ERIC Number: ED482243
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jun-4
Reference Count: N/A
The Medium Is the Message: Using Online Focus Groups To Study Online Learning.
Burton, Laura; Goldsmith, Diane
As part of the continuing efforts to improve the quality of online learning in the course and program offerings of a state-wide consortium of higher education institutions, the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium has undertaken a 3-year research project to better understand how online students first approach Web-based learning and how that approach changes as they become more experienced. This paper explores and evaluates the development of a methodology for conducting electronic focus groups to evaluate student experiences in distance learning. Researchers are beginning to understand that using Web-based technologies augments the benefits of focus group methods. Electronic focus groups will allow participants to discuss and interact through a medium that is a part of their online learning environment. The benefits realized during the course of the two online focus group projects included lack of participant apprehension to communicate thoughts and the ability to discuss difficult topics. An additional benefit that has not been noted in previous research was the depth of discussion following participant agreement with other focus group members' comments. (Author/AEF)
Descriptors: Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Mediated Communication, Distance Education, Educational Quality, Focus Groups, Higher Education, Instructional Development, Instructional Improvement, Online Systems, State Programs, Student Participation, Student Reaction
For full text: http://www.ctdlc.org/Evaluation/mediumpaper.pdf/.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut