THE IMPACT OF A SYNCHRONOUS TOOL IN ASYNCHRONOUS ONLNE COURSES
Saint Leo University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:In this session the presenters will discuss the preliminary results their multi-year study exploring the use of synchronous conferencing in online learning environments from the perspective of course designers who also teach the courses online. The purpose of the study was to investigate if newly implemented technology (Elluminate online conferencing tool) was having an effect on (a) building community in online classes; (b) increasing student engagement with the content in online classes; (c) increasing student interaction and collaboration with instructors and peers in online classes. The researchers additionally assessed students’ perception of Elluminate as a teaching and learning tool. The investigation utilized both quantitative and qualitative design methodologies. The investigators analyzed qualitative data (field notes, emails, discussion post threads) and quantitative data (end of course instructor evaluations) classes pre and post use of the online conferencing tool.
Only students enrolled in online classes and instructors who teach on online classes, using Elluminate, in graduate level classes at Saint Leo University were eligible to participate. Full time and adjunct faculty kept detailed field notes documenting their experiences with the online conferencing tool. To maintain anonymity and confidentiality field notes, emails and other concomitant data did not contain any information regarding specific students.
In the first year of implementation quantitative data (survey and Likert scale end of course instructor evaluation) and qualitative data (open-ended survey and end of instructor evaluation questions and emails), using open and axial coding methodologies, were analyzed. Preliminary data indicated the online conferencing tool increased student engagement with the content in online classes and increased student interaction and collaboration with instructors and peers in their online classes.
Keywords: Synchronous, Online Conferencing, Student Engagement, Research.