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ERIC Number: ED566428
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 95
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3394-4368-3
The Impact of a Virtual Social Environment on Online Learning
Brandon, Jennifer Eve Andersen
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Union University.
Engagement and motivation for participants in online learning have been studied extensively in business courses and in postsecondary courses. These studies have provided evidence of the difficulty for students to learn from and even complete online courses. Now that online learning is being promoted in high schools to cut costs and provide more extensive course offerings, it is more important than ever to solve some of the perpetual problems in online learning. This study sought to determine if adding a virtual social environment component to an online course could enhance the learning experience for students by increasing test scores, as well as feelings of community and perceived learning. The participants were students in their junior year of high school in a rural district in the Southeastern United States. They were offered the opportunity to take an online course and assigned to either an experimental group or a control group. The experimental group had polls, forums, and badges, making up a virtual social environment as a part of their course, and the control group did not. Test scores, survey results, and course activities completed were examined and compared using MANOVA tests and a "t" test. While findings indicated that there was no difference in test scores or survey results between students who were enrolled in the online course with the virtual social environment and test scores and survey results of those enrolled in the online course without that component, there were indications that student engagement must be attended to in order for students to complete course activities. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Grade 11
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A