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Comparative Study of Perceived Barriers to Faculty Participation in Distance Education at a Four-Year University

Description: Bailey, Elizabeth, Comparative study of perceived barriers to faculty participation in distance education at a four-year university. Doctor of Philosophy (Education), December 2015, 103 pp., 21 tables, references. The purpose of this Bailey study was to identify perceived barriers of faculty participation in distance education courses in a four-year university and identify the differences in perceived barriers between the Hebert 2003 study and this Bailey study. The literature review covers numerous studies and articles written within the last 10 years that are related to a variety of barriers perceived by faculty and administrators. There were no statistically significant relationships found between faculty demographics including gender, age, position at the university, tenure status, and number of years faculty have taught in post-secondary education. There were no statistically significant relationships found between the top administrator-ranked motivators and corresponding faculty-ranked motivators, nor between the top administrator-ranked inhibitors and the corresponding faculty-ranked inhibitors. Out of the top four non-participating, faculty-ranked barriers, three were found to have statistically significant relationships with the corresponding administrator-ranked barriers. Statistically significant relationships were found between the faculty-ranked motivators and corresponding administrator identified motivators and between the top ranked barriers identified by non-participating faculty and administrators in Hebert’s study compared to non-participating faculty-ranked and administrator-ranked barriers identified in this study.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Bailey, Elizabeth

Comparison of Learning Performance Between Students Who Do and Students Who Do Not Use Mobile Technology-based Activities

Description: This study examined if using mobile technology-based activities would increase student performance in biological science courses. The study compared two groups of students in lectures and labs. Each group had about 20 students. The mobile group had mobile technology-based activities and the non-mobile group received conventional instruction. The mobile group used links to the website, or a QR Code to access the activities. The non-mobile group had handouts and worksheets over the same content. The research methodology for this study was mixed method. The study was a quasi-experimental design that used instruction method as the independent variable between two groups. The study used formative and summative assessment to compare the performance of the mobile group and non-mobile group in lecture and lab. The student in the mobile group had statistically significantly higher lab exam scores than students in the non-mobile group. Additionally, Students were surveyed about their performance expectancy and effort expectancy using mobile technology for learning, and they were asked about their self-management of learning. Analysis indicated that both groups had similar performance and effort expectancy using mobile technology for learning, but the two groups differed on self-management of learning responses to the survey. Focus groups from the mobile group and the non-mobile group were interviewed about issues related to benefits and challenges encountered learning with mobile technology-based activities.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Stowe Jr., William A.

A Construct Validity Analysis of the Work Perceptions Profile Data

Description: As work environments become more complex and demanding, organizations are becoming more interested in measuring the impact of their human resource development programs and initiatives. With this increased attention on data and measurement, human resource professionals have been encouraged to utilize data collection and data analysis techniques to make more objective and rationale human capital decisions and to verify business impact. As a result, the human resource profession has seen a significant increase in the use of surveys to measure anything from training effectiveness to the efficacy of recruitment procedures. The increase in the use of survey instruments requires that more focused attention is placed on the reliability and validity of data from any instrument used to make important human resource and business decisions. One instrument that is currently being used to measure career plateaus and job fit is the Work Perceptions Profile. The purpose of this research study was to conduct a construct validity analysis of the Work Perceptions Profile data and to determine the factor structure of data from its items. The data in this analysis supported a two-factor model structure with the first factor measuring Work Characteristics and a second factor measuring Performance. The results of this analysis will be helpful in exploring further how employees perceive their work place, their careers and their relationships with others within the organization.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Frear, Susan W.

Cross-cultural adjustment of self-initiated expatriates and individual work performance.

