ERIC Number: EJ810681
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
How Christianly Is Christian Distance Higher Education?
Rovai, Alfred P.; Baker, Jason D.; Cox, William F., Jr.
Christian Higher Education, v7 n1 p1-22 Jan 2008
The study reported in this paper investigated sense of community and perceived learning in on-campus and online courses at both a Christian university and a state university using a population of graduate students (N = 350). Results suggest that the Christian ethos, with its influence on all facets of university life, manifests itself in stronger online as well as on-campus sense of community among students at the Christian university. However, this added community capital does not result in greater perceived learning among students at the Christian university in either on-campus or online courses. Additionally, participants in on-campus courses felt stronger sense of community and greater perceived learning than their online peers at both universities, exposing both a community gap and a perceived learning gap in courses delivered at a distance. The community gap manifests itself mostly in the social dimension of community, which consists of feelings pertaining to community spirit, cohesion, trust, safety, interactivity, interdependence, and sense of belonging. Significant differences were not observed in the learning dimension of community, which concerns the degree to which learning community members share group norms and values and the extent to which their educational goals and expectations are satisfied by group membership. (Contains 2 tables.)
Descriptors: Online Courses, Graduate Students, Group Membership, Christianity, Distance Education, Higher Education, Church Related Colleges, Safety, Trust (Psychology), Values, Student Attitudes, Questionnaires
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia