Analyzing The Influences Of Course Design And Gender On Online Participation

September 17, 2012

Interaction is a critical component of successful online learning and by extension an important component in overall online program quality. The researcher studied the impact of course design on participation in an online university course. The participants were university students’ (n= 62, male= 33, female= 29). Their responses from online discussions were analyzed using repeated measures factorial ANOVA finding a statistically significant decrease in student participation in weeks when major assignments were due. The impact of assignments was similar for female and male participants. Measures of effect size indicated that course design accounted for more variation in online participation than gender. The key finding of the study was that course design can have a significant impact on level of participation and therefore student success in the online course. Ways to prevent or mitigate the impact of the reduction in student participation are presented.

Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration

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