Description: Globalization in the past few decades has been marked by increased mobility of highly skilled workers from one country to another. Even though self-initiated expatriation is a widespread phenomenon, it is a relatively under-researched phenomenon in the academic literature, especially in an organizational context. Existing literature shows that not all individuals are equally suited to embark on a new life in another country, and self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) could be particularly susceptible to failure since they have no support from a home organization. This study was designed to investigate the experiences of self-initiated professional expatriates and the effect it had on their work performance. The purpose was to understand how their organizational and social experience affected their cross-cultural adjustment process and in turn affected their individual work performance. The researcher used a qualitative method using semi-structured interviews, observations, and documents with ten self-initiated expatriates. This study contributed to the expanding literature on the experiences of self-initiated expatriates, specifically how different support systems affected cross-cultural adjustment and individual work performance.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Joshua-Gojer, Ashwini Esther

The Current State of Us Higher Education Social Media Policies with Regard to Teaching and Learning: a Document Review Needs Assessment

Description: In the world we live in today, having a social media account such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+ has become deeply ingrained in our society. The old way of networking with who you knew or who knew your family is no longer in play for many people. In the times in which we live, much personal and professional networking is completed via social media. The old way of networking had unwritten rules of engagement which, basically, were to be respectful and not cause any embarrassment within the network. Rules for best practice engagement are still evolving for this new way of using social media for personal and professional networking, which is the premise for the current study which addresses: the gap in U.S. university social media policies, with regard to teaching and learning. In order to gauge the policy interlude, a sample of over 49 U.S. university social media policies were gathered for a comprehensive document analysis. The Google search engine was used to find the policies, next the qualitative software NVivo10 was used to procure and analyze the policies. Additionally, triangulation was performed by three member checking volunteer investigators. The results of the study, disclosed that current policies are intended to train faculty and staff, in the legal and proper manner, in which the universities expect their employees to positively represent the sampled universities.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Reed, Adalheidur Steinunn

Customizable Modality Pathway Learning Design: Exploring Personalized Learning Choices through a Lens of Self-Regulated Learning

Description: Open online courses provide a unique opportunity to examine learner preferences in an environment that removes several pressures associated with traditional learning. This mixed methods study sought to examine the pathways that learners will create for themselves when given the choice between an instructor-directed modality and learner-directed modality. Study participants were first examined based on their levels of self-regulated learning. Follow-up qualitative interviews were conducted to examine the choices that participants made, the impact of the course design on those choices, and what role self-regulation played in the process. The resulting analysis revealed that participants desired an overall learning experience that was tailored to personal learning preferences, but that technical and design limitations can create barriers in the learning experience. The results from this research can help shape future instructional design efforts that wish to increase learner agency and choice in the educational process.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Crosslin, Matthew Blake

Design of Informal Online Learning Communities in Education

Description: The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Ed Tech Future Ready program has encouraged the use of open informal learning communities as professional learning opportunities for educators. This study categorizes 46 state Twitter chats by their moderation techniques and design. A purposive sample of Twitter chat designers participated in this phenomenological exploration that demonstrates how the designs of these informal learning spaces are aligned with the designers' pedagogical philosophies. Recommendations for supporting, growing, and sustaining similar learning communities are included.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Kilgore, Whitney Kay

Digitally Curious: A Qualitative Case Study of Students’ Demonstrations of Curiosity in a Technology-Rich Learning Environment

Description: Curiosity is an important construct for educators as it is connected with knowledge and higher-order thinking, goal-oriented behavior, motivation, and persistence. It is also negatively correlated with boredom and anxiety. While research documents this strong connection between learning and curiosity, no studies existed exploring curiosity in a technology-rich learning environment. The purpose of this study is to identify and examine whether students demonstrate curiosity in a sixth grade mathematics classroom with technology-integrated learning and if so, how and why. Technology-rich work was designed for students and included in the study to examine students’ demonstrations of curiosity while learning mathematical procedural knowledge, conceptual knowledge and problem solving knowledge. A case study methodology was used with 13 students purposefully selected from a Title I sixth grade class to participate. Data were collected from interviews using a semi-structured interview protocol and triangulated with observations and students’ reflective writings. Interviews were transcribed and coded. A total of 60 codes and four categories were identified. Three themes emerged: 1) digital play; 2) welcome and unwelcome scaffolds; and 3) action is power; power follows ideas. These themes identified ways in which students demonstrated curiosity in the sixth grade mathematics classroom and thus can inform educators.
Date: August 2011
Creator: McLeod, Julie Kiser

