Enhancing Online Learning

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This is a slideshow presentation of a paper, "Online Students’ Expectations of Interaction and Locus of Instructional Control: Enhancing Learning in the Virtual Classroom." It was delivered by Joan Van Tassel and Joseph Schmitz at the National University Faculty Scholarship Conference, September 4, 2012, at La Jolla, CA.

Transcript of Enhancing Online Learning

  • 1. Online Students Expectations of Interaction and Locus of Instructional Control: Enhancing Learning in the Virtual Classroom Joan Van Tassel Joseph Schmitz Faculty Scholarship Conference 2012 National University This research was supported by National University Presidential Scholar Award.We thank Scott Campbell for help with survey design and data collection.
  • 2. Literaturethe current literature tends to separate the experiencesand practices of academics from those of students withinteachinglearning processes. This has meant that thisresearch does not support an examination of the dynamicand shifting aspects of teachinglearning interactions inhigher education.- Paul Ashwin, 2009 Analyzing teacher-learning interactions in higher education: Accounting for structure and agency. (p. 7)
  • 3. Literature Domains Nontraditional students Online learning considerations Interaction expectations Importance of expectations met Locus of instructional control
  • 4. Theoretical Model
  • 5. Research Questions Research Question 1: How do students age, gender, and life situations impact their communication, interaction expectations and experiences, course interaction satisfaction, and learning in online courses? Research Question 2: How do students perceptions of locus of instructional control expectations and subsequent course experiences impact course interaction processes and student learning? Research Question 3: Which communication factors most influence students course interaction satisfaction and overall student learning?
  • 6. Methods Online survey to active online students Sent to 28 classes Anonymous respondents Communication interaction expectations (4) Communication interaction behaviors Locus of instructional control Students course interaction satisfaction Students course learning
  • 7. Results 63 respondents Roughly half undergrad and half grad students Virtually all nontraditional students Generally satisfied with interaction & communi- cation, course learning Undergrad students had interaction expectations met and rated course processes and outcomes higher
  • 8. Locus of Instructional Control Students expected they would share locus of instructional control with instructors more than they actually experienced Students who experienced shared locus of control with instructors reported better communication-interaction processes and better course learning outcomes
  • 9. Predicting interaction satisfaction and student learning Overall interaction satisfaction 76 % of variance explained by: Students course experience met their expectations of communication with: Instructors instructor guidance, course content Peer interaction expectations Overall student learning 57 % of the variance explained by: Overall interaction satisfaction Shared instructor-student or instructor directed locus of instructional control Met expectations of interaction with course content
  • 10. Broad Take-Away Demographic variables played relatively minor roles in course interaction and learning. Communication between instructors and students shapes important course outcomes including student learning. Meeting student expectations has (by far) the most effect on satisfaction with course instructional processes and reported learning in the course.
  • 11. Study Strengths and Limitations Limitations Sample size Convenience sample Response rates Cross-sectional design Strengths Natural, non- reactive, representative sample Important and powerful theoretical constructs 3 dimensions of course/instructor interaction Students expectations met Locus of instructional interaction
  • 12. Future Research Designs Investigate comprehensive models of online learning processes that include interaction/communication expectations and locus of instructional control. Increase external and internal validity: Use longitudinal research designs. Increase survey response rates by offering respondents substantial participation incentives. Analyze and model data with structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine simultaneous causal relationships.
  • 13. Theoretical Implications Afford prominence to the communication and interaction processes of instructors and learners. Attend to the effects of met (and unmet) student expectations upon online learning processes and course outcomes. Locus of instructional control for nontraditional online students moderates their communication, course interaction satisfaction, and overall student learning.
  • 14. Practical Implications Co-creation of students and instructors expectations regarding the nature, scope, and intensity of students interactions with their instructors and with the course content. Students expectations of interaction with course content privileges course design expertise, if material is grounded in subject matter expertise. Stress and redefine the importance of the instructors role. Guide on the side is too laissez-faire and passive to meet online students expectations.
  • 15. Thanks! This research was supported by a National University Presidential Scholar Award Thank you for your interest Please contact Joan Van Tassel for a copy of this presentation or our manuscript at: http://www.visualcv.com/joanvt