ERIC Number: EJ1092247
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Abstractor: As Provided
Synchronous Learning Experiences: Distance and Residential Learners' Perspectives in a Blended Graduate Course
Park, Yun Jeong; Bonk, Curtis J.
Journal of Interactive Online Learning, v6 n3 p245-264 Win 2007
Synchronous communication has a great potential to increase individual participation and group collaboration. Despite increasing use, scant research has been conducted on variables impacting successful synchronous learning. This study focuses on learner experiences in a real-time communication mediated by the Breeze web-based collaboration system. It also combined conference mediums. Eight students, 4 residential and 4 learning at a distance, were interviewed to examine the perceived benefits and challenges of synchronous interaction. Study findings showed that learners valued spontaneous feedback, meaningful interactions, multiple perspectives, and instructors' supports. On the other hand, time constraints, lack of reflection, language barriers, tool-related problems, and peers' network connection problems were viewed as challenges. Due to pervasive time pressures, the synchronous interactions mainly focused on task-related issues. Nevertheless, students felt a need for connecting to others in the course and a sense of social presence. Interestingly, no differences were found between the distance and residential students in terms of learning strategies for synchronous discussions.
Descriptors: Synchronous Communication, Learning Experience, Distance Education, Student Attitudes, Graduate Students, Blended Learning, Computer Mediated Communication, Interviews, Educational Benefits, Outcomes of Education, Feedback (Response), Interaction, Time Management, Reflection, Barriers, Interpersonal Relationship, Learning Strategies, On Campus Students, Online Courses, Teacher Student Relationship, Social Support Groups, Computer Networks, Audio Equipment
University of Alabama. 152 Rose Administration, P.O. Box 870104, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. Web site: http://www.ncolr.org/jiol
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A