Effect of Makerspace Professional Development Activities on Elementary and Middle School Educator Perceptions of Integrating Technologies with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

Description: This study investigated a Makerspace professional development program, the Makers' Guild, provided to teachers within north Texas over the course of a semester. The research employed a constructionist approach delivered via 2D and 3D technologies during STEM instructional activities within a creative space. Participants reported statistically significant increases in self-reported competence in technology integration, confidence levels toward integrating World Wide Web, Emerging Technologies for Student Learning, Teacher Professional Development, and attitudes toward math, technology, science, and STEM careers.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Miller, Jennifer R

Effects of Problem-based Learning on a Fifth Grade Language Arts Classroom

Description: The main purpose of this qualitative research was to discover the effects of problem-based learning on a fifth grade language arts classroom. The secondary purpose was to examine how receptive fifth grade students were to a new way of learning. In this descriptive study, a group of nine students created an alternate reality game as part of a problem-based learning module. The instructional design of the study included three weeks for students to design and construct their games and one week to play, receive feedback and revise based on feedback. Through reflective blogs, semi-structured interviews, video recordings, and observations, data was collected to analyze. Over a period of five months, the data was coded and arranged into categories. The categories merged into themes. The results and findings revealed the impact collaborative groups have on design and enjoyment. Self-regulation skills were found to be lacking in most of the students, intrinsic motivation increased for some students while others developed positive outcomes beyond the scope of this study.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Blackwell, Deborah

An Examination of Preferences for Social Presence in Online Courses with Regard to Personality Type

Description: The purpose of this research was to examine the connections between personality types as illustrated by the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the desire for social presence components within a technology based learning environment. Participants in the study were undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in an educational technology program at a public university in the State of Texas. The study employed a mixed-method qualitative approach that utilized a paired comparison evaluation, a personality assessment, and semi-structured interviews. Results showed that the components of organization and feedback were thought to best foster social presence in technology based learning environments and that there was no real difference between the personality types of introverts versus extroverts and judgers versus perceivers.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Rose, Daniel Merritt

An Examination Of Soft Skills Listed In Texas Electronic Job Postings And Undergraduate Business Information Systems Syllabi

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore the alignment of soft skills sought by current business IS entry-level employers in electronic job postings, with the integration of soft skills in undergraduate business information systems (IS) syllabi of public four-year universities in Texas. One hundred fifty job postings were extracted from two major electronic career databases. Ten undergraduate AACSB-accredited programs in the field of business information systems (IS) were investigated, and syllabi for the 70 major courses of the business IS programs were obtained for review. Content analysis was applied to all job postings and syllabi, exposing all soft skills related to the 9 categories used in this study adapted from the 21st Century Framework for Learning (Partnership for 21st Century Learning, 2009). Frequencies were tabulated to determine rank of soft skills in job postings and syllabi, and Jaccard’s coefficient statistic of occurrence was used for cluster analysis. Soft skills within all 9 categories were found in job postings (n = 1554) and course syllabi (n = 774). Three soft skill categories were aligned between job postings and syllabi: (1) initiative and self-direction, (2) social and cross-cultural skills, and (3) flexibility and adaptability. However, because differences in the higher ranked frequencies of soft skills in job postings and syllabi were noted, the null hypothesis of this study was rejected.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Scott-Bracey, Pamela

Examination of the Alignment between the SHRM Competency Model and Undergraduate Syllabi of Human Resources and Management Degree Programs in Texas

