• A qualitative study of participation of students in online discussion in mathematics

      Seo, Daeryong
      Despite many recent developm ents in technology, there are still many people who are not fully utilizing advanced technologies to enhance learning. This issue has an impact on K-12 schools as well as higher education and makes a case for the development of better distance education programs, which can assist students in studying more effectively both in and out of the classroom. In particular, online discussion in distance education can encourage students who are having difficulty in solving mathematical word problems on tests. The purpose of this study was to understand the behavior, motivation, and interests of teacher education students who need remediation by means of online discussion in mathematics. In addition, this study aimed at investigating the benefits and drawbacks of online discussion boards when teacher education students participate in online discussions for math remediation as well as the degree to which an expert facilitator impacted the online remediation. For this study, 12 students participated in an online discussion forum related to mathematics word problems, and six students participated in virtual focus group interviews. The participants were divided into two groups: one with an online expert facilitator and one without. The results showed the importance of an online facilitator and social interaction in the online discussion board. Students posted and shared new ideas and opinions and enjoyed their online discussion activities. The reported advantages of the online discussion were no-time and space limitations and the improvement of critical thinking ability, and the reported disadvantages of the online discussion were time lag, only text -based settings, and unfami liar interface as well as the possibility of plagiarism of others’ ideas and opinions. This study took place over a period of one week for online discussion in mathematics word problems. It is hoped that the results of this study will have implications for educators working with distance education settings.
    • Factors Affecting Retention in Online Courses

      Berling, Victoria L.
      The purpose of this study was to expand what is known regarding the factors that relate to successful completion of online, undergraduate college courses. It addressed 13 student factors available through archival data at Northern Kentucky University based on 1,493 students enrolled in fully online courses in fall 2008. It included programmatic membership as the fourteenth variable. The study employed both logistic regression analysis and multiple regression analysis. The dependent variable for the logistic regression analysis was dichotomous based on completion of all online courses with a grade of ―D‖ or better (yes or no). The dependent variable for the multiple regression analysis was a continuous variable, percentage of online courses completed. The following variables were found to have a positive relationship to successful completion of online courses: applying for financial assistance, GPA, senior year in college, major in health and human sciences, major in a STEM field, and tuition residency of metro rate. The following variables were found to have a negative relationship to successful completion of online courses: race of Black and freshman year in college. The freshman year in college only showed as a significant variable in the multiple regression analysis.
    • Faculty Perceptions About Attributes and Barriers Impacting the Diffusion of Online Education in Two Saudi Universities

      Alhawiti, Mohammed Mfarij (2011-06-23)
      Recognizing that faculty are an essential part of the success of any distance education program, this study sought to examine faculty perceptions of attributes and barriers impacting diffusion of online education at two Saudi universities: Taif University and Tabuk University. More specifically, the study intended to (a) give an overview of faculty members’ current stage in the innovation-decision process in regards to online education, (b) examine faculty perceptions about attributes (motivating factors) and barriers (inhibiting factors) impacting diffusion of online education, (c) investigate the relationship between faculty members’ selected personal characteristics (including age, years of teaching, DE experience, gender, academic rank, nationality, and level of education) and their perceptions about attributes (motivating factors) and barriers (inhibiting factors) impacting diffusion of online education, (d) investigate the relationship between faculty members’ selected personal characteristics (including age, years of teaching, distance education experience, gender, academic rank, professional area, nationality, and level of education) and their stage in the innovation-decision process, and (e) demonstrate how these factors can be used to increase faculty adoption of online education to respond to the increasing demands for this kind of education. Rogers’ (1995) diffusion of innovation theory was employed to discuss the findings from this study and to reveal which attributes of innovation are perceived to be important in the innovation decision process by faculty members as they decide to adopt or reject online education. Data was collected using a self-administrated and cross-sectional questionnaire. The findings revealed that the most important attribute of WBDE was relative advantage and that the main barriers that prevented faculty members from adopting online education were technical expertise, infrastructure, and planning issues. The inferential analysis showed that distance education experience was a significant predictor for faculty perceptions about relative advantage, compatibility, observability, and complexity. It also showed that age, academic rank, and level of education were significant predictors of faculty perceptions of financial concerns as a barrier to WBDE. Moreover, the relationship between DE experience and faculty’s stage in the innovation-decision process was found to be statistically significant.
    • Perception of Social Presence in Asynchronous and Synchronous Online Discussion from The Perspective of Native and Non-Native Speaker

