after experiencing the freedom of the workplace, more readily embraces the distance-learning format.
Adding to Knowles (1980), Merrian and Cafarella (1991), articulate four central aspects of adult learners that should be considered: self-direction, life experiences as triggers to learning, selfreflection on change, and application of the learning experience. Phillips (1995), an experienced online instructor, supports the view that "the strength of the cyber (1) From "cybernetics," it is a prefix attached to everyday words to add a computer, electronic or online connotation. The term is similar to "virtual," but the latter is used more frequently. See virtual. classroom" strongly supports adult learning needs, where the instructor facilitates rather than controls the learning experience. 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. Gentilucci (1997), the instructor is freed from the pressure of being the sole source of information and instead guides the student to the accessing of information, especially on the web. As per Levine (2000), questions of educational quality and appropriateness persist, which are particularly relevant to the application of distance learning to human services. Referring to online courses, Carnevale (2000) states, "There is always a danger with new approaches to teaching and learning that we don't have a firm handle on yet." Thus there is danger of producing an inferior educational experience. However, Carnevale and Olsen (2003) point out that increasingly "enrollments have made distance education a viable industry for colleges and companies as administrators and faculty members have learned what works online and what doesn't." Trinkle (1999) identifies online education as "a means to an end," providing a new flexibility for attaining a degree.
The issue of quality is a frequent concern for distance education, but often less so for the traditional classroom environment. However, Gardner (1999), in evaluating traditional college and university face-to-face education in relation to student learning, teaching, academic organizations, and academic advisement Deliberation; consultation.
A court takes a case under advisement after it has heard the arguments made by the counsel of opposing sides in the lawsuit but before it renders its decision.
ADVISEMENT. concludes that a substantial body of evidence "clearly demonstrates a crisis of education quality in our nation's colleges and universities." Thus, the issue of quality should enjoy equal status for both distance and traditional face-to-face learning.
However, the appropriateness of distance learning, particularly in the training and education of helping professionals, creates its own set of concerns. Even when content can be successfully delivered and quantified in the distance-learning format, there remains the persistent suspicion that the didactic di·dac·tic
Of or relating to medical teaching by lectures or textbooks as distinguished from clinical demonstration with patients. and interactive classroom experience is necessary and perhaps superior to distance education. For example, Thyer, Polk, and Gaudin (1997), using Biner's Telecourse tel·e·course
A course of televised lectures, as one offered by a university. (1993) evaluation questionnaire, conclude that outcomes were not comparable between an on-campus classroom and a branch campus using a two way interactive TV Codec system. Those who take a critical position toward distance learning have a tendency to perceive it as a static lecture model devoid of interaction, and, therefore, an inadequate educational instructional method. Kanel (2001), for example, favors courses that are amenable AMENABLE. Responsible; subject to answer in a court of justice liable to punishment. to the lecture model of education for distance education programs and maintains that in counseling programs total distance learning should not become the standard. Chui (2002) points out the benefits of information technology in human services delivery in that it has the advantage of spanning distances with ease and facilitating client self-disclosure because of perceived anonymity of the online experience. At the same time, however, it fails to capture non-verbal cues that are, at least in some instances, central to the helping process and risks creating false identities both on the part of the client and the professional practitioner. Such non-verbal cues and risks of false identities, it can be argued, have equal relevance to human services online education. Beck (2002) concludes that most research generally supports the view that students can and do learn just as much online as they do in a regular classroom. However, while recognizing the strengths of online learning, of particular interest here is the careful exploration of its appropriateness to human services education. It might be argued that while non-verbal cues are important in the learning of certain clinical skills they are not essential to the same extent in all human services' courses. Beyond quality and appropriateness, there are other questions related to human services online education that need to be addressed. The Institute for 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. Policy (1999) poses the following additional questions: (a) the effect of online courses to the entire academic program as opposed to individual course outcomes; (b) differences among students such as sex, age, educational experience and motivation; (c) why the drop-out rates are higher in distance learning; (d) the impact of the interaction of multiple technologies; (e) the need for an adequate theoretical framework; (f) the effectiveness of digital libraries; and (g) the different learning styles of students in relation to the different educational technologies. Whereas there has been extensive research on the effect of learning styles to education generally, Armstrong (1994) and Jensen (1998), see the need for specific research in relation to the online learning experience.