Description: The purpose of this study was to provide a snapshot of current Human Resources (HR) and Management curricula of four-year public universities in Texas in 2016 and evaluate their alignment with the competencies of the SHRM Competency Model®. This study used a mixed methods approach and analyzed course syllabi for a purposeful sample of 21 public universities in Texas. The course objectives referenced explicitly and/or implicitly all nine competencies. Three courses encompassed all nine competencies, and 84% of all programs demonstrated alignment with the competencies. “Business Acumen”, “Critical Evaluation”, “Communication” and “Relationship Management” were the most frequently referenced competencies in course syllabi. “Consultation” appeared the least frequently. This comprehensive analysis revealed that there is alignment between course curricula of public universities in Texas and competency expectations of graduates wishing to pursue a career in Human Resources. Recommendations applied to four areas including scholarship, university administration, professional associations, and practitioners.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Gavrilova Aguilar, Mariya C

Examining the Impact of the Community of Inquiry and Student Learning Process on Participants' Academic Achievement

Description: This dissertation presents an empirical investigation of learning from online courses. The current dissertation examined student participation, using Arbaugh et al.'s Community of Inquiry (CoI) survey instrument and Biggs et al.'s revised version of the Study Process Questionnaire (R-SPQ-2F) to determine CoI influences on learning from the students' perspective. This study is in response to Rourke and Kanuka's call to provide further empirical evidence about CoI conceptual framework connections to deep and meaningful learning. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the elements of CoI, cognitive, social, and teaching presences and students' learning approaches to students' perceived learning. Students enrolled in traditional, online, and, blended courses during the 2016 spring semester at a southwestern university participated in a web-based survey. Structural equation modeling was used to test the indirect effects between the elements of CoI, learning approaches, and perceived learning. Student's deep approach to learning was found to have an indirect effect between cognitive presence and perceived learning. However, this study's findings, when the CoI framework was viewed in its entirety, failed to provide evidence to simulate deep and meaningful learning.
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Date: December 2016
Creator: Pacleb, Selverio V.

Examining the Relationship Between Individual and Work Environment Characteristics and Learning Transfer Factors

Description: To impact student learning, educators’ implementation, or transfer, of new knowledge, skills, dispositions, and practices to daily work is the primary purpose of professional learning. The purpose of this study was to assess the multivariate relationship between individual and work environment characteristics as measured by the Collective Efficacy Scale and Dimensions of Learning Organization Questionnaire, respectively, and learning transfer factors as measured by the Learning Transfer System Inventory. The sample consisted of 249 PK-12 grade school- based instructional staff members of an education association. Canonical correlation and commonality analyses required using the two individual and work environment characteristics of learning culture and collective efficacy as predictor variables of the five learning transfer factors of performance self-efficacy, transfer-effort performance expectations, performance outcome expectations, performance coaching, and resistance to change to evaluate the multivariate between the two variable sets. Learning culture and collective efficacy demonstrated a relationship to resistance to change and performance outcome expectations. Learning culture and collective efficacy were insufficient to transfer-effort performance expectations, attend to performance self-efficacy beliefs, and increase support for transfer (i.e., performance coaching) factors. These findings might guide the decisions and practice of individuals with responsibility to plan, implement, and evaluate professional learning, and provide the conditions necessary for changing educational practice while increasing support for and building educators’ confidence about implementation. Further research may confirm the findings and enhance generalizability.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Kennedy, Jacqueline E.

Exploring Teachers’ Constructivist Beliefs Using Talis 2013: Approaches to Training and Development

