NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ830753
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1042-1629
Cognitive and Social Help Giving in Online Teaching: An Exploratory Study
Whipp, Joan L.; Lorentz, R. A.
Educational Technology Research and Development, v57 n2 p169-192 Apr 2009
While literature suggests that college students may be less reluctant to seek help in online rather than traditional courses, little is known about how online instructors give help in ways that lead to increased student help seeking and academic success. In this study, we used theories and research on learning assistance and scaffolding, teacher immediacy, social presence, and academic help seeking to explore through a cross-case study design how three online instructors differed in their use of cognitive and social supports and how those differences related to student perceptions of support, help seeking, and performance. Primary data sources included all course postings by the instructors, interviews with the instructors, observational field notes on course discussions, student interviews, and final student grades. Archived course documents and student discussion postings were secondary data sources. Data analysis revealed that while all instructors provided cognitive and social support, they varied in their level of questioning, use of direct instruction, support for task structuring, and attention to group dynamics. This variation in teaching presence related to differences across the courses in student perceptions of support, student help seeking in course discussions, and final course grades. Implications for online teaching and suggestions for further research are offered.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A