Read-Only Participants: A Case for Student Communication in Online Classes
Grand Canyon University: UNV 501
7 July 2013
Nagel, L., Blignaut, A. S., & Cronje, J. C. (2009). Read-only participants: A case study for student communication in online classes. Interactive Learning Environments, 17(1), 37-51.
According to a recent survey of college presidents conducted by the Pew Research Center, more than three-quarters of America’s universities and ...view middle of the document...
Bernard (2004) found that dropout rates for students enrolled in online courses were 10-20% higher than in face-to-face courses. The author’s literature review uncovered Klemm’s work (1998) which blamed conditioning of traditional students to passivity in the classroom as a major impediment to online success.
Questions and Methodology
The authors questioned how online participation related to learning and successful course completion, measured in throughput rates, and how participation influenced the learning community (Nagel et. al, 2009). The authors chose to facilitate and monitor an eight-week online course in the computer science field at the University of Praetoria in South Africa consisting of a cohort of twenty-two students of various age ranges (Nagel et. al, 2009). They measured student responses via discussion, blogs, reflective essays, and feedback without using the final term grade as an indicator of success (Nagel et. al, 2009). The researchers used software to analyze quantitative data regarding students’ online activities during the course.
The students were categorized into three groups to show the correlation between term grades and success: failing (