- Does encouraging online student participation through grading practices increase student interaction and thus increase the value of the course for students?
- How do teachers and students assess and value the role of interaction in online courses?
(Zucker, 2005, pg. 49)
Measures included the number of posts to the student lounge, student grades, quality of communication as defined by the teacher, and value of communication and overall satisfaction with the course as reported by the students. The survey findings indicated high satisfaction with more than 2/3 agreeing or strongly agreeing that "communications with other students have been an important part of my learning in this VHS course" (Zucker, 2005, p. 51). The survey further indicated that interaction is important for getting to know other students, learning the material, and motivation.
Andrew, Z. (2005). A Study of Student Interaction and Collaboration in the Virtual High School. A Synthesis of New Research on K-12 Online Learning, p. 49-56. Retrieved Apr. 17, 2008, from http://www.ncrel.org/tech/synthesis/.
More in the news...
The Winterberry Christian Academy is under construction in Marco Island, Florida. It's on target to open in the fall even though construction will not be complete. The school will initially operate as a virtual school until the building is finished. It plans to continue operation as a blended school once students have been moved into the building. I can't help but think that more and more schools will be using blended learning options. We already know that virtual schools can supplement brick and mortar schools by providing a wider range of subject offerings, keeping students with illnesses on track, and meeting the needs of kids who travel or have special needs. The Winterberry solution is one more item to add to the list.