Description: The changing landscape of demographics, technology, and diversity in the learning environment is challenging schools around the world to rethink their approaches to the implementation of high-quality teaching practices. Classroom practices are becoming more complex because educators have to ensure that their students are well-equipped with 21st century skills (e.g., Darling-Hammond, 2010; Dede, 2010; Griffin, McGaw, & Care, 2012). Educators, curriculum developers, and school administrators need to be more than experts in pedagogy. They are now required to keep up with current ideas, innovative instructional practices, and the results of a variety of educational reform efforts. Believing that teachers’ beliefs are the most important psychological construct with regard to instructional practices (Pajares, 1992) and that teachers’ beliefs are related to their choice of classroom practices and, ultimately, the students’ performance (Bybee, Taylor, Gardner, Van Scotter, Powell, Westbrook, & Landes, 2006; Staub & Stern, 2002), the author of this study utilizes the international data set of the Teaching and Learning International Study (TALIS) 2013 to examine the associations between teachers’ constructivist beliefs, their self-efficacy beliefs, professional activities, and the school principals’ instructional leadership as related to lower secondary school teachers and principals in South Korea, Finland, and Mexico. These three countries represent the high and low performers in the global index of cognitive skills and educational attainment (Pearson, 2014). An account of their educational practices will provide some insights for stakeholders in school systems across nations. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that each country has unique teaching and learning conditions, and that conclusions reached in relation to such conditions do not apply across nations. A series of hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) studies were performed for the present work to provide evidence-based information with practical implications to school administrators and educational policymakers regarding the development and implementation of leadership programs and ...
Date: August 2015
Creator: Angnakoon, Putthachat

Exploring the Impact on Self-regulated Learning: a Comparative Analysis of Learner Experiences Using Problem-based Learning, Game Play, and Computer-based Instruction

Description: The ability to transfer what you know to new and different contexts is a sign of successful learning. While students often graduate from college with the required number of courses many lack the skills necessary to apply appropriate strategies to solve problems in different contexts, to reason, and think critically. More than a decade ago the Boyer Report (1995) pointed to this fact as a sign that Universities were falling short in adequately supporting their undergraduate populations. As a result, it is not uncommon to see educational institutions introducing new courses and programs geared towards helping students learn better. This study explores learner experiences and the impact on self-regulated learning within a distributed learning setting when motivated by problem-based learning, game play, and computer-based instruction. In this study the instructional design of the course introduced undergraduate students to authentic learning experiences in which students engaged in collaborative problem solving and learning activities framed within the narrative of an alternate reality game. Fifteen self-regulated learning constructs were examined. The comparison group engaged with problem solving tasks and computer-based instruction. Additionally, the study used the theory Learning and Teaching as Communicative Action and its four communicative actions as a lens to understand the full range of student interactions and how they constructed knowledge. The research design employed computer-mediated discourse analysis to examine qualitative data. Data was triangulated through constant-comparative coding of student communication in the form of web logs, emails, student assignments, and semi-structured interviews. Review and consensus building was embedded in the process of identifying emerging codes and categories, and used to support emergent inferences before the final themes were identified and mutually agreed upon. Finally, to evaluate the outcome of the instructional design, pre and posttest measures were used among groups using a two-sample t-test. Statistical significance was used to ...
Date: August 2013
Creator: Najmi, Anjum A.

Exploring the Relationships Between Faculty Beliefs and Technology Preferences

Description: All too often faculty are asked to implement technology into their teaching without the knowledge necessary to use the technology effectively. Due to the evolution of technology in everyday settings, students have come to expect to be engaged through technological means. This often creates undue stress on faculty members. The purpose of this study is to investigate technology integration by exploring the relationships between a faculty member’s technology preferences and educational beliefs. Through a mixed method, this study attempts to address the question of why faculty use the types of technology they do. More importantly, this study investigates if a faculty member’s educational beliefs have any influence on the technology they choose to use. Thirty-two medical, clinical, and healthcare faculty members participated in the study. They responded to a Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI) survey and a Technology Preferences survey with open-ended questions. Data analysis revealed multiple statistically significant findings between different beliefs and different types of technology. The results indicated that personal epistemic beliefs influence the types of technology faculty use. The technology choices faculty make are largely related to tools they are comfortable with and ones they believe effectively fit their teaching materials. The study also found statistically significant differences between age, gender, and reported technology use. It is suggested faculty development programs should consider faculty members’ educational beliefs and personal preferences when supporting faculty with their uses of technologies.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Faulkner, Christopher G.

