The purpose of this exploratory multi-case study was to examine the role of instructional design and instructor training on student learning outcomes and student satisfaction within the online class using group work, a form of collaborative learning. Group work has been strongly recommended for online classes. Data allowing insight into contemporary events in context were collected via an online survey, personal interviews, and document examination. Students were given a link to an online survey with both selected response and open-ended questions. Instructors were interviewed either face-to-face or via voice over Internet protocol (VOIP). Syllabi and class handouts were collected and examined using content analysis. These different sources of data were triangulated during the analyses. The participants in the study were undergraduate students and four instructors at a state supported institution of higher education in the southwestern United States. Data collected revealed that those instructors using group work who had the most training and assistance from the Instructional Technology Support in the design and facilitation of classes using group work had the highest level of student satisfaction as well as the highest student perception of good learning outcomes. The data show that when the instructional design using group work is well done and the class is well conducted, student satisfaction and student learning are good. The data show that the amount of instructor training undertaken had a major impact on how students reacted to the classes. The students' perception of learning outcomes differed from that of the instructors. The instructors perceived the classes as being generally successful; however, the students' perceptions were less positive. The levels of training applied by each of the faculty to the design of their online class shows that the more training, the higher the level of satisfaction. Both student success and learning outcomes suffer if the class is not designed and taught with best practices for online group work. Further research needs to be done on the use of online group work in graduate classes and lower division undergraduate classes as all of the studied classes were upper division.
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Higher Education Administration, Instructional Design, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Collaborative learning, Group work, Instructor training, Online instruction, Student satisfaction|
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