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ERIC Number: ED553662
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 196
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-9819-2
The Influence of Web Conferencing on Graduate Students' Sense of Community in an Online Classroom
Borel, Daryl Ann
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Lamar University - Beaumont
When students feel a sense of community and connectedness within an online classroom, they perceive a higher level of learning and believe that they understand the material because they are more engaged in the learning process (Young & Bruce, 2011; Russo & Benson, 2005). The purpose of this descriptive, quantitative study was to investigate the influence of using the supplemental synchronous web conferencing tool, Adobe Connect Professional™, in an online classroom on graduate students' perceived sense of community, connectedness, and learning experience. The current study addressed the social aspects of learning and the relationship of web conferencing in an online environment by analyzing the theoretical frameworks of constructivism and connectivism. The literature review examined the background of online learning, major learning theories of online education, asynchronous and synchronous instruction, the adult learner, learner interaction and engagement, social presence, and sense of community. An online survey, constructed in SurveyMonkey©, was provided to a population of 192 graduate students enrolled in a five-week fully online graduate course at a public regional university in Southeast Texas. The survey consisted of the Classroom Community Scale (CCS), several demographic questions, and three semi-structured, open-response questions. Of the 192 students enrolled in the course, 135 respondents completed the survey for a response rate of 70.3%. Results from the CCS were analyzed descriptively and revealed that participants attending three or more web conference meetings had a higher sense of community and connectedness score on the CCS than respondents attending two or fewer web conference meetings. Analysis of the data from the open-response questions identified four themes, and the majority of participants commented that the synchronous web conference meetings were helpful and allowed for opportunities to interact with the professor and other students as well as established a collaborative learning environment. The results from this study may provide insightful information about the use of synchronous web conferencing meetings to promote a sense of community, improve student retention rates, reverse feelings of isolation, make connections with other learners, increase student interaction and engagement, and provide students with a larger base of academic support in an online course. [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
Identifiers - Location: Texas