Online Learning Update

December 28, 2014

Instructor Intervention on the Quality and Frequency of Student Discussion Posts in a Blended Classroom

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

by Cheryl A. Murphy and Russell A. Fortner, JOLT

This quasi-experimental study examined the impact of structured instructor postings on the participation and performance of student discussion groups in a blended classroom. Undergraduate students enrolled in an instructional technology course were assigned to either a treatment (instructor postings; n=97) or control group (no instructor postings; n=98) for three distinct discussion topics spanning a six-week period. A crossover design was used to control for timing and instructor biases. Resulting student posts from all three discussions were compared between the groups with respect to quality and frequency. The findings suggested that although students received equal quality scores in both situations, different posting strategies were utilized in the presence or absence of instructor posts. Further research is needed to explore specific strategies students employ when posting with and without instructor intervention, and to consider how this knowledge can be used by instructors to support students in online discussions.

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