Research Annotations

Records: 322

African American Males Learning Online: Promoting Academic Achievement in Higher Education

Susan Salvo     Kaye Shelton     Brett Welch    

APA Citation

Salvo, S.G., Shelton, K., & Welch, B. (2019). African American males learning online: Promoting academic achievement in higher education. Online Learning, 23(1), 22-36. doi:10.24059/olj.v23i1.1390

Annotation

" Descriptive qualitative study focusing on the experiences of African American males in online courses. Study conducted at a 4-year, public, non-doctorate granting university in the southern U.S. with a 2016 fall enrolment of 7,625 with 16% of the student population identifying as African American. Recruited 10 male African American students who had successfully passed an online course for semi-structured interviews. Data was transcribed, sent to the participants for review, and then coded for . . . emergent themes using a constant comparative method. Technological factors that had a positive impact where previous IT courses (keyboarding, software courses) and using a handheld smart device. Previous academic success (such as dual enrollment) and choosing courses the students perceived as easier were common themes among these successful students. Students felt online learning created a non-prejudicial learning environment and felt the courses were less competitive allowing them to focus on their success. Students encountered challenges with not enough examples, lack of timely feedback or response to questions, lack of instructor interaction, and lack of instructor directed instructions. Conclusions: In this study previous academic success and IT style courses primed students for success, they liked online courses for their non-prejudicial nature and the freedom to go at their own pace but struggled with lack of instructor immediacy in terms of additional examples, feedback, responses to questions, and clarification of instructions.
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Benefits of Online Teaching for Face-to-Face Teaching at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

D'Nita Andrews-Graham    

APA Citation

Andrews Graham, D. (2019). Benefits of online teaching for face-to-face teaching at historically black colleges and universities. Online Learning, 23(1), 144-163. doi:10.24059/olj.v23i1.1435

Annotation

"Exploratory qualitative study recruited 12 instructors certified to teach online for semi-structured interviews. Field notes were taken during the interviews including theoretical notes, methodological notes and analytical memos. Pre-coding was conducted to identify repetitive terms to inform later data analysis, moved to open coding to break down the data before comparing and contrasting to find emergent themes, which were then review and analyzed according to the appropriate research . . . questions. Common experiences were numerically tallied. Participants felt teaching online improved their ability to respond to questions and made them more aware of students needs and methods to create engaging activities. Online teaching helped instructors integrate more technology into the f2f courses they teach (e.g. using the LMS, adobe connect, video conferencing, collaborative online activities). Online teaching familiarized them with various communication platforms to connect with online and face-to-face students more readily. Online teaching led instructors to be more student centered and participants express feeling like their courses were less teacher centric but they were instead facilitating knowledge transfer. Conclusion: Instructor's perceptions of teaching online were that teaching online forces them to become more attuned to their student’s needs which makes them better educators. Most participants expressed teaching online led them to make changes to their teaching approaches that benefit their online and face-to-face students alike.
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Can a brief, digital skill training intervention help undergraduates "learn to learn" and improve their STEM achievement?

Matthew Bernacki     Lucie Vosicka     Jennifer Lutz    

APA Citation

Bernacki, M. L., Vosicka, L., & Utz, J. (2019). Can a brief, digital skill training intervention help undergraduates "learn to learn" and improve their STEM achievement?. Journal of Educational Psychology, 112(4), 765-781. doi:10.1037/edu0000405

