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Published By The Online Learning Consortium

2472-5730, 2472-5749
Updated Wednesday, 02 June 2021

2021 ◽  
Vol 25 (2) ◽  
Author(s):  
Mary K. Stewart ◽  
Lyra Hilliard ◽  
Natalie Stillman-Webb ◽  
Jennifer M. Cunningham

This article applies the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework to a particular disciplinary context: first-year writing (FYW). Students enrolled in online FYW courses across three institutions (n = 272) completed a version of the CoI survey that was slightly modified to fit the disciplinary context of writing studies. A factor analysis was conducted to determine how well the CoI in Writing Studies data aligned with typical CoI survey research; teaching presence and cognitive presence loaded onto single factors, but the social presence items divided into multiple factors. The authors put their findings in conversation with other scholarship about social presence, especially Carlon et al. (2012) and Kreijns et al. (2014), and advocate for differentiating between survey items that relate to “social presence,” “social comfort,” “attitude,” and “social learning.” They also recommend that future disciplinary uses of the CoI Survey include survey items that ask students to report on the extent to which they engaged in the types of social learning that the discipline values.


2021 ◽  
Vol 25 (2) ◽  
Author(s):  
Ali Erarslan ◽  
Meral Şeker

Exploring higher education learners’ e-learning experiences and the challenges they encounter is required to equip them with necessary skills and strategies to attain their academic goals (Cooper & Corpus, 2009). By identifying the types of and the frequency of exposure to distractors, the study was specifically geared towards finding out the level of motivational self-regulated strategies, including volition and goal commitment strategies, employed against online distractors during e-learning by higher education learners. The data were gathered through a questionnaire developed after a comprehensive literature review and semi-structured interviews (n = 38). The questionnaire was completed by higher education learners (n = 279), who were found to implement goal commitment and volition strategies at moderate levels despite the high frequency of exposure to distractors. The overall findings imply that equipping learners with motivational e-learning strategies encompassing goal commitment and volition strategies is necessary. This will require more in-depth research conducted to explore the role of self-regulated strategies in predicting learner engagement in the context of online learning.


2021 ◽  
Vol 25 (2) ◽  
Author(s):  
Zainab Alfayez

Recent developments have seen a significant increase in the number of educational videos being made, mostly for use as a resource in a range of educational levels and different specializations. Indeed, currently, many universities either provide videos as supplementary resources or, indeed, offer entire courses as online learning materials. The qualitative study this paper presents was conducted to answer the following questions: “How have educational videos (lectures/tutorials) published on YouTube affected the university students’ studies at both postgraduate and undergraduate levels?” and “would it be better to upload these types of videos onto a university website?” The aim was to explore the experiences of students from two universities (one a high- ranking university and one from a developing country) regarding online educational videos and to assess the extent to which these kinds of videos influence their studies. The data collection method used was individual interviews with students from two different universities to gather their perspectives, their opinions, and their aspirations regarding such videos. The results section analyzes and discusses the students’ varied opinions. Based on the research findings, several recommendations are made to develop a useable design to add videos to university websites. Finally, the research discussed how this study’s findings contribute during the COVID-19 pandemic.


2021 ◽  
Vol 25 (2) ◽  
Author(s):  
Lucas Kohnke

While technology use is becoming increasingly common in education, teachers remain reluctant to use it and hesitant on how best to incorporate it into their teaching and practice.  There is a strong demand from institutions for English language teachers to cope with the changing landscape of teaching in the 21st century.  This explorative study investigated Hong Kong tertiary teachers’ beliefs on continuing professional development activities to enhance their teaching.  The study had a two-phase research design, with an initial questionnaire (N = 58) followed by semistructured interviews (N = 12) to unpack the participants’ hidden voices.  The findings illustrated that most teachers are enthusiastic about professional development activities, though there is a misalignment between what universities value and reward and what teachers see as most beneficial for enhancing their teaching practices.  The results suggested that professional development activities should focus on sharing good teaching practice (e.g., informal chats, mentoring) within universities rather than on rewarding attending conferences and on-off, nonintegrated workshops.


2021 ◽  
Vol 25 (2) ◽  
Author(s):  
Laura Silva ◽  
Mary Shuttlesworth ◽  
Phil Ice

Distance learning enrollments in higher education continue to grow, and academic leaders increasingly use non-designer instructors (NDIs) to meet demand. NDIs have little control over some aspects of teaching presence, including course design through instructional media resources included in a predesigned master course. This study used the Community of Inquiry (COI) survey to investigate (a) do distance learners’ perceptions of their NDIs’ teaching presence predict their cognitive presence; and (b) does distance learners’ use of instructional media resources moderate the relationship between their perceptions of NDIs’ teaching presence and learners’ cognitive presence. Multiple regression results indicated that perceptions of NDIs’ teaching presence predicted learners’ perceptions of cognitive presence, but learners’ use of instructional media failed to moderate that predictive relationship. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.


2021 ◽  
Vol 25 (2) ◽  
Author(s):  
Sara Rutherford-Quach ◽  
Karen Thompson ◽  
Claudia Rodriguez-Mojica ◽  
Diego Román

Online courses, particularly in the MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) format, have a mixed reputation due to their potential to democratize access to educational opportunities and their markedly low completion rates. Yet educators continue to enroll in online courses, including MOOCs, in high numbers. For teachers at under-resourced schools or of under-served populations, free online courses may be their only professional development option. It thus remains important to understand if and how online courses, in their various formats, can serve as vehicles for supporting teacher learning and whether this can happen on a large-scale. This mixed-method study examines completion and learning outcomes in a MOOC designed for teachers of English Learners (ELs). In particular, the study identifies and examines face-to-face, structural supports that were simultaneously available to some course participants and investigates whether these were significantly related to completion and learning within the course. Findings indicate that participants who received more structural supports were significantly more likely to complete the course. While participants, on average, showed evidence of learning within the course, participants receiving structural supports did not show evidence of learning more than other participants did. This is potentially due to omitted variable bias that suggests participants who completed the course without structural supports may differ from participants who completed the course with structural supports in important, unaccounted for ways. This study contributes to research on blended learning within the context of teacher professional development, suggesting that blended learning may be useful in supporting MOOC completion, particularly for certain teacher populations.


2021 ◽  
Vol 25 (2) ◽  
Author(s):  
DeLaina Tonks ◽  
Royce Kimmons ◽  
Stacie L. Mason

Research focusing on the experiences of special education students in online K–12 schools is scant despite growing numbers of enrollments. This study utilized an emailed survey to understand the motivations and experiences of a group of special education students (n = 30) and their parents (n = 29) while enrolled in an online K–12 school in the U.S. Responses indicated that the three most compelling reasons for choosing the school were flexibility, previous poor fit, and teacher availability. Qualitative analysis of open-ended responses produced two major themes—prior experiences and affordances of the learning environment—with sub-themes related to bullying, personnel, academics, disabilities and accommodations, health considerations, lack of support, self-determination, and the where, when, and how of online learning. These findings may help policy makers enact policies and online educators adapt their approach to better meet the needs of K–12 students with special needs.


2021 ◽  
Vol 25 (2) ◽  
Author(s):  
Monica Bellon-Harn ◽  
Vinaya Manachaiah

This paper presents the functionality, impact and satisfaction of a self-management web-based or mobile application student support program (i.e., College Connect) for post-secondary students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (PSS-ASD) in the United States. Five professionals and four successful college graduates with ASD evaluated College Connectand completed an intervention satisfaction rating and an ePlatform performance questionnaire. College Connect and ePlatform function was modified based on reviewers’ feedback. Following modification, the program was piloted with three high school seniors and one freshman at a two-year college with ASD. Results pointed toward strengths and limitations of the program protocol and future directions.


2021 ◽  
Vol 25 (2) ◽  
Author(s):  
Zahir Ibrahim Latheef ◽  
Robert Robinson ◽  
Sedef Smith

Readiness for online learning has been established as a key component of student success in online classes. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored how vital being prepared for online can be. This paper highlights an orientation technique widely used in the business field, namely Realistic Job Preview (RJP), as a method to prepare students for what online learning might be like. Our research proposes an RJP would help students adapt to their new role as online learners. For the purposes of this study, we developed a video providing a realistic preview of online learning following recommendations from RJP research. We then conducted a mixed methods study to examine student perceptions of our realistic preview video and an online readiness self-assessment. Overall, our findings provide strong evidence for the use of RJP as a strategy to improve student readiness for online learning.


2021 ◽  
Vol 25 (2) ◽  
Author(s):  
Georgianna Laws

As the online higher-education market continues along its trajectory of steady growth, it becomes increasingly competitive.  Since quality sets online programs apart in the current competitive market, it is a priority for higher-education institutions.  Consequently, presidents and provosts at many U.S. higher education institutions have been placing the quality of online program administration under the purview of a new role known under the umbrella term of chief online education officer (COEO).  However, when looking for empirical research to help calibrate the COEO role in a way that maximizes its influence on quality, senior leaders find a gap in the literature.  The purpose of this quantitative, correlative, non-experimental study was to ask COEOs from all over the nation to use the Online Learning Consortium Quality Scorecard (QSC) to share their perceptions of the quality of their institution’s online program.  Additionally, COEOs were asked to self-assess their ability to influence quality based on their legitimate power and to describe environmental factors that could potentially impact their legitimate power.  Key findings indicate a strong, positive correlation between overall legitimate power and overall quality, as well as between overall legitimate power and the hierarchy of COEO job titles (E1).  Additional environmental factors significantly correlated with legitimate power categories included the number of units making a full report to the COEO (E3) and the breadth of COEO’s current portfolio of responsibilities (E12), among others.  Finally, data indicate that the hardest quality category to influence is technical support.


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