Thus, the literature supports the benefits of distance learning generally, and affirms it as particularly effective for adult learners. Yet, from the literature it cannot be taken for granted Adj. 1. taken for granted - evident without proof or argument; "an axiomatic truth"; "we hold these truths to be self-evident"
obvious - easily perceived by the senses or grasped by the mind; "obvious errors" that online distance learning is effective, appropriate, and a quality experience for human services' education. Similarly, as posed by the Institute of Higher Education Policy, questions pertaining per·tain
intr.v. per·tained, per·tain·ing, per·tains
1. To have reference; relate: evidence that pertains to the accident.
2. to the effects of online learning on the overall human services' program, student demographics The attributes of people in a particular geographic area. Used for marketing purposes, population, ethnic origins, religion, spoken language, income and age range are examples of demographic data. and retention, the effects of interactive technology, adequate theoretical grounding, effectiveness of digital libraries, and the impact of learning styles, need attention. This pilot study, comparing online and in-class student perceptions of learning outcomes, engages these questions as they relate to an introductory course in human services at California State University, Fullerton California State University, Fullerton, commonly known as CSUF, CSU Fullerton, or Cal State Fullerton, is a part of the California State University system. The University is located in the city of Fullerton, California, in northern Orange County. (CSUF CSUF California State University, Fullerton
CSUF California State University, Fresno
CSUF Cleveland State University Foundation ).
Our goal is to produce a high quality online course with a sound pedagogical foundation. Two educational theorists associated with the 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. teaching tradition, Vygotsky (1978), widely known for his psychology of education, and Duchastel (1997), who provides a theoretical framework for guiding online learning, proved most helpful. As opposed to the objectivist model, which is instructor centered and didactically di·dac·tic also di·dac·ti·cal
1. Intended to instruct.
2. Morally instructive.
3. Inclined to teach or moralize excessively. driven, both Vygotsky and Duchastel assert that learning and teaching are complimentary aspects of education, accomplished primarily as a system of interactions. Vygotsky champions an open educational psychology, where human consciousness is not only a product of biology but equally influenced by socio-cultural-historical contexts. Vygotsky (1978) advances a useful pedagogical concept known as the "zone of proximal development Lev Vygotsky's notion of zone of proximal development (зона ближайшего развития), often abbreviated ZPD ," which he defines as, "the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by the independent 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. and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers" (p. 86). Similar to Paulo Freire Paulo Freire (Recife, Brazil September 19, 1921 - São Paulo, Brazil May 2, 1997) was a Brazilian educator and is a highly influential theorist of education. Biography (1973), Vygotsky advocates an interactive approach, which begins at the student's entrance skill level, and organizes the learning environment to promote the learning progression to the next level. In this process, a balance needs to be achieved, where the learning experiences are not too advanced for the learner, but also must be sufficiently challenging to promote the learning progression. In this article we explore the application of Duchastel's (1997) six-function model to human services online instruction in relation to creating Vygotsky's (1978) "zone of proximal development."
In applying the "zone of proximal development" to learning, Duchastel (1997) provides an operational model for online instruction. According to Duchastel, the four requirements for learning in a university environment include (a) information, the material the students must integrate in order to convert it to their own personal knowledge; (b) interactivity, the conversation that occurs between the student and the learning resource; (c) structure, what channels the learning effort; and (d) communication, the social setting that facilitates the interchange and assists with motivation and personal identification. Duchastel (1997) translates these four learning requirements into a coherent approach for online-based instruction. Instead of the traditional approach, he proposes a new pedagogical model which includes the following: (a) pursuing specific goals as opposed to learning explicit content such as from a textbook; (b) accepting diversity of outcomes as opposed to demanding common learning results; (c) producing knowledge rather than the regurgitation regurgitation /re·gur·gi·ta·tion/ (re-ger?ji-ta´shun)
1. flow in the opposite direction from normal.
2. vomiting. of course content; (d) evaluating at the task level, that is, demonstrating knowledge application as opposed to knowledge assimilation based on routine course tests; (e) building of learning teams (collaborative learning Collaborative learning is an umbrella term for a variety of approaches in education that involve joint intellectual effort by students or students and teachers. Collaborative learning refers to methodologies and environments in which learners engage in a common task in which each ) as opposed to exclusive individual learning; and (f) encouraging of global communities (virtual scientific communities) made possible by internet technology. This new interactive model of learning is most suitable to online education. The explosion in information makes "creating knowledge" by learners themselves more important than the traditional imparting im·part
tr.v. im·part·ed, im·part·ing, im·parts
1. To grant a share of; bestow: impart a subtle flavor; impart some advice.
2. of knowledge by instructors, whether in the classroom or elsewhere.
The content of this introductory undergraduate course in human services entails a comprehensive overview of the human services field and related skills, including, an historical perspective, theoretical approaches and delivery models, ethical considerations, careers in human services, and cultural competencies. In order to attain the course goals and objectives and create the Vygotsky learning zone, Duchastel's six functions are embedded Inserted into. See embedded system. in the instructional design Instructional design is the practice of arranging media (communication technology) and content to help learners and teachers transfer knowledge most effectively. The process consists broadly of determining the current state of learner understanding, defining the end goal of . While knowledge of specific course content is measured by objective tests, students, using the interactivity potential of the web, also organize their learning more independently, demonstrate diversity of outcomes, and produce new knowledge at the task level. For example, working collaboratively, students evaluate community agencies and human services websites, and engage in interactive learning tasks in real and 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. time.
Because of the introductory and core nature of the course, a combination pedagogical model emerged where both the traditional and Duschastel approaches for web learning were employed. The combination pedagogical model was as follows: instead of Duschastel's function one of giving priority to student freedom in the pursuit of academic goals, a traditional approach was taken to the teaching and acquiring of essential concepts. With Duschastel's function two, accepting diversity of outcomes as opposed to demanding common learning results, a blend of approaches was implemented; mastery of content was again measured by formal quizzes and exams, while diversity of outcomes was imbedded imbedded,
adj See embedded. in the student online projects.
Regarding communication of knowledge as opposed to the production of knowledge (Duschastel's third function), a more even approach was employed. Formal exams measured the mastery of knowledge, yet students engaged in the production of knowledge in both their projects and optional reports. In topics of their choice, students were encouraged to peruse pe·ruse
tr.v. pe·rused, pe·rus·ing, pe·rus·es
To read or examine, typically with great care.
[Middle English perusen, to use up : Latin per-, per- and evaluate local and international human services" web sites. Similarly, with function four, students were evaluated using traditional methods of formal tests, that is, multiple choice and essay questions over the semester se·mes·ter
One of two divisions of 15 to 18 weeks each of an academic year.
[German, from Latin (cursus) s . However, students were also evaluated at the task level through their personally chosen projects; each student was required to visit and evaluate at least two human services community agencies and similarly evaluate at least two online human services websites. With the live chat and discussion forum weekly exercises, students engaged in Duchastel's function five, the building of learning teams. Function six, the encouraging of global communities, was promoted in a limited way by students evaluating human services interactive websites worldwide, thus gaining a deeper perspective of the diversity of human service resources and 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. .
The online sections of the course were delivered through Blackboard (1) See Blackboard Learning System.
(2) The traditional classroom presentation board that is written on with chalk and erased with a felt pad. Although originally black, "white" boards and colored chalks are also used. , software specifically developed for online courses. It has the standard communication features of live chat, discussion forums, and e-mail, and was also used to provide weekly online asynchronous lectures and streaming videos A one-way video transmission over a data network. It is widely used on the Web as well as company networks to play video clips and video broadcasts. Computers in home networks stream video to digital media hubs connected to a home theater. . The course design was such as to provide a seamless connection between the textbook content, online lessons, discussion forums, live-chat and relevant websites.
The survey participants consisted of 287 adult students, 195 in-class and 92 online, at California State University, Fullerton. Ethnicity breakdown of the online students was as follows: 29% Hispanic; 53% Euro American; 5% African American African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. ; and 13% Asian American A·sian A·mer·i·can also A·sian-A·mer·i·can
A U.S. citizen or resident of Asian descent. See Usage Note at Amerasian.
A . The ethnicity of the in-class students in the study was 41% Hispanic; 38% Euro American; 18% Asian American; and 3% African American. Online grade levels included: 55% seniors; 31% juniors; 10% sophomores; and 3% freshmen. In-class grade levels were: 25% seniors; 47% juniors; 21 sophomores; 6% freshmen. Regarding gender, the online students included 24% male and 76% female; the in-class students in the study had 17% male and 83% female (Table 1). See issue website http://rapidintellect.com/AEQweb/win2004.htm
As described by Kanel et al. (2001), the CSUF Human Services Department implements an educational curriculum that is routinely informed by community agency feedback on the skills and knowledge, which translate to nine core competencies A core competency is something that a firm can do well and that meets the following three conditions specified by Hamel and Prahalad (1990):
After completion of the course, a Likert-type survey scale (1 to 5) was used to measure students' self-perception of the nine core competencies. The survey, given in the 2000 through 2002 semesters, consisted of a total of 39 questions and with a 98% completion rate. Results were tabulated to determine the mean scores on all items and in aggregates around the 9 core competencies (subscales). An independent sample t-test was employed to determine whether there were any differences between the two groups, that is, online compared with classroom students (N = 95 online and N = 192 traditional classroom). Mean scores were analyzed using paired t-tests to determine if there was a significant difference between the two groups in student self-reported knowledge and skills in the nine core competencies.