      Alruhaimi, Abdullah (2011-09-16)
      The technology innovation of telecommunication gave confidence to educational institutions to substitute some of their courses from traditional courses into virtual ones. This switch in education inspired globalization. The learners use either synchronous or asynchronous communication tools to interact with each other. Most previous studies in this field show that social presence is correlated with learner achievement satisfaction and interaction. So the researcher measured the level of social presence for both groups of learners, native and nonnative speakers, across both types of online communication, synchronous and asynchronous communication. The researcher conducted a 2x2 split-plot ANOVA design with repeated measure for this study. The four cells in this design help the researcher to find how every group differs in both discussion formats. The findings of this study will lend a hand to institutions, instructional designers, instructors, and software and hardware developers to improve and concentrate on preferable methods of communication for global virtual institutions. The researcher did not find a statistically significant difference between native and nonnative speakers across the methods of online communications. There was no statistically significant difference between the learners in general across the methods of online communications. But the reported low level of agreement toward the level of social presence in both methods of online communication emphasizes the importance for all people who are concerned about virtual education to work hand in hand to elevate the level of social presence in online learning.The researcher encourages those who are concerned about online learning, and education in general to be the early adopters of technology such as Smartphone applications and the advanced features of social networking such as Facebook and Google wave.
    • Perceptions of Faculty Caring: Comparison of Distance and Traditional Graduate Nursing Students

      Hall, Lea R. (2010-07-20)
      The concept of caring has played a vital role in nursing education. Role modeling has been identified as the primary way to teach caring and has been investigated extensively. As caring has evolved, so has the ways in which we educate nurses. Countless institutions now offer distance education programs in nursing in an effort to address the nurse and nurse educator shortage. It is unclear, however, from the nursing education literature if the modeling of caring can be transferred to students in a distance learning environment. This study investigated the impact of learning environment, program satisfaction, and persistence on graduate nursing students’ perceptions of faculty caring measured by the Organizational Climate for Caring Questionnaire. The 162 participants were recruited from 76 different accredited institutions throughout five states. Preliminary review of the data revealed no variability in persistence among the sample as all students were planning to persist or were graduating. Therefore a two-way analysis of variance was conducted and found no significant interaction between learning environment and student satisfaction and no significant main effect for learning environment. Satisfied students, however, did perceive their faculty as more caring than unsatisfied students. Results from this study indicate that as students feel cared for by their faculty, they are more satisfied with their programs of study, which may lead to better outcomes and increased student retention rates. Furthermore, no differences were found among the three learning environments indicating that role modeling of caring can occur in the distance environment as in the traditional face-to-face environment. Nurse educators need to be aware of both caring and non-caring behaviors they portray regardless of learning environment, and the impact they have on student satisfaction and student persistence.
    • Principal Perceptions About the Implementation and Effectiveness of Online Learning in Public High Schools in Indiana

      Rayle, Timothy W.
      The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine the principal perceptions and demographic relationship of the implementation and effectiveness of online learning in non-charter Indiana public high schools. An analysis was prepared to determine whether demographic factors played a role in the principal‘s perceptions of the implementation and effectiveness of online learning. Factors examined included school location, school size, technology and support costs, principal‘s age, and principal‘s gender. Principal‘s perceptions were examined because the principal is considered to be the building level educational leader. As such, the principal has a responsibility to provide the students with a sound curriculum that meets their needs individually and collectively. The research design involved a population of 343 non-charter public high school principals serving grades of at least 10 – 12. Principal beliefs in the implementation and effectiveness of online learning were collected using a 44-item survey. Statistical analysis of the data included descriptive statistics regarding the mean, standard deviation, and frequency of selected items. A Pearson product moment correlation and multivariate analysis of variance were used to test the null hypotheses. Significance was identified at the .05 level. In all, 241 principals of non-charter public high schools in Indiana responded to the survey instrument which questioned the perceived level of effectiveness and perceived level of implementation of 15 specific uses of online learning. As a result of the analysis, significant findings were present in the overall perceptions of the implementation and effectiveness of online learning and also in the 15 individual uses of online learning. Significance was also found in one or more of the 15 uses of online learning in regards to the perceived implementation based upon gender, student enrollment, school locality, and the interactions based upon age and gender, and student enrollment and school locality. In addition, significance was found in one or more of the 15 uses of online learning in regards to the perceived effectiveness based upon student enrollment, school locality, and the interactions of enrollment and locality.
    • Saudi College Student's preference for synchronous and asynchronous web-based courses:An exploratory study.