Annotation

"Conducted at a 4-year, public, doctoral granting university Quasi-experimental study, groups 1 and 3 received the 3 module online ‘science of learning to learn’ training and group 2 was the control group, this course included a majority percentage minority students and 56% were first generation college students, Asian-American (28%), Caucasian (25%), Latino/Hispanic (16%), and African American (6%), with 17% indicating multiple ethnicities. Quasi-experimental study, groups 1 and 3 received . . . the 3 module online ‘science of learning to learn’ training and group 2 was the control group, this course included a majority percentage minority students and 56% were first generation college students. Initial analysis found significant difference between students who completed 1-2 modules and students who completed the full 3 module program, later analysis focused only on the students completing the 3 module program (84 of the original 249). Students also completed a questionnaire and logs of their learning behaviors in the training modules were collected. Quizzes and Exams in the general biology course were analyzed to determine if the online training impacted learning outcomes. First unit of course occurred normally, in unit 2 students were assigned to either the online training group or the control group, students remained in their groups through unit 3 and the end of the semester. Analysis looked at students behaviors and use of course materials (learning objectives, planning documents, study guides, self assessments) during unit one in comparison to units 2 and 3 for both groups. Results of the multivariate analysis revealed a significant main effect of the covariate for Monitoring Progress in Week 1, and no significant effect of covariates for Planning or Practice Quizzes. In the weeks leading up to exams students who completed the training used and re-sued self assessment quizzes as taught in the module suggesting the module shifted their study behavior. Students in the training groups outperformed the control group on 2 of 4 quizzes by an average of 8 percentage points and outperformed the control on unit exams by 3.5 percentage points, but did not significantly outperform the control on the cumulative final exam-averaging only 2 percentage points better. Conclusion: roughly 2 hours of online training in the science of learning led students to significantly outperform the control group in quizzes and unit exams, but not final cumulative exams. Cumulative achievements from the training equated to the training group achieving 1/3 of a letter grade better than the control.
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Closing the Achievement Gap in a Large Introductory Course by Balancing Reduced In-Person Contact with Increased Course Structure

Sat Gavassa     Rocio Benabentos     Marcy Kravec     Timothy Collins     Sarah Eddy    

APA Citation

Gavassa, S., Benabentos, R., Kravec, M., Collins, T., & Eddy, S. (2019). Closing the achievement gap in a large introductory course by balancing reduced in-person contact with increased course structure. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 18(1), 1-10. doi:10.1187/cbe.18-08-0153

Annotation

"Study conducted at 4-year, public, doctoral granting, Hispanic serving institution in the southeast US. Designed and taught three versions of the general biology courses, traditional f2f, fully online section, and a hybrid course (50/50), the article reports the results from the hybrid course in comparison to the face-to-face and fully online course over a 2 year time frame. Hybrid course was high structure including pre-class preparation assignments, in-class learning exercises, and weekly . . . low-stakes review assignments. Video lectures and other resources were delivered in on online self-paced platform with face to face time reduced to 75 minutes once per week. Used linear regression models with exam points as continuous response variable. No significant difference in ethnic/racial composition of the students in each version of the course. Hispanic students scored 26% and 12% better than the face-to-face and fully online course respectively, however Black students scored lower on exams compared to other student groups.performance was highest for Black and Hispanic students in the hybrid format while white students scored highest online and hybrid formats. Conclusion: There were no significant differences in the racial/ethnic composition of the students who chose face-to-face, hybrid, or online course. Black and Hispanic students performed best in the hybrid class format.
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ECAR Study of Faculty and Information Technology, 2019

Joseph Galanek     Dana Gierdowski    

APA Citation

Galanek, J.D., & Gierdowski, D. C. (2019). ECAR study of faculty and information technology, 2019. Louisville, CO: ECAR

Annotation

"The 2019 EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) Study of Faculty and Information Technology provides insights from 9,521 survey responses collected from faculty and instructors, from 119 institutions of varying types, from January 15 to April 15, 2019. The study stresses that faculty and instructors should be encouraged to engage in professional development around online teaching, and teaching with technology. Additionally, to encourage more online teaching, the report suggests that . . . faculty tenure evaluations should provide credit for developing and teaching online courses. As with the 2019 ECAR report on students and information technology, the faculty and instructors surveyed appeared to largely prefer the face-to-face environment, even though the slight majority (51%) reported liking a mix of face-to-face and online elements in the courses they teach. The report notes that more online teaching experience appears related to increased preferences for teaching blended and online courses. The report also notes that faculty and instructors may not find the online tools that institutions use to promote student success as useful as the students. Therefore, the report recommends more faculty involvement in all stages of the process, from selecting the tools to advocating for the tools’ use to the students in their own courses.
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ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2019

Dana Gierdowski    

APA Citation

Gierdowski, D. C. (2019). ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology. Louisville, CO: ECAR.

