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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.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Interaction of learning approach with concept integration and achievement in a large guided inquiry organic class.

Description: A study was conducted to investigate the relationship of students' concept integration and achievement with time spent within a topic and across related topics in a large first semester guided inquiry organic chemistry class. Achievement was based on evidence of algorithmic problem solving; and concept integration was based on demonstrated performance explaining, applying, and relating concepts to each other. Twelve individual assessments were made of both variables over three related topics - acid/base, nucleophilic substitution and electrophilic addition reactions. Measurements included written, free response and ordered multiple answer questions using a classroom response system. Results demonstrated that students can solve problems without conceptual understanding. A second study was conducted to compare the students' learning approach at the beginning and end of the course. Students were scored on their preferences for a deep, strategic, or surface approach to learning based on their responses to a pre and post survey. Results suggest that students significantly decreased their preference for a surface approach during the semester. Analysis of the data collected was performed to determine the relationship between students' learning approach and their concept integration and achievement in this class. Results show a correlation between a deep approach and concept integration and a strong negative correlation between a surface approach and concept integration.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Mewhinney, Christina
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring Student Learning on a Short-term, Faculty-led Study Abroad Course Through a Student Development Lens

Description: Embarking on a study abroad experience is thought to be a transformational experience for students, and previous researchers have tended to find that the potential benefits of study abroad experiences, including greater conceptual and behavioral intercultural competence, are greater with longer periods abroad. The purpose of this study was to create an intentional learning experience for students who embarked on a short-term study abroad in rural areas of China and to apply faculty intervention of a student development approach to student learning to create a high-impact learning environment for students centered on a service-learning project. This qualitative study gathered primary data from students and instructors during the course through a collection of observation and field notes, student journals, pre- and post-construct tests, and final presentation. Follow-up interviews were conducted 10 months after course completion. Six students participated in this course and study who were from a variety of disciplines and classifications. Five students were female; one was male. Four students were undergraduates; two were graduate students. Student ethnicities included three Caucasians and African American, along with two international students from Mexico and Iran. Key outcomes of this study were that when short-term study abroad faculty members applied creative interventions, students were transformed with regard to their beliefs, perspectives, and behaviors and that when they guided students through a process of reflection and analysis, students exhibited exponential personal development. In addition, the ability to challenge or support students in reaching higher levels of personal development is a privilege that faculty must earn over time and through an authentic demonstration of care for students’ wellbeing. Short-term study abroad faculty members can use the results of this study to maximize the developmental impact of such programs on student participants.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Garcia, Hope F.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Development of a Test Blueprint for a Hospitality Management Capstone Course to Measure Programmatic Student Learning Outcomes

Description: The purpose of this study was to develop a test blue-print for a hospitality management capstone course to measure programmatic student learning outcomes. A total of 50 hospitality industry professionals and hospitality management faculty were interviewed through focus group discussions, and a post-focus group survey was conducted to determine a weighted percentage for each of the nine determined content domains. A test blueprint was developed from the weighted proportions determined by this study and a process by which other educational institutions could follow to establish a consistent and accurate evaluation method for a capstone course was described.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Stevenson, Jackie M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Pedagogical Approach and Instructional Format: An Exploration of the Introductory Communication Course

Description: The goal of this study was to analyze the impact of instructional format and pedagogical approach on students' learning and motivation within the introductory communication course. Three hundred eighty-five students participated in this study within one of four contexts: face-to-face instruction with service-learning, face-to-face instruction without service-learning, blended instruction with service-learning, and blended instruction without service-learning. A series of MANOVAs was utilized for the study. Results of the study, possible explanations for the results, limitations, and guidelines for future research are presented.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Tucker, Kristan Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Supportive Systems for Building Capacity of the Elementary Instructional Coach

Description: The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine the systems in place to build the capacity of elementary instructional coaches in a fast-growth district. Through syntheses of research from educational scholars, the conceptual framework was developed with a focus on building capacity of instructional coaches in an ever-changing environment of fast-growth through the lens of professional learning communities, human and social capital, and support from district and campus administration. This study assessed the perceptions of six instructional coaches, six principals, and six district leaders from Rose ISD regarding the school district's support for building the capacity of instructional coaches within the elementary instructional coaching program. The three-part data collection process included document analysis, in-depth interviews, and focus group interviews to support triangulation of data. Through the a priori coding process, the following four themes emerged that highlight key components needed to support district leaders in establishing systems to build the capacity of instructional coaches in an ever-changing environment caused by fast growth: structured time for professional learning, program clarity, collaborative support systems, and implementation of a professional learning community framework. This study revealed a specific need to further understand systems for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the instructional coaching program in an ever-changing environment of a fast-growth district.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Fiori, Christy
Partner: UNT Libraries