While this paper set out to discover what activities and/or interaction channels might be expected to lead to more highly engaged students, what it found was a bit different. After first creating a scale to measure online student engagement, and then surveying 186 students from six campuses in the Midwest, the results indicate that there is no particular activity that will automatically help students to be more engaged in online classes. However, the results also suggest that multiple communication channels may be related to higher engagement and that student-student and instructor-student communication are clearly strongly correlated with higher student engagement with the course, in general. Thus, advice for online instructors is still to use active learning but to be sure to incorporate meaningful and multiple ways of interacting with students and encouraging/requiring students to interact with each other.
Active learning, Online teaching, Social presence, Student engagement
This study surveyed 186 students in 38 different courses from 6 campuses to find what types of things students found engaging in online courses. The study found no statistically significant difference in engagement when active and passive activities were considered however suggested that active learning activities could increase student presence. Results suggest that instructors should work towards developing assignments that require students to engage each other as well as course content. Overall results suggest that as student-student and student-instructor communication (presence) are found to be the most important factors in student engagement with a course, the use of multiple communication channels in online courses tends to increase levels of student engagement.
Dixson, M. D. (2010). Creating effective student engagement in online courses: What do students find engaging? Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 10, 1-13.
|Links to Article||https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C50&q=Dixson%2C+M.+D.+%282010%29.+Creating+effective+student+engagement+in+online+courses%3A+What+do+students+find+engaging%3F+Journal+of+the+Scholarship+of+Teaching+and+Learning%2C+10%2C+1-13.&btnG=|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|In Publication||Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning|
|Type of Research||Quantitative|
|Research Design||Survey research (qualitative or quantitative), Text analysis|
|Intervention/Areas of Study||Engagement|
|Level of Analysis||Student-level, Cross-institutional|
|Specific Populations Examined||Undergraduates|
|Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest||4-year Institution, Public|
|Specific Course or Program Characteristics||Arts and humanities, Natural sciences, Social sciences|
|Outcome Variables of Interest||Instructional effectiveness, Learning effectiveness, Persistence|
|Student Sample Size||100-199|