At the end of the semester, for the online students (four sections over four semesters), the survey was made available electronically via Blackboard, the course delivery software. The subjects were alerted by e-mail to the survey and requested to participate as part of quality control of the online human services courses. For the in-class students (six sections over four semesters), the survey was administered by the course instructors at the end of each semester. There were three different in-class instructors who had the same textbook, same learning objectives, and same assessment measures (midterm mid·term
1. The middle of an academic term or a political term of office.
a. An examination given at the middle of a school or college term.
b. midterms A series of such examinations. , final, and four agency reports). In-class versions of the course did not have any web component. There were two online instructors who used the same textbook as the in-class instructors. Except for four online quizzes Online quizzes are quizzes that are published on the internet and are generally for entertainment purposes. Introduction
Online quizzes are a popular form of entertainment for web surfers. , assessment measures for the online students were the same as for the in-class students. While the online instructors followed Vygotsky and Duchastel explicitly in their teaching methodology and course design, the in-class instructors did not. However, the CSUF human services department follows a learning approach that is constructivist in nature, that is, student centered, self-reflective, and experiential ex·pe·ri·en·tial
Relating to or derived from experience.
In a t-test analysis of the 39 questions, 34 were significant at the .001-.004 level, and 17 were very significant at the .000 level, both demonstrating the online students had a more positive self-perception of their knowledge and skills of the core competencies, which, as discussed in the methods section, are the learning outcomes of the human services curriculum. Very significant t-test results (.000) were received in all of the 9 subscales, with online students again having higher means than the in-class students. Table 2 shows the subscale results. It should be noted, also, that there was no difference between the online and classroom student grade point averages; both were within the departmental range of 2.8 to 3.2 on a 4.0 scale. Standard test results as reflected in GPA GPA
grade point average
Noun 1. GPA - a measure of a student's academic achievement at a college or university; calculated by dividing the total number of grade points received by the total number attempted scores are one measure of learning outcomes in terms of student academic achievement, but they do not necessarily access the practical application, which is a major focus of CSUF's human services Bachelor of Science Noun 1. Bachelor of Science - a bachelor's degree in science
bachelor's degree, baccalaureate - an academic degree conferred on someone who has successfully completed undergraduate studies degree. Student perceptions as reflected in survey information provide an indirect and broader assessment, including the practical application of academic knowledge from the students' perspectives. Thus, the survey measurement of student perceptions of the core learning outcomes adds critical information in guiding and improving the evolving needs of the CSUF human services curriculum. A research design where students would be required to perform specific human services tasks might also be employed, but such a research design was beyond the scope of this pilot study.
This study has the limitations of survey design research where cause-effect relationships remain in question. However, consistent with the research cited in our literature review, this study again suggests that online distance learning can be an effective pedagogical mode for adult students. More specifically, online delivery can be a high quality and effective pedagogical model for human services education. As opposed to the in-class students, the online students perceived themselves to have more knowledge and skills in each of the nine core learning outcomes of the CSUF Human Services bachelor program. The results are congruent con·gru·ent
1. Corresponding; congruous.
a. Coinciding exactly when superimposed: congruent triangles.
b. with the student learning outcomes cited in the research of Schutte (1996) and Souder (1993). Furthermore, the results suggest that a combined Vygotsky and Duschastel educational framework can provide an effective theoretical guide. Specifically, it suggests the effectiveness in creating the Vygotsky learning zone through the implementation of Duschastel's internet pedagogical model.
To explain the different self-perception results between online and in-class students with regard to the core learning outcomes, the number of seniors, 55% online and 25% in-class, was a possible factor. Given what has been reported on adult learning cited in the literature review, senior-level students might be expected to do better in the online format because of being more self-directed, having more life experiences, and thus engaging more readily in self-reflection and the application of human services skills. One subscale, the use of technology, deserves particular comment. An internet course compels students to use technology, giving them the opportunity to enhance their skills and thus more likely to report a perception of greater technological competence. As opposed to the students who choose the classroom option, it is also possible that the students who choose to take an online course are already adept or more positively predisposed pre·dis·pose
v. pre·dis·posed, pre·dis·pos·ing, pre·dis·pos·es
a. To make (someone) inclined to something in advance: toward technology, which would more likely include the possession and use of a home computer. Whatever the explanation, it seems an advantage of the internet format is the exposure of students to internet technology, skills that are now standard in human services delivery.
