In order to prepare new online students to be successful in the virtual classroom, many institutions opt to provide them with an orientation course. Academic institutions must understand the needs of their students in order to develop an orientation course that is best suited to prepare their students for success. In this study, online graduate students were provided with the option of selecting an asynchronous or synchronous online orientation course prior to the commencement of their first online course.
A concurrent embedded mixed methodology was employed to determine students' perceptions of the values of the various components of the orientation, including the delivery method. Surveys and interviews were utilized to collect data from student participants. Descriptive quantitative data and qualitative student responses were used to evaluate students' perceptions of their experience in the orientation and their subsequent online course.
Results indicated that nearly all students felt well prepared for their first online course following the orientation. The delivery method the student selected did not impact students' levels of preparedness or success in their course. All students also demonstrated an increase in their level of preparedness for their course following the orientation, providing evidence of the value of online orientations overall. Information on components of the orientation that students' valued and those that students felt were missing from the orientation was also gathered in the study. Information gathered in this study may help lead to the establishment of best practices in online student orientation.
Further study will be necessary to determine if the results of this study can be generalized to other populations of students given the limited size and demographics of the population of students who participated in this study.
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education, Educational technology|
|Keywords:||Learner readiness, Online education, Online learners, Student orientation|
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