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ERIC Number: ED550258
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 225
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2677-8815-3
A Study of Student Interaction in an Online Learning Environment Specially Crafted for Cross-Level Peer Mentoring
Ruane, Regina
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Drexel University
This study explored the ways that students in an online teacher education program connected in a specially crafted peer mentoring program developed for cross-level peer mentoring. Program administrators developed the peer mentoring site in response to observations that enrolled students, particularly new students, were often unsure of how to complete course requirements using the online platform, access tools and program information, interact with other students, and register for upcoming terms. This study aimed to determine patterns of communication among the members and the structure that these interactions and relational patterns assume in the online peer mentoring program. Additionally, this study aimed to identify how these interactions share a common evolution of relationship development in a setting where newcomers and more experienced peers converge to discuss, share, and learn from and with one another. This study used social network analysis and interpretive content analysis to analyze and describe the interactions of students participating in the online peer mentoring program considered. Together, the social network analysis and interpretive content analysis allowed for a holistic view of the peer-mentoring sites that assisted this researcher in developing an analysis and interpretation of the function and purpose of the peer mentoring sites. The interpretive content analysis provided insight into the discussions by demonstrating topics of interest to the students, either as posts responding to facilitators' prompts or as topics raised by the students independently. The peer mentoring sites provided newcomers to the undergraduate education program meaningful interactions regarding program and education related topics and experiences. The sociograms showed gender, age, ethnicity, geographic location, level in the program and participation in more than one peer mentoring site for all participants in the selected sites. The participants of the six peer-mentoring settings were predominately from Pennsylvania and female. Computer-mediated communication provided the opportunity for the students to connect with their fellow program participants despite geographic location and age. Overall, the students collaborated with their peers and engaged in problem-solving activity and inquiry. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania