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ERIC Number: ED518478
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 243
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-5183-3
Culture and Community in Online Courses: A Grid and Group Explanation
Case, Stephoni Lynn
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Oklahoma State University
Scope and method of study: Using Mary Douglas' (1982) Grid and Group Typology, the purpose of this case study was to explain the distinctive patterns of student engagement, communication and community in the culture of four online courses. The participants were four online instructors and four of their students who completed online courses at Liberal Arts University in the summer of 2009. Interviews, observations and document analysis were used in both physical and virtual environments. Findings and conclusions: The course participants of each course reflected a Bureaucratic/Authoritarian (high grid/low group) culture. Characteristic of the Bureaucratic/Authoritarian quadrant on the grid and group matrix, the individual, was limited in personal decisions and activities; personal autonomy was minimal as was group survival and/or influence. The students in each class finished strong with an attrition rate of less than ten percent, but there were varying degrees of collaboration in the discussion forums; quality of postings was directly related to the word count requirement from the instructors. The instructor's methodology in using the discussion forum impacted students' perceptions the value of the forums. Students also accommodated their instructors by converging to the method of communication demonstrated by the instructors. The findings also indicate that transferring an identical definition of culture from an onland environment to an online environment might be problematic, and that as online course culture theory develops, some elements in each culture may be different. Future studies of different types of courses offered in a traditional semester or at a different institution would be a positive addition to research. Also, further development of theory of culture in online courses is needed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A