Student perception of online instruction

Title: Understanding student perceptions of web-based collaboration in a traditional classroom environment

Overview:
This research examines data collected during a course in which web conferencing software was used in four of the thirteen classes. The data collected includes student feedback on experience and comfort level with instructional classes conducted with web conferencing software, student course evaluations, and instructor observations. The data will be qualitatively coded and analyzed with two primary research questions in mind: 1) How do undergraduate students in a traditional classroom environment perceive web conferencing tools and their usefulness for instruction? 2) What is the self-reported comfort level of undergraduate students using web conferencing software?

While online instruction is a prominent approach to higher education instruction, the means by which online instruction is delivered continue to evolve. A 2004 study of online teaching in higher education found that 70% of survey respondents taught online in some form (Kim and Bonk, 2006). Likewise a 2009 report found that online learning had been a growing trend in K-12 education for the last eight years and that blended (i.e., hybrid online and traditional learning methods) were found to be positively related to student learning outcomes (Means et al., 2010). Despite these findings, Means also reported a lack of studies examining the impact of specific instructional techniques. While there has been recent growth in the use of real-time web conferencing software in online instruction, there is a lack of research, whether case studies or experimental work, that examines the impact of this platform. This research seeks to identify the role of web conferencing software in a blended instructional environment from the student and instructor perspectives.

Citations:

Kim, Kyong-Jee and Curtis J. Bonk. The future of online teaching and learning in higher education: The survey says. EDUCAUSE Quarterly. Magazine. 29/4. 2006. http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/EQM0644.pdf.

Means, Barbara, et al. Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-analysis and review of Online Learning Studies. U.S. Department of Education. September, 2010. http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf.

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