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ERIC Number: EJ870355
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-0899-3408
Self-Perceived and Observable Self-Direction in an Online Asynchronous Programming Course Using Peer Learning Forums
Gaspar, Alessio; Langevin, Sarah; Boyer, Naomi; Armitage, William
Computer Science Education, v19 n4 p233-255 Dec 2009
This study broadens the objectives of previous work (Boyer, N., Langevin, S., Gaspar, A. (2008). "Self direction and constructivism in programming education." "Proceedings of the ACM Special Interest Group in IT Education Conference," 16-18 October 2008, Cincinnati, OH) in which we used a survey-based instrument, the Personal Responsibility Orientation Self-Directed Learning Scale--PRO-SDLS (Stockdale, S.L., & Brockett, R.G. (2006). "The continuing development of the PRO-SDLS: An instrument to measure self-direction in learning based on the personal responsibility orientation model". Paper presented at the 20th International Self-Directed Learning Symposium, Cocoa Beach, FL), as a new perspective to measure the impact of innovative approaches in the teaching of computer programming in online courses. The data have been collected during the offering of an undergraduate online asynchronous programming course delivered in 2008 at the University of South Florida Polytechnic. Our primary pedagogical intervention has been the use of peer learning forums which attempt to (1) leverage peer learning dynamics in an online course, (2) help students better structure their work on a weekly basis, and (3) help them learn to engage actively with the material (e.g., exercises, reading assignments). This article studies the impact of peer learning forums on these students through the lens of various instruments. Some, such as the PRO-SDLS, are well established in the self-directed learning literature. Others are introduced in this article to provide a more complete picture of both the students' self-perception of their self-direction and its more observable aspects. We also identified intrinsic characteristics of our student population, which we believe to have a significant impact on these instruments' measures. Finally, we relate these data to student feedback obtained through more open question surveys. These observations, made using diversified instruments, on a small and well-characterized learner population, represent the foundation of our case study. Our findings suggest that, after using the peer learning forums for an entire semester, the self-perception of our over-committed online adult learners' ability for self-directed learning has evolved to realign itself with more observable manifestations of their self-direction. (Contains 11 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida