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ERIC Number: ED409005
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Student Perceptions and Performance in a Virtual Classroom Environment.
Powers, Susan M.; Mitchell, Jennie
Along with the growth of electronic communication in higher education, is the rise of virtual classrooms. Virtual classrooms exist because of technologies such as electronic mail, listservs, chat rooms, and World Wide Web pages. This qualitative research study examined one graduate course which was offered entirely over the Internet. Data from listservs and e-mail messages, student journals and time logs, transcripts of chat sessions, and a group interview was collected and analyzed. The analysis revealed four major themes related to student perceptions and performance: student peer support, student-to-student interaction, faculty-to-student interaction, and time demands of the course. A definitive community of learners emerged despite the distance of the learners and the lack of face-to-face contact. Students were able to develop rapport and provide support to one another and were able to develop and maintain interactions that may not have been attainable in a regular classroom situation. The faculty-student relationship also manifested itself differently. Although the instructor remained the "head of the class" during synchronous chat sessions, during the asynchronous communication the instructor became less of a purveyor of information and everyone in the class became part of the community of learners. Although students felt that the course was more time demanding because of the format, analysis of the time logs revealed that additional time was spent "surfing" the Internet and the perception was more a function of perceived time in front of the computer. From the analysis of student performance and perceptions in this particular class, it is apparent that even as virtual classrooms become more prolific, the classroom community of learners can continue to flourish. A sample course schedule and example of data organization are provided. (Contains 10 references.) (Author/AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A