VOL. 5, NO. 3; MAY
Table of Content

Articles

Online learning faculties use asynchronous debates

Kris Hunt


Abstract:

This study investigated a number of factors associated with the faculty use of asynchronous discussions in online courses including: instructor behaviors and attitudes, the structure of discussion assignments, types of discussion rubrics and their use, facilitation style, and comparisons between online discussions and face-to-face discussions. Data was collected from faculty at two different institutions who taught undergraduate or graduate classes. The results indicate that faculty are significantly involved in discussion activities and report that they spend considerable time doing so. The results also suggest that faculty teaching graduate courses believe that online discussions result in more and better interaction compared to face-to-face courses, whereas undergraduate faculty found online courses decreased interaction and quality of interaction compared to face-to-face courses.  It is proposed that the Community of Inquiry model may be a useful framework to conduct further studies of how faculty make use of discussions in online courses and the factors that influence effectiveness of student learning.

The use of the enhanced learning technology via powerful web tools in blogs, wikis, and podcasts

Bailey Holland


Abstract:

Technology and the employment of etools within the education domain have brought about unprecedented impact on educational deliverables and deliverances. Teaching and learning have equally been enhanced. Learning theorists have suggested tool-use has contributed to the evolution of human language and cognitive development (Wertsch, 1985).Tool-use extends our sense of self-identity, social identity, and our experiences of social relationships within particular places. Education professionals use specific kinds of technologies (analogue and digital) and are influenced by particular characteristics of the technologies they use (Watson, 2001). Our social and cultural understanding of tools and complex digital technologies affect our ability to use them for learning (Pierson, 2001). The context and conditions of these understandings affect how we know when, where, and why ICT belongs in our educational practices. A number of advantages of using blogs, wikis and podcasts have been identified which translates to the fact that technology has brought with it more convenience, independence to students learning and enable students to reveal their natural propensity to show their creativity.

Are you learning in a virtual classroom? Measure student insight into the characteristics and features

Ryan Elliott


Abstract:

Student learning is a key element of instructional technology, yet little is known about the Virtual Classroom, including student’s perception of its features and characteristics. Therefore, reliable and valid instruments are needed to measure these attributes. The researchers assess the reliability and validity of a survey designed to address this. The sample consisted of 57 students from three classes at a Southeastern University in the United States. Face and content validity were established by a panel of experts. After data collection, internal consistency reliability was determined for the features (α =.92) and characteristics: interactivity = .70, synchrony =.70, usefulness and ease of use =.76 and sense of community = .77. Although the 4 characteristics were reliable, some items within each construct need further investigation due to low item-to-total correlations (<.30). The results are discussed along with implications for future Virtual Classroom research.