Face-to-face Versus Online Gender Roles: the Effect of Psychological Identity on the Characteristics and Circumstances of Online Disinhibition

Description: Human behaviors and social norms are transferred to the Internet in complex and divergent ways. The term online disinhibition has been coined to describe situations when Internet users seem to behave more openly and unrestrained online, often acting in ways they would not dare to act in the face-to-face world. According to Suler, there is a need for future research to "focus on which people, under what circumstances, are more predisposed to the various elements of online disinhibition." With this in mind, this descriptive study sought to determine whether or not people are more true to their authentic psychological identities (i.e., genders) during online interaction or create completely new identities because of the more permissive social norms created by cyberspace. Through video recorded face-to-face discussions, reflective online discussions, open-ended online surveys, and semi-structured interviews, qualitative data was collected for analysis. The results and findings demonstrated that some personality traits are magnified during online interaction, but individuals ultimately stay true to their established gender roles.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Greene, Amy L.

Factors Impacting the Accuracy of Self-report Perceptions of Expertise in Technology Integration

Description: The focus of this study is to determine how closely self-report perceptions of technology integration skills align with the observations of an external evaluator. Participants were elementary and secondary teachers in a north Texas school district. The district is in the process of implementing a one-to-one initiative using a major vendor’s tablet devices. The study utilized both quantitative survey methodology, and a qualitative observational tool to record learning activities in the K-12 classroom. For the quantitative phase, three validated single-item self-report instruments were administered to the teachers via an online survey; the instruments utilized were the Concerns-Based Adoption Model—Levels of Use (CBAM-LoU); Stages of Adoption of Technology; and the Apple Classroom of Tomorrow (ACOT). In the qualitative portion of the study, classroom teachers involved in the one-to-one innovation were observed and rated by the Technology Integration Matrix, an instrument specifically designed to observe technology integration skills and practices in K-12 instructional settings. Kendall’s tau correlations between the various self-report instruments and the external observer rating are: CBAM, r = .51 (p is not significant); Stages, r = .58 (p < .05); ACOT, r = .82 (p < .01). Additionally, regression models were run using all three self-reports as predictors of the observation score, and using only the ACOT as a predictor. The regression model for the three-predictor model is TIM = .68; Stages - .82; CBAM + 1.61; ACOT - 1.23 (R2 = .94, p < .05), while the model for the ACOT-only predictor is TIM = 1.1; ACOT - 1.1 (R2 = .80, p < .01). These results demonstrate a strong correlation between the ratings reported by the teachers and the ratings given by the external observer, indicating that these self-report measures show a strong propensity for indicating actual technology skills.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Mayes, Garry W.

Factors influencing parental attitudes toward digital game-based learning.

Description: The purpose of this non-positivistic mixed-methods study is to examine parental attitudes towards the use of computer and video games in their child’s classroom and to investigate how the sociocultural contexts in which parents live affect those attitudes. The research was conducted using a mixed-methods triangulation design, including both quantitative and qualitative techniques. First, the study tried to identify which groups of parents were better positioned to accept and support digital game-based learning and which groups were less likely to have a positive attitude toward integrating digital games into the classroom. This study tried to determine if socioeconomic status, age, education level, and/or cultural background could serve as a predictor of parental attitudes toward digital game-based learning. Second, the study tried to recognize how social and cultural contexts in which parents live affect their attitudes toward digital games in the classroom. Many researchers agree that parents play an important role in students’ and eventually, educators’ attitudes toward gaming. It has been argued that if parents accept a certain non-traditional (digital) learning tool, then their children would most likely have a similar attitude toward it. Parents might be the support system that educators need in order to ensure that students are able to see the educational value of video games and are willing to think critically and draw connections between what they learn in a gaming environment and core subject areas.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Piller, Yulia

