Does Class Participation in an Online Learning Environment Improve Student Learning Capability?

Document Type


Publication Date

April 2010

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Sarah Toevs


The purpose of this study is to determine whether class participation/interaction in an online, large enrollment learning environment improves student learning capability. This study will examine findings from a convenience sample of 185 students enrolled in an online Growth and Development class offered in the fall of 2009. The majority of the sample were female (82.16%) and had self-identified as a pre-nursing (65.4%) student. In addition, there is a fairly even distribution among the students regarding academic standing (Frosh, Soph, Jr, and Sr.) The online class format offered students the option of participating in seven class discussions using the BlackBoard system as extra credit opportunities. This study will use participation in the extra credit discussion assignment as a measure of class participation and grades on individual and final exams as measures of learning capability. Correlations between the number of extra credit assignments completed and exam grades will be examined. Possible relationships between grade point average and academic standing will also be explored.

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