Jason Rhode Dissertation Overview

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Overview of the dissertation of Jason F. Rhode, Ph.D. entitled, "Interaction Equivalency in Self-Paced Online Learning Environments: An Exploration of Learner Preferences"

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  • Jason Rhode Dissertation Overview

    1. 1. Interaction equivalency in self-paced online learning environments: An exploration of learner preferences Dissertation Defense Jason F. Rhode 1/17/2008
    2. 2. Jason F. Rhode <ul><li>Ph.D. candidate, Capella University </li></ul><ul><li>Specialization: Instructional Design for Online Learning </li></ul>
    3. 3. Introduction interaction self-paced learning emerging communication approaches
    4. 4. Background <ul><li>Substance and function of online interactions varies </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction is essential for a quality learning experience </li></ul><ul><li>Unanswered questions concerning learners’ interaction preferences and degree in which interactions are perceived to be equivalent </li></ul>
    5. 5. Statement of the Problem <ul><li>Interaction identified as a key element to successful online learning programs </li></ul><ul><li>Little empirical evidence currently exists as to the value that learners place upon various types of interactions in a self-paced learning environment </li></ul>
    6. 6. Types of Interactions
    7. 7. Interaction Equivalency Theorem
    8. 8. Purpose of the Study <ul><li>Expand upon previous research advocating for purposeful design of interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Examine the composition of the online learning experience of adult learners in self-paced learning environment </li></ul><ul><li>Explore what forms of interaction self-paced online learners value most as well as what impact they perceive interaction to have on their overall online learning experience </li></ul>
    9. 9. Research Questions <ul><li>What forms of interaction do adult learners engage in most in self-paced online courses? </li></ul><ul><li>What forms of interaction do adult learners value most in self-paced online courses? </li></ul><ul><li>What forms of interaction do online adult learners identify as equivalent in self-paced online courses? </li></ul><ul><li>What impact do adult learners perceive interaction to have on their self-paced online learning experience? </li></ul>
    10. 10. Research Design <ul><li>Mixed methods approach </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted near the conclusion of the course </li></ul>
    11. 11. Sampling Design <ul><li>Participants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online adult learners enrolled in a fully-online professional development certificate program offered by Valley Forge Christian College </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Participant selection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Convenience sample: all learners (n=13) in Sept. 2007 section of “Advanced Web Communications” and Aug. 2007 section (n=1) invited to participate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total of 10 learners agreed to participate (n=10) </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Participant Demographics
    13. 13. Measures <ul><li>Semi-structured, in-depth interviews conducted over the phone, each approx. 1 hr. in length </li></ul><ul><li>Questions addressed 3 main types of interaction and formal vs. informal nature of such interactions </li></ul>
    14. 14. Data Collection Procedures <ul><li>Approval from Capella University IRB and VFCC Academic Affairs </li></ul><ul><li>Instrument and protocol was pilot tested </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews conducted via phone and recorded, transcribed, and coded </li></ul><ul><li>Interview transcripts sent to interviewees to confirm accuracy prior to coding </li></ul>
    15. 15. Ethical Issues <ul><li>Learners had no obligation to participate </li></ul><ul><li>Interview data stored securely using assigned id codes in place of participant names </li></ul><ul><li>Pseudo names used in place of actual names </li></ul>
    16. 16. Data Analysis Procedures <ul><li>Identified emergent themes from the data that will serve as foundational schema for further data organization and analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Frequency analysis of ordinal data </li></ul>
    17. 17. Expected Findings <ul><li>It was expected that one or more types of interaction will surface as being preferred for adult learners </li></ul><ul><li>Learners may recognize certain interactions as equivalent </li></ul>
    18. 18. Analysis of Research Question #1 <ul><li>What forms of interaction to learners engage in most in self-paced online courses? </li></ul>
    19. 19. Engagement in Interaction <ul><li>Well-design content reported as one of the strongest aspects of the course </li></ul><ul><li>Practical application assignments among most beneficial </li></ul><ul><li>Overwhelmingly positive responses to course community, CMUOnet </li></ul>
    20. 20. Reported Involvement <ul><li>Most reported using course blog and social bookmarks </li></ul><ul><li>Instructors blog was very helpful for most </li></ul><ul><li>Participants didn’t attempt to contact outside experts </li></ul><ul><li>In-course discussion was limited </li></ul>
    21. 21. Analysis of Research Question #2 <ul><li>What forms of interaction do adult learners value most in self-paced online courses? </li></ul>
    22. 25. Analysis of Research Question #3 <ul><li>What forms of interaction do online adult learners identify as equivalent in self-paced online courses? </li></ul>
    23. 26. Findings <ul><li>Blogging valued equally, and in some instances higher, than asynchronous discussion via the LMS </li></ul><ul><li>Interactions with instructor and content deemed equivalent or nearly equivalent, with interactions with other learners of less importance </li></ul><ul><li>Participants hesitant to agree to any degradation of instructor or content interactions but many agreed that learner interactions could be replaced </li></ul>
    24. 27. Analysis of Research Question #4 <ul><li>What impact do adult learners perceive interaction to have on their self-paced online learning experience? </li></ul>
    25. 28. Findings <ul><li>Email was the preferred mode of interaction with instructor, blogging preferred for interaction with others </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback from instructor was reported as very important </li></ul><ul><li>Course size vs. quality </li></ul><ul><li>Participants identified a correlation between quality of interaction and quality of learning experience </li></ul>
    26. 29. Interaction Matrix: Core Elements
    27. 30. Interaction Matrix: Formal
    28. 31. Interaction Matrix: Informal
    29. 32. Interaction Matrix
    30. 33. Conclusions <ul><li>Depending on the specific circumstance, not all forms of interaction may be either equally valued by learners or effective </li></ul><ul><li>Informal interactions were as important as formal interactions in determining the quality of the online learning experience </li></ul><ul><li>Blogging was shown to be equivalent to or even superior to instructor-directed asynchronous discussion via the discussion board in a LMS </li></ul>
    31. 34. Further Study <ul><li>Explore perspectives of learners in varying disciplines/institutions/social-cultural backgrounds/online learning environments </li></ul><ul><li>Differing learner populations </li></ul><ul><li>Unique aspects of emergent asynchronous communications such as blogging, collaborative authorship, social bookmarking, and social networking </li></ul><ul><li>To what extent can a social network system meet the needs of designers, instructors, and learners and therefore be capable of replacing an LMS? </li></ul><ul><li>What impact does course size have on the self-paced online learning experience? </li></ul>

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