Volume 8, Issue 2, Summer 2009

Assessing the relationship of student-instructor and student-student interaction to student learning and satisfaction in Web-based Online Learning Environment

Ali Sher
George Mason University, RAK Campus, UAE


This study shows the importance of interaction to student learning within Web-based online learning programs. The population of this study was students enrolled in multiple academic disciplines at a private university in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. A Web-based research instrument was designed to assess students’ characteristics, their perceptions of learning, satisfaction, student-to-student interactions and student-to-instructor interactions. Regression analyses were employed to analyze the relationship of interaction variables with student learning and satisfaction. Student-instructor interaction and student-student interaction were found to be significant contributors of student learning and satisfaction.

Assessing online collaboration among language teachers: A cross-institutional case study

Nike Arnold
Portland State University

Lara Ducate
University of South Carolina

Lara Lomicka
University of South Carolina

Gillian Lord
University of Florida


This paper focuses on computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) among foreign language (FL) graduate students from three universities, who worked together to create a wiki. In order to investigate the nature of CSCL among participants, this qualitative case study used the Curtis and Lawson framework (2001) to conduct a content analysis of learners’ collaborative behaviors. Transcript and survey analyses indicate that the success of collaborative interaction depends largely on the group members themselves. Differing levels of participation indicate that not everyone was equally involved with the wiki project, which ultimately affected the level of collaboration, the group dynamics, and the final product. In addition, the leader in each group influenced the degree of collaboration taking place in her group.

Replicating the Use of a Cognitive Presence Measurement Tool

Caroline L. Park
Athabasca University, Canada


This paper is a report of the replication of a seminal study on cognitive presence in computer mediated conferencing (CMC) by Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2001). A comparison of cognitive presence coding by three different researchers is also demonstrated. The study re-ignites debates about what constitutes the segment of CMC data to be coded and the objectivity of this type of data.

Facilitating Students’ Critical Thinking in Online Discussion: An Instructor’s Experience

Hua Bai
SUNY Potsdam


This paper reported using the practical inquiry model as discourse guide to facilitate students’ critical thinking in online discussion. It was found that almost all the postings of the students who had no knowledge of the inquiry model fell into exploration phase except three postings in triggering events phase and two in integration phase. In comparison, the postings of the students who used the model as the guide included more instances of integration than the postings of those who did not know about the model. No instance in resolution phase was found. The findings indicated that providing students inquiry model raised their awareness of critical thinking and helped them intentionally engage in reflection and higher-order thinking when responding online.

Community College Online Course Retention and Final Grade: Predictability of Social Presence

Dr. Simon Y. Liu
George Washington University

Dr. Joel Gomez
George Washington University

Dr. Cherng-Jyh Yen
Old Dominion University


This study employed a quantitative research design to examine the predictive relationships between social presence and course retention as well as final grade in community college online courses. Social presence is defined as the degree of one’s feeling, perception and reaction to another intellectual entity in the online environment. Course final grades included A, B. C, D, F, I, or W. Course retention was defined as successfully completed a course with an A to C grade. The results of the binary and ordinal logistic regression analyses suggest that social presence is a significant predictor of course retention and final grade in the community college online environment. Two effective interventions are recommended: establishing integrated social and learning communities; and building effective blended learning programs.

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