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ERIC Number: EJ1092177
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1935-7869
The Absent Graduate Student: An A-B-A Single-Subject Experiment of Online Discussion Participation
Cox, Thomas D.
Journal of Effective Teaching, v11 n2 p96-109 2011
It can reasonably be said that the discussion board is the "heart" of an online course. The discussion board can and should help the learner to make meaning of the content or topic and to find relevance to their lives. When this "engagement" does not occur, the individual does not benefit from the discussion, and it becomes merely "busy work" and no deep learning takes place. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate an individual master's student who was not participating in the course discussion and apply a single-subject experimental design (A-B-A) in an effort to increase the student's participation in the course. The method was to observe the baseline behavior, apply the treatment, withdraw the treatment, and then re-assess the baseline behavior. The results of the experiment were astounding to the researcher. Not only was the experiment successful with the non-performing student, but other students in the course also dramatically increased their level of participation. The results of this study can serve as a best practice to remedy the sometimes disembodied nature of online learning.
Journal of Effective Teaching. Center for Teaching Excellence, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403. Tel: 910-962-3034; Fax: 910-962-3427; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A