Returning to the questions posed by the Institute of Higher Education Policy (1999) mentioned above, this study demonstrated that online human services courses have the possibility of adding new flexibility to the entire academic program. Demographically, all of the students in the study were adults and the vast majority were female. Moreover, 55% of online students were seniors compared to 25% of in-class students being seniors. This may account for motivational differences in that the senior students have taken more courses and are more likely to have broader work experience. Our study did not compare drop out rates between online and in-class students. However, Doyle (2002), comparing the drop out rate between CSUF Human Services online and in-class courses found that there is 2% drop out rate for in-class versus 10% for online courses. Students reported that it is primarily related to overextending themselves, followed by online format not suiting their learning style, and course assignments being too difficult. Students tend to mistakenly think that distance-learning courses are less academically demanding, when in fact distance-learning courses are academically equal and require a high level of motivation and self-discipline.
Online learning employs multiple and interactive technologies that can enrich the learning experience; it can also effectively engage different learning styles. As web technologies advance, further enrichment is possible. And the importance of employing multiple technologies is particularly relevant to the students who are differently abled abled
having a range of physical powers as specified: less abled, differently abled , especially as it relates to the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act Americans with Disabilities Act, U.S. civil-rights law, enacted 1990, that forbids discrimination of various sorts against persons with physical or mental handicaps. (ADA Ada, city, United States
Ada (ā`ə), city (1990 pop. 15,820), seat of Pontotoc co., S central Okla.; inc. 1904. It is a large cattle market and the center of a rich oil and ranch area. ). For example, due to its flexibility and ease in access, online learning is particularly attractive to some who are physically challenged physically challenged
Having a physical disability or impairment, especially one that limits mobility. See Usage Note at challenged.
n. (used with a pl. . But the same online course that is too heavily text-based and lacks audio support does not meet the educational needs of individuals who are visually impaired or, for that matter, the requirements of ADA.
Discussion continues regarding the appropriateness of online learning for human services courses generally, but especially for courses that require the development of such specific skills as interviewing or counseling, both of which involve training in the discerning dis·cern·ing
Exhibiting keen insight and good judgment; perceptive.
dis·cerning·ly adv. of non-verbal cues. Thus, there may be certain courses not suitable for a fully online approach. However, as the interactivity possibilities of online learning increase such as in two-way video, the search for the boundary between suitability and non-suitability remains elusive and part of an ongoing dialogue among human services faculty. A hybrid approach involving a combination of online and in-class instruction remains a viable option for many courses. Online learning has been faulted for being weak on pedagogical theory. This article offers a theoretical framework encompassing the constructivist approach of Vygotsky (1978), combined with Duschastel's (1997) six-function online model, both of which are congruent with the core elements of Knowles adult learning theory. The effectiveness of digital libraries was beyond the focus of this study.
As a pilot survey study comparing online and in-class student perceptions of learning outcomes, the conclusions need to be tentative. Expanding student demographic information to such categories as age, professional experience, and type of employment could strengthen interpretation of the data. For example, it is possible that students who take an online introductory course in human services do so because of their busy employment schedule, and may already be employed as human services workers.
The use of an experimental design, where students are randomly selected and randomly assigned to both forms of instruction, would further strengthen and clarify the difference in student perceptions of the two teaching methods. The addition of qualitative data in the form of subjective reports generated by open-ended questions A closed-ended question is a form of question, which normally can be answered with a simple "yes/no" dichotomous question, a specific simple piece of information, or a selection from multiple choices (multiple-choice question), if one excludes such non-answer responses as dodging a could enrich the data analysis. The Vygotskry--Duschastel theoretical approach advanced here has implications beyond online learning. Self reflection, creation and application of knowledge, the acceptance of diversity of outcomes in the creation and application of knowledge has merit for educational instruction generally, but especially adult learners. Using Duchastel's functions to create Vygotsky's learning zone can be the guiding principle, where both student and instructor participate in a creative and dynamic learning process for both online and in-class instruction.
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New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of , Seabury Press.
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1. National Education Association
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NEA (US) n abbr (= National Education Association) → Verband für das Erziehungswesen Higher Ed Journal 1999, 71.
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Master of Business Administration
Noun 1. MBA - a master's degree in business
Master in Business, Master in Business Administration program. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 6 (4). Retrieved February 15, 2004 from http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/winter64/hergert64.htm
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An academic degree conferred by a college or university upon those who complete at least one year of prescribed study beyond the bachelor's degree.
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John Doyle John Doyle may refer to:
Mikel Hogan hogan
Dwelling of the Navajo Indians of Arizona and New Mexico. The hogan is roughly circular and constructed usually of logs, which are stepped in gradually to create a domed roof. , California State University, Fullerton, California.
John Doyle, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Human Services and Gerontology gerontology: see geriatrics. , and Mikel Hogan, Ph.D., is Professor of Human Services and Anthropology.