General Satisfaction of Students in 100% Online Courses in the Department of Learning Technologies at the University of North Texas

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine whether there are significant relationships between the general satisfaction of students and learner-content interaction, learner-instructor interaction, learner-learner interaction, and learner-technology interaction in 100% online courses. There were 310 responses from the students. This study did not use data from duplicate students and instructors. Excel was used to find duplicate students and instructors; therefore, 128 responses were deleted. After examination of box plots, an additional four cases were removed because they were outliers on seven or more variables. Nineteen responses were deleted because they did not answer all questions of interest, resulting in a total sample of 159 students. Multiple regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between the four independent variables and the dependent variable. In addition to tests for statistical significance, practical significance was evaluated with the multiple R2 , which reported the common variance between independent variables and dependent variable. The two variables of learner-content and learner-instructor interaction play a significant role in predicting online satisfaction. Minimally, the variable learner-technology can predict online satisfaction and is an important construct that must be considered when offering online courses. Results of this study provide help in establishing a valid and reliable survey instrument and in developing an online best learning environment, as well as recommendations for institutions offering online learning or considering the development of online learning courses.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Ahn, Byungmun

The Global Village Playground: A qualitative case study of designing an ARG as a capstone learning experience.

Description: The Global Village Playground (GVP) was a capstone learning experience designed to address institutional assessment needs while providing an integrated, contextualized, and authentic learning experience for students. In the GVP, students work on simulated and real-world problems as a design team tasked with developing an alternate reality game that makes an impact on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the design of the GVP as a capstone experience. The research design follows a qualitative case study approach to gather and analyze data collected from the instructors and students participating in the pilot implementation of the GVP. Results of the study show predominantly favorable reactions to various aspects of the course and its design. Students reported to have learned the most through interactions with peers and through applying and integrating knowledge in developing the alternate reality game that was the central problem scenario for the course. What students demonstrated to have learned included knowledge construction, social responsibility, open-mindedness, big picture thinking, and an understanding of their relationship to the larger society and world in which they live. Challenges that resulted from the design included the amount of necessary to build consensus and then develop an overarching game concept, the tension between guided and directed instruction, and the need to foster greater interdependence among students while encouraging them to become more self-directed.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Dondlinger, Mary Jo

Identifying factors that predict student success in a community college online distance learning course.

Description: The study's purpose was to identify demographics, educational background, finances, formal and informal education and experiences, reading habits, external environmental factors, psychological factors, and computer efficacy factors that predict a student's ability to successful complete an online (Web-based) distance learning community college course. Major student retention theories and student attrition and persistence research guided the study. Distance learners (N = 926) completed four surveys, which collected data for 26 predictor variables that included age, gender, marital status, ethnicity, support others, course load, first-time student, last semester attended, student type and location, financial stability, tuition payment, prior learning experiences, reading habits, family support, enrollment encouragement, study encouragement, time management, study environment, employment, extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, locus of control, self-efficacy, computer confidence and skills, and number of prior online courses. Successful or unsuccessful course completion was the dependent variable. Statistical analyses included Cronbach's alpha, Pearson chi-square, two-sample t test, Pearson correlation, phi coefficient, and binary logistic regression. Variables in each factor were entered sequentially in a block using separate binary logistic regression models. Statistically significant variables were course load, financial stability, prior learning experiences, time management and study environment, extrinsic motivation, self-efficacy, and computer skills. Selected predictor variables (N = 20) were entered hierarchically in a logistic regression model of which course load, financial stability, and self-efficacy were statistically significant in the final block. Correlation coefficients were computed for statistically significant predictor variables to determine whether the significance was confined to the control group or an overall level of significance. Findings were supported through cross-validation and forward stepwise entry of variables in logistic regression. Despite having two or more at-risk factors, distance learners who had high levels of self-efficacy, good computer and time management skills, financial stability, a favorable study environment, were enrolled in more than one course, and believed their ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Welsh, Johnelle Bryson