Graduate Student Perceptions of Online Learning

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Conference Presentation

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This session will summarize research conducted with online students in education programs. The focus of this research was to determine the rationale for students taking courses online and their perspectives on the usefulness of instructional methodologies,which enhance the social presence and student interaction. There are over 6.1 million online learners (Allen & Seaman, 2011). Students have reported that online learning is a solitary experience (Asunda, Calvin, and Johnson, 2014; Rovai, 2007). Faculty at universities who offer online courses will gain an awareness of student motivation for taking online courses, recommended practices in online teaching from the current research literature, and strategies for making online courses more attractive to a variety of students.Subjects were graduate students in education currently enrolled in online courses in public, private and for-profit universities (n=47). Prior to sending out the survey, a panel of 12 experts, who were familiar with distance educational practices and instruction, established the content validity. The panel was asked to review the questionnaire for readability, as well as clarity and provide suggestions on improving the survey questions and statements.

Participants will gain and understanding of the following:

1. Recommended practices for online instruction

2. Student motivation for enrolling in online courses

3. Barriers encountered by students with online instruction

4. Most and least beneficial aspects of online instruction for students

5. Student perceptions of the role of an instructor in online instruction


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