Online Learning Update

June 24, 2010

Teacher Moderating and Student Engagement in Online Learning Synchronous Computer Conferences

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

by Shufang Shi, MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching Vol. 6, No. 2, June 2010

The purpose of this study was to develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between teacher moderating levels and student engagement in synchronous online computer conferences. To achieve this understanding, the researcher developed new constructs and measurement methods to measure teacher moderating variables (number of teacher postings and quality of teacher postings) and student engagement variables (behavioral, social-emotional, and intellectual engagement). The researcher investigated the relationships between and among the teacher moderating variables and student engagement variables, with the final goal of identifying the critical factors that influence student intellectual engagement. The data for the study consisted of 44 transcripts of automatically archived online conferences from four groups of students over 11 weeks in a synchronous online course. Quantitative analysis revealed that student intellectual engagement was a function of both students’ participation and the number and quality of teacher postings. The findings of this study contribute to a better understanding of how students can become invested behaviorally, social-emotionally, and intellectually in the collaborative discourse of a community of inquiry through the medium of synchronous computer conferencing.

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