      Al-Jabri, Abdullah (2012-05-17)
      Technology has become an essential component of the teaching-learning process,and online-learning,in particular,has captivated the interest of many educational institutions throughout the world.Web-based learning has provided both students and teachers with new and unique ways of communicating with each other.As a result,many studies have been conducted to investigate factors affecting the establishment of productive communications in web-based settings.Likewise,the focus of this study is how the number of courses completed and the participants perception of their English language competence impacted their preferences for synchronous and asynchronous web-based learning in English instruction and in Arabic instruction.The sample consisted of 82 Saudi undergraduate students enrolled at Indiana State University during the spring 2011.The study used a hard copy modified version of a survey that was designed by Burton(2009)containing 27 items,which were divided into three parts.A four-point Likert scale was utilized to gain an overall score of student's preferences for synchronous and asynchronous web-based courses.Descriptive statistics(frequencies,means and standard deviations,skewness and kurtosis).one-way ANOVA tests,and repeated measures test(paired samples t-test)were utilized to answer the questions presented in this study.The results revealed that there was no significant difference in student preferences for synchronous web-based courses delivered in English or Arabic on the basis of grade level or the learner's perceptions of their level of English language proficiency.There were also no significant differences between preferences for synchronous learning in English(L2)and preferences for synchronous learning in Arabic(L1).The results also showed that the participants had greater preferences for synchronous online courses over asynchronous online courses.These findings mirror those found in earlier studies.The descriptive statistics revealed that learners had a strong preference for having direct conversations with the teacher,having more flexibility,studying on their own,and learning new materials through discussions with others or through having someone explain it to them.
    • The Effects of Using PBWorks in a Hybrid Collaborative Class Environment on Students' Academic Achievement

      Ibrahim, Abdullah
      E-learning plays an important role in higher education, especially with the appearance of web 2.0. The study investigated the effects of using PBWorks, as a free web 2.0 wiki, on students’ academic achievement, and students’ attitudes toward collaborative learning. The study was designed as an experimental study. There was comparison between two groups. These groups were the PBWorks hybrid class environment, and face-to-face class environment. Both classes used collaborative learning. The participants in this study were 51 female students in Educational Communication Aids. Both classes had the same instructor and they studied the same material. This study was conducted in the college of education in Kuwait University. The results of the study showed that there was not a significant difference in the post academic achievement test. However, the PBWorks group made more progress than the face-to-face group when we consider the pre-test. On the other hand, the result of the students’ attitudes toward collaborative learning showed there was a significant difference in the post-test in all six variables, which were monitoring working procedures, participation, monitoring group progress, helping each other, giving feedback, and the need to be monitored, and the face-to-face group had higher attitudes toward collaborative learning than the PBWorks group. Finally, one of the most important advantages of this study was that both groups had a positive increase in the academic achievement test and questionnaire that assessed attitudes toward collaborative learning.
    • Virtual schools and the affective domain

      Tucker, Kimberly J.
      The intent of this qualitative study was to explore the following research questions: Does online instruction differ from traditional classroom instruction in regard to the development of affective learning? What emphasis is placed on developing a ffective skills in the traditional versus the virtual classroom? What instructional techniques are common or different toward developing affective learning in comparison of the traditional and virtual classroom? What specific types of lessons, activities , and assessments do teachers in each format use to ensure affective learning? What perceptions do teachers in the traditional and virtual classroom have with regard to affective learning and the implications with present and future learning in the affect ive domain through online instruction? Purposeful sampling was utilized to select five traditional classroom teachers and five virtual classroom teachers from Illinois. The state of Illinois was selected because in addition to academic learning standards , the Illinois Department of Education provides specific standards for social and emotional learning (SELS) in all grades. Three themes identified within the data include d : acknowledg ment and valu e of the impact of teacher immediacy on student learning, c ommitment to providing affective learning opportunities within the curriculum, and teacher perceptions about affective learning in online education. The responses showed that teachers in both settings acknowledged that affective learning was highly valued in their instructional program s . Interview analysis showed that teachers in the traditional and virtual settings were aware of the importance of providing affective support and developing affective skills in the classroom. Interview analysis show ed that there were many similarities between traditional and virtual curriculum in the development of instructional methodology to develop affective learning . The perspectives about online v er s us traditional education were sharply divided along the lines of teac her experience within the virtual platform. Traditional teachers did not believe that the virtual teacher or the virtual classroom could provide the necessary supports to build affective learning. Virtual teachers were much more amenable to online learni ng. Their perceptions were based on their described successes in the virtual classroom. They reflected on their efforts to build in affective supports and to implement instructional methodology which they believed were successful in developing their stud ents in terms of the academic and affective domains. Overall, the study showed that virtual schools and virtual teachers do place significant emphasis on affective learning and that their overall pedagogy is similar to that of traditional classrooms and t raditional teachers. Virtual schools have the capacity to impact student affective learning. Research into the impact that virtual schools have on K - 12 students and the affective domain will provide parents with the information needed to place their chil d ren in the best - suited learning environment. It will also provide educators with the data to inform and reform instruction to better meet the needs of all K - 12 learners.