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Effect of cooperative structure of small-group online activities on student satisfaction, benefits and use in distance education and an exploration of online strategies

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Effect of cooperative structure of small-group online activities on student satisfaction, benefits and use in distance education and an exploration of online strategies

Bures, Eva Mary (1996) Effect of cooperative structure of small-group online activities on student satisfaction, benefits and use in distance education and an exploration of online strategies. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This study's objective is to improve the design of small-group online activities in computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) distance education (DE) environments. Participants were volunteers drawn from an undergraduate education course, $n=38.$ Drawing on cooperative learning techniques, students in one section filled in group reflection forms and played assigned student moderator roles in online small-group activities. The level of significance is $p<0.05.$ The students in the cooperative condition tended to be more active in ungraded online activity. Specifically, they tended to engage in more instructor-student interaction and informal, social student-student interaction. They also reported spending significantly more time on the course. However, they did not tend to achieve better grades in the course. Nor were there any statistically significant affective differences between the two groups. This study suggest methods by which a DE undergraduate online instructor can increase students' social activity and instructor-student interactions. This has practical implications for those instructors troubled by low online participation. The study also includes a different perspective of the small-group activities, focusing on interpersonal dynamics. An analysis of critical incidents between group members, identifying good or poor use of online strategies, suggests that four strategies should be added to Burge's (1994) list: (1) Graceful new member entry; (2) Clarifying ambiguities related to task; (3) Coping gracefully with non-participation; and (4) Negotiating shared level of intimacy. The study concludes with practical suggestions for implementing online small-group work in a distance context.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Bures, Eva Mary
Pagination:vii, 104 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Education
Date:1996
Thesis Supervisor(s):Abrami, Philip C.
ID Code:167
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:10
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:12
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