Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Online undergrads learn well without strong class bond, study finds

Date:
November 21, 2010
Source:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Summary:
No cohesion, community spirit, trust or interaction? No problem. Online college students said they felt less connected and had a smaller sense of classroom community than those who took the same classes in person, but that didn't keep them from performing just as well as their in-person counterparts.

College students participating in a new study on online courses said they felt less connected and had a smaller sense of classroom community than those who took the same classes in person -- but that didnt keep online students from performing just as well as their in-person counterparts.

The study by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln gauged students' perception and performance in three undergraduate science courses that had both online and face-to-face class versions. It found that online students did not feel a sense of cohesion, community spirit, trust or interaction, elements that have been shown to foster effective classroom learning.

At the same time, in the portion of the survey about students' perception of their own learning, online students reported levels equal to those reported by face-to-face students and at the end of the day, their grades were equivalent to their in-person peers.

"Previous research has shown that students who feel like they are connected to their classmates tend to enjoy their classes more and ultimately get better grades," said Robert Vavala, a UNL agronomy graduate student who authored the study. "We wanted to determine if online students felt the same way about their classes that face-to-face students did and if so, whether or not that affected their grades."

Researchers assembled the data from a survey of more than 250 students enrolled in three different entry-level science courses at a large Midwestern public university. The same instructors taught both versions of each of the courses.

Though the results may suggest that face-to-face courses are no more effective for student learning than online courses, Vavala said they also show that online courses could be even more effective if they could foster a culture of class cohesion, spirit, trust and interaction among students.

How does an instructor do that? Perhaps more one-on-one contact and timely feedback between the instructor and online students, according to the study. All three instructors involved in the study said they felt creating a sense of community in their classes was very important, and worked to simulate that experience for online students.

"Because online classes lack actual face-to-face contact, instructors face many challenges in creating classroom community. One of those challenges is that community might not be as important to the online student as it is to their in-person peers," Vavala said.

The study, which was authored by UNL's Vavala, Deana Namuth-Covert, Courtney Haines, Donald Lee, James King and Carol Speth, appeared in a recent edition of The Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Robert Vavala. Community in Three Undergraduate University Science Courses: An Analysis of Student Perception. Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, 2010; 157 DOI: 10.4195/jnrlse.2009.0039u

Cite This Page:

University of Nebraska-Lincoln. "Online undergrads learn well without strong class bond, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101118161318.htm>.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln. (2010, November 21). Online undergrads learn well without strong class bond, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101118161318.htm
University of Nebraska-Lincoln. "Online undergrads learn well without strong class bond, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101118161318.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microsoft Goes For Familiarity Over Novelty In Windows 10

Microsoft Goes For Familiarity Over Novelty In Windows 10

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) At a special event in San Francisco, Microsoft introduced its latest operating system, Windows 10, which combines key features from earlier versions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) Apple fans in France discover the latest toy, the Apple Watch. The watch comes in two sizes and an array of interchangeable, fashionable wrist straps. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Releases 'Shellshock' Fix Despite Few Affected Users

Apple Releases 'Shellshock' Fix Despite Few Affected Users

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Apple released a security fix for the "Shellshock" vulnerability Monday, though it says only "advanced UNIX users" of OS X need it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins