• 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.