Annotation

"The EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) 2019 Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology reported on survey responses from 40,596 students across 118 colleges/universities in the United States. The survey circulated between January 15th and April 6th, 2019, and students represented a wide range of college/university types and programs, from two-year associate’s level colleges to doctoral granting research universities. Over half (56%) of student responses appeared . . . to prefer some face-to-face and some online components in their courses, but the report notes that less than 10% desired a fully online learning environment. Demographics such as age, marital status, having children, working more hours, and identifying as having a disability, appeared related to increased preference for fully online courses. The study suggests utilizing online support services to assist in promoting student success in and out of class, predictive analytics to identify students in need of additional support, collaborations between faculty, instructional designers, and IT units in developing courses within the universal design framework, and training faculty in meaningfully using student owned technology (e.g., mobile devices) in the classroom.
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ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2019

Dana Gierdowski    

APA Citation

Gierdowski, D. C. (2019). ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology, 2019. Louisville, CO: ECAR.

Annotation

"The EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) 2019 Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology reported on survey responses from 40,596 students across 118 colleges/universities in the United States. The survey circulated between January 15th and April 6th, 2019, and students represented a wide range of college/university types and programs, from two-year associate’s level colleges to doctoral granting research universities. Over half (56%) of student responses appeared . . . to prefer some face-to-face and some online components in their courses, but the report notes that less than 10% desired a fully online learning environment. Demographics such as age, marital status, having children, working more hours, and identifying as having a disability, appeared related to increased preference for fully online courses. The study suggests utilizing online support services to assist in promoting student success in and out of class, predictive analytics to identify students in need of additional support, collaborations between faculty, instructional designers, and IT units in developing courses within the universal design framework, and training faculty in meaningfully using student owned technology (e.g., mobile devices) in the classroom.
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Effects of Online Course Load on Degree Completion, Transfer, and Dropout Among Community College Students of the State University of New York

Peter Shea     Temi Bidjerano    

APA Citation

Shea, P., & Bidjerano, T. (2019). Effects of online course load on degree completion, transfer, and dropout among community college students of the State University of New York. Online Learning, 23(4), 6-22. doi:10.24059/olj.v23i4.1364

Annotation

"This study was conducted using data from the 30 community colleges (n = 45,557) of the State University of New York (SUNY), many of which hold MSI designations. Tracked students at a MSI 2-year community college over a 5 year time period for dropout and degree achievement/transfer to 4-year university with special focus on students who take one or multiple online courses. Conventional demographic predictors of success behaved in a predictable fashion when not controlling for online courses. . . . When controlling for online course work, if the online courses were completed-online load was linearly associated with increased likelihood of degree completion, incomplete online courses predicted a higher likelihood of dropout. Minority students with higher online loads were more likely to fail to complete online courses. Academically strong minority students were significantly more likely than nonminority students to drop out when the majority of their courses were fully online.Conclusion: Online course completion correlated with increased likelihood of transferring or completing a degree, with incomplete courses correlating to increased risk of drop out. Minority students were less likely to complete online courses and therefore were at higher risk of dropping out.
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Experiential learning and close mentoring improve recruitment and retention in the undergraduate environmental science program at an Hispanic-serving institution

Lixin Jin    

APA Citation

Jin, L., Doser, D., Lougheed, V., Walsh, E. J., Hamdan, L., Zarei, M., & Corral, G. (2019). Experiential learning and close mentoring improve recruitment and retention in the undergraduate environmental science program at an Hispanic-serving institution. Journal of Geoscience Education, 67(4), 384-399. doi:10.1080/10899995.2019.1646072

