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ERIC Number: ED494973
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Dec
Pages: 128
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 61
Characteristics Leading to Student Success: A Study of Online Learning Environments
Crawford, Deborah L.
Online Submission
Background: Virtual learning has exploded with the growth in broadband connectivity. The challenge for today's educational leaders is to integrate the research indicating cognitive changes in today's students with online K-12 offerings in order to fully maximize technological advances and close access and academic gaps. Purpose: To inform both content and process of K-12 virtual course delivery in an effort to provide course offerings that better meet the needs of a broader range of learners. Setting: Students who enrolled in an online high school course offered through a consortium of mostly rural East Texas schools between the spring of 2004 and the spring of 2006. Study Sample: This exploratory study was performed using a small sample in order to identify trends warranting further study under more controlled and broader conditions. A convenience sample of 23 completers of their virtual course and 13 non-completers were solicited for participation. Sixty-four percent, 14 completers and 9 non-completers, ranging in age from 13-20, completed all survey instruments. Data Collection and Analysis: Three surveys were utilized to probe the following research questions: Is there a significant difference between students who successfully complete an online course and those who begin but do not complete such a course in their: 1) preference for graphics or text-first presentation of material 2) ability to parallel process media-delivery information as measured by multi-tasking ability 3) their previous technology usage history. Findings: Tendencies and trends indicating differences between completers and non-completers of online courses were detected in varying degrees on all three measures utilized in the study. Completers tended to be more prolific gamers and tended to have commenced their interaction with digital devices at an earlier age while non-completers indicated that they more frequently used the Internet for school assignments. Though a slightly greater preference for graphics first presentation by completers than non-completers was detected, no clear reason for this finding was apparent. Multi-tasking ability trend differences were identified between completers and non-completers with completers better able to accurately multi-process multiple media inputs in each of three types of formats. Conclusion: This study identified trends that generated the following hypotheses, stated in the null format, for further study consideration: There is no difference in students who are successful in an online environment and those who are not with regards to: 1) their frequency of interaction with video games 2) to the age at which exposure to digital devices commenced 3) their ability to multi-task in a multimedia environment 4) ability to follow multi-step directions presented in a graphic presentation format. Citation: Crawford, D.L. (2006). "Characteristics Leading to Student Success: A Study of Online Learning Environments." Submitted to Texas A&M University-Commerce in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education. Appended are: (1) Technology Usage History; (2) Graphics Preference; (3) Multi-task Screen Image; (4) Multi-task Quizzes; (5) Informed Consent; and (6) Instructions for Survey Completion. (Contains 4 tables and 5 figures.) [Abstract modified to meet ERIC Guidelines.]
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas