The Effectiveness of Online Learning: A Very Quick Review of the Literature Colleen J. Burnham Thomas College February 2008
What isOnline Learning? Any learning experience or environment that relies upon the Internet as the primary delivery mode of communication and presentation, and that frequently takes place away from the physical campus.
Measuring Effectiveness Matrix of factors used in the Eom, Wen, & Ashill study (2006). The Determinants of Students’ Perceived Learning Outcomes and Satisfaction in University Online Education: An Empirical Investigation
Student Traits that Predict Learning Outcomes • Self-Motivation • Self-efficacy (confidence) • Ability to reward intrinsically (vested interest) • Learning Style • Visual Learner • Ability to learn from descriptions • Works well with “to-do” lists toward pace-setting and organization • Read/Write learners (note takers)
Instructor Traits that Predict Online Course Effectiveness • The ability to incorporate several teaching models simultaneously into the course design. • Constuctivism: learner controls the pace of learning • Collaboration: student involvement with the learning process • Socioculturalism: student freedom to assume responsibility for learning • Feedback: cognitive, diagnostic, & prescriptive
General Traits that Predict EffectivenessWilliams (2006) • Working professional students significantly out-perform traditional full-time graduate and undergraduate students • Work experience contextualizes the online learning requirements • Vested or intrinsic interest in learning new material • Open learning and synchronous communication • Interaction and feedback with and from the instructor.
Wrap-Up… • Learning Styles • Student personalities • Student experience • Instructor experience • Instructor versatility • Communication skills, in general All are qualities that we intuitively suspect contribute positively to the effectiveness of online learning – the data is now offering formal evidence that they are in fact actual predictors or determinants of a solid, effective, positive online “classroom experience”.
Bibliography Eom, S., Wen, H., & Ashill, N. (2006, July). The Determinants of Students' Perceived Learning Outcomes and Satisfaction in University Online Education: An Empirical Investigation. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, 4(2), 215-235. Retrieved February 14, 2008, from Business Source Premier database. O'Dwyer, L., Carey, R., & Kleiman, G. (2007, Spring). A Study of the Effectiveness of the Louisiana Algebra I Online Course. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 39(3), 289-306. Retrieved February 14, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database. Salimi, A. (2007, January). The Promise and Challenges for Distance Education in Accounting. Strategic Finance, 88(7), 19-53. Retrieved February 14, 2008, from Business Source Premier database. Williams, S. (2006, September). The Effectiveness of Distance Education in Allied Health Science Programs: A Meta-Analysis of Outcomes. American Journal of Distance Education, 20(3), 127-141. Retrieved February 14, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.