Improving Web-based Instruction: Using Action Research to Enhance Distance Learning Instruction
Educational Action Research
This study evolved as an instructor took over a course that recently had been converted to a web-based course. While navigating the web-based course the instructor and students recognised several issues and concerns (instructional alignment, lack of interactivity, poorly designed test questions and confusing instructions for assignments). Study participants were students enrolled in the online course. Date were collected from students, teaching assistants, and the instructor to explore the issues involved with this course, and included student focus group interviews, descriptive student surveys, student feedback, student work and an instructor journal. Qualitative methods were employed in this study and all data sources served as triangulating resources, allowing the researchers to confirm emerging trends. Data were organised chronologically and initial trends were sought. Within the chronological patterns that emerged, data were further organised into similar themes and categories. This process allowed analytical comparison of the different data forms (i.e. student interviews, instructor journals, etc.) Six central themes emerged: impersonality, interactivity, taking responsibility for independent work, course workload and accountability, technological skill and course alignment. In response to the data, several pedagogical changes were made to the course. Additionally, suggestions are made concerning future web-based course design.
Knop, Nancy L. and Lamaster, Kathryn J., "Improving Web-based Instruction: Using Action Research to Enhance Distance Learning Instruction" (2004). Health & Human Kinetics Faculty Work. 11.
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