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ERIC Number: EJ815688
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
Does Active Learning Enhance Learner Outcomes? Evidence from Discussion Participation in Online Classes
Wilson, Bruce M.; Pollock, Philip H.; Hamann, Kerstin
Journal of Political Science Education, v3 n2 p131-142 May 2007
Discussion is one form of active learning, which has been linked to better learner outcomes. Little is known about the relationship between active learning through discussion and learner outcome in the online environment. Here, we construct an index of active learning online that includes the number of postings a student has read, the number of direct responses a student has posted, and how many meaningful "in-depth" statements a student has made. We link this index to course grade as a proxy for learner outcome and find that active learners perform better, on average, than the less active students. We also analyze the component indicators of the index and find that the number of postings read is most closely related to course grade. This is particularly true for those students who came into the class with a lower GPA. We conclude that online courses can stimulate active learning through discussion. Furthermore, we point to the importance of measurement of active learning in any assessment effort and argue that the individual components of active learning behavior through discussions might have a differential effect on learner outcomes. (Contains 8 tables, 1 figure, and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A