Running head: Student Communication in Online Classes Student Communication in Online Classes Janai C. Trammell Grand Canyon University: UNV 501 June 29, 2011 Student Communication in Online Classes Today many colleges and universities are offering online courses yet completion and retention rates are continuously lower than those set in a traditional classroom (Schreck, 2006). In Grand Canyon University courses students are required to respond to questions posted by their instructors in the Discussion Forum and respond to post from other students.
Not only are students required to respond, but their responses should be thorough and provoke further discussion. In the case study Nagel, Blignaut, and Cronje looked at how participation in online courses determine student success rates and if participation has any impact on learning for all students. Researchers in this study used a learning management system to track students. This system showed student progression. Students who may not engage fully online discussions may still learn from fellow students and discussion posts.
Through interaction students may also help engage and influence other students in discussion. In addition to students, instructors can provoke online discussion among the students (Nagel, Blignaut, and Cronje, 2009). The researchers looked to see if there was a correlation between participation and passing and failing students. Students need access to technology in order to succeed in online courses. Successful students found a way to deal with technical issues to complete coursework.
Most online courses require students to participate in group assignments. These group assignments also help and encourage student participation. Students have to communicate with members of their group. However, many problems occur with group assignments. Not all members of a group will participate and communicate with fellow group members and sometimes there may be unequal participation among group members. Two ways to alleviate problems with group assignments is to change members of groups or assign individual grades.
Researchers in this study concluded that the quantity and quality of student contributions directly correlate to student success rates in online courses. References Nagel, L. , Blignaut, A. S. , & Cronje, J. C. (2009). Read-only participants: a case for student communication in online classes. Interactive Learning Environments, vol 17(1), 37-51 Schreck, V. (2006). It takes a virtual village: Practical strategies for improving online learning retention rates. www. innovativeeducators. org/product_p/38. htm