Annotation

Article studying redesigned environmental science courses to build a learning community at a four year, doctoral granting, Hispanic-Serving Institution. Students in the new program took three classes together and a sequence of one-credit, week long classes conducted between semesters was redesigned as a full semester field methods course. The department also introduced a year-long research sequence consisting of four classes that focused on authentic research experiences under the guidance of . . . faculty mentors. The program was redesigned so courses worked together, students learning about water pollution in one course, while taking trips to sample and analyze water chemistry in a concurrent class. The program also included it’s own version of University Seminar, a general education requirement, where faculty across a wide range of environmental fields presented to introduce students to the environmental science faculty and research projects. Other courses focused on experiential learning with a focus on conducting and learning from real research projects, mentored by current faculty. Student perceptions were evaluated using an end of semester survey in all courses, and learning effectiveness was measured in the field methods course using pre/posttest and survey data. Over 90% of students rated the university seminar course as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ at building their awareness and knowledge of various environmental topics, with 100% rating the course as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ in the course’s ability to engage them. Students believed the overall program increased their interest in environmental careers and that the learning community created a sense of cohort support. Within the field methods course, students made moderate to good gains in knowledge and understanding of the topics under study that semester, and the scientific process as a whole. Students who were a part of the learning community program reported greater gains than those who were not. Within the year long research experience courses, 95% of students reported positive mentoring experiences. Three years into the new program, retention increased from 43% to over 80%, students self reported ‘good’ to ‘great’ gains in their skills and confidence, and survey data reflects increased student engagement in learning. Overall, the redesigned environmental program to focus on experiential learning, research experiences, and learning community significantly increased student retention, student reported skills, and learner engagement.

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Implementing and Evaluating a Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) at a Hispanic-Serving Institution

Michele Shuster     Jennifer Curtiss     Timothy Wright     Camilla Champion     Maryam Sharifi    

APA Citation

Shuster, M. I., Curtiss, J., Wright, T. F., Champion, C., Sharifi, M., & Bosland, J. (2019). Implementing and Evaluating a Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) at a Hispanic-Serving Institution. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 13(2). doi:10.7771/1541-5015.1806

Annotation

Quantitative case study article exploring the impact of a course based undergraduate research experience at a Hispanic Serving Institution. The study seeks to answer the questions “1. What are the one-year post-CURE outcomes for STEM enrollment and completion? and 2. What is the impact of our CURE on shorter-term psychological predictors of STEM persistence in our students?” The CURE was offered as a 3-credit upper level lab course and met twice a week for a total of six hours a week. . . . Instructors of the CURE course develop the general research topics and questions and the details of course organization and logistics. The course was frontloaded covering basic lab techniques and skills early on to give students the skills necessary to complete their research projects. Students generally worked collaboratively in pairs, and were able to develop their own questions within the boundaries set by the instructors. Students received feedback throughout the semester from the instructor, a graduate teaching assistant, and an undergraduate teaching assistant, with the course cumulating in a poster presentation. Data was collected from institutional data and pre- and post-course surveys and a 2-tailed t-test was used to compare survey scores for each item. Findings within the institutional data showed 86% of all CURE students and 85% of female students had either graduated with a STEM degree, remained enrolled in a STEM major, or were a newly enrolled STEM major. Survey results showed students reported statistically significant shifts towards ‘more confident’ on all items of the scientific self-efficacy scale, with five having a large effect size. All five times on the scientific identity scale showed positive shifts with two having significant effect sizes. The CURE fostered broad participation, giving students a genuine research experience without a selective application process, and results show the experience develops student persistence and engagement in STEM fields. Overall, findings suggest the CURE program develops student confidence and persistence in their research skills, leading a majority of students to remain in, and graduate from, STEM majors.

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