Date of Award

5-1-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Fadde, Peter

Abstract

Online learning has become an important factor for higher education purposes worldwide. However, while the convenience of online learning is embraced, the perceived quality of online learning remains an issue. Efforts to make online learning more like classroom learning include asynchronous discussion boards (ADB) and posting pre-recorded lecture (PRL) on a learning management system. PRL can include, but is not limited to: video, PowerPoint slides, audio recordings, and lecture notes. However, while PRL adds classroom-like teaching, users can still be unsatisfied with the lack of interaction with PRL. As an alternative that can potentially reduce the limitations of PRL, live online lecture (LOL) offers affordances that are similar to a face-to-face classroom because the instructor and students can meet and exchange dialog and feedback in real time. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to investigate the effects of PRL versus LOL on the quality of learners' ADB posts, declarative learning represented by learning outcomes (weekly quiz grades), and sense of community. A high reliability rubric was adopted to collect data of the quality of ADB posts, weekly quiz grades was used to find declarative learning, Classroom Community Scale was adopted collect data related to learner' sense of community. In the quality of ADB posts, parametric (two-independent sample t-test) and non-parametric (Mann-Whitney U-test) were used to verify the robustness of the result. Another two-independent sample t-test was run to find differences of declarative learning. A one-way ANOVA was used to investigate differences in learners' sense of community among the three group. This study contributed by finding a positive effect of LOL on the quality of learners' ADB posts, which was significantly higher for LOL than for PRL, although not on their quiz scores or sense of community. A significant and cumulative effect of LOL on ADB quality, which is widely considered to represent aspects of critical thinking, provides substantial rationale for instructors and administrators to consider adding LOL or other synchronous activities.

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