Volume 9, Issue 1, Spring 2010

Student Interactions in Online Discussion Forum: Empirical Research from ‘Media Richness Theory’ Perspective

M S Balaji

Diganta Chakrabarti
IBS Hyderabad, IFHE Universtiy, Hyderbad, India


The present study contributes to the understanding of the effectiveness of online discussion forum in student learning. A conceptual model based on ‘theory of online learning’ and ‘media richness theory’ was proposed and empirically tested. We extend the current understanding of media richness theory to suggest that use of multiple media can enrich the communication context and perceived learning. Hierarchical regression was applied to investigate the relationships between antecedent factors, interaction and perceived learning. The results show that the perceived richness of online discussion forum has significant positive effect on student participation and interaction, and learning, when used along with traditional classroom lecture. Implications of these findings are discussed as they provide important guidelines for management educators.

Student Perceptions of the Relationship between Indicators of Teaching Presence and Success in Online Courses

Lori Kupczynski
Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Phil Ice
American Public University System

Randy Wiesenmayer
West Virginia University

Frank McCluskey
American Public University System


The Community of Inquiry Framework posits teaching, social and cognitive presence interact to create the learning experience in online environments (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2001). To date, considerable research has been conducted which employs the framework with promising results (Akyol et al., 2009). However, significant work is needed to understand the interactions of the three presences and the impact of specific indicators on learning outcomes. This study uses a mixed methods approach to explore student perceptions of the impact of the indicators of Teaching Presence on their success in online courses. Analysis revealed that level may be a significant factor in determining which of the 13 indicators are considered most critical to success. Suggestions for application of results are included.

Use of Second Life in K-12 and Higher Education: A Review of Research

Chris Inman
Vivian H. Wright
Julia A. Hartman
The University of Alabama


This study reviewed empirical research conducted in Second Life by educators since Second Life’s launch in 2003. The study’s purpose was to identify how Second Life is being used in both K-12 and higher education. The methodology, findings, and recommendations of 27 research studies were analyzed. Researchers identified potential problems when using Second Life in education, including issues with the Second Life software and hardware requirements, a steep learning curve, and the possibility of students becoming exposed to distractions or inappropriate content. Researchers discussed potential uses of Second Life including role-play, game and simulation creation, implementation within distance education programs, and the ability to encourage student-centered learning activities. Analysis also revealed several recommendations for educators intending to use Second Life.

Evaluation of an intelligent tutoring system for arithmetic and fractions

Carole R. Beal
University of Arizona

Ivon M. Arroyo
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Paul R. Cohen
University of Arizona

Beverly P. Woolf
University of Massachusetts, Amherst


Three studies were conducted with middle school students to evaluate a web-based intelligent tutoring system (ITS) for arithmetic and fractions. The studies involved pre and post test comparisons, as well as group comparisons to assess the impact of the ITS on students’ math problem solving. Results indicated that students improved from pre to post test after working with the ITS, whereas students who simply repeated the tests showed no improvement. Students who had more sessions with the ITS improved more than those with less access to the software. Improvement was greatest for students with the weakest initial math skills, who were also most likely to use the multimedia help resources for learning that were integrated into the software.

The Impact of Online Graduate Students’ Motivation and Self-Regulation on Academic Procrastination

Glenda C. Rakes
The University of Tennessee, Martin

Karee E. Dunn
The University of Arkansas


With the rapid growth in online programs come concerns about how best to support student learning in this segment of the university population. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of effort regulation, a self-regulatory skill, and intrinsic motivation on online graduate students’ levels of academic procrastination, behavior that can adversely affect both the quality and quantity of student work. This research was guided by one primary question: Are online graduate students’ intrinsic motivation and use of effort regulation strategies predictive of procrastination? Results indicated that as intrinsic motivation to learn and effort regulation decrease, procrastination increases. Specific strategies for encouraging effort regulation and intrinsic motivation in online graduate students are presented.

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