Monday, February 9, 2009


Articles from The American Journal of Distance Education
Chaney, B. H., Eddy, J. M., Dorman, S. M., Glessner, L., Green, B. L., & Lara-Alecio, R. (2007). Development of an Instrument to Assess Student Opinions of the Quality of Distance Education Courses. American Journal of Distance Education, 21(3), 145-164.

1) Proved that combining the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, and Dillman's four stages of pretesting to develop a distance course evaluation assessment results in a culturally sensitive valid and reliable instrument.
2) Created the SASODE which is proven to assess student perceptions of quality distance education.

Conrad, D. L. (2008). From Community to Community of Practice: Exploring the Connection of Online Learners to Informal Learning in the Workplace. American Journal of Distance Education, 22(1), 3-23.

1) Interest and support of the workplace in employees' learning activities is key to their success.
2) Participation in online community did not distract from or disturb learners' involvement in their workplace community.
3) Participation in online community did not significantly contribute to the sense of an enhanced workplace community with colleagues.

Flowers, J., & Cotton, S. E. (2007). Impacts of Student Categorization of Their Online Discussion Contributions. American Journal of Distance Education, 21(2), 93-104.

1) The process of self-categorization decreased cognitive messages (p=.018) in forums but significantly increased organizational (p=.003) and social units (p=.001).
2) The decrease in cognitive messages is likely due largely to the impact of self-categorization (the researchers concluded that this is similar to the effect of heavier instructor monitoring in a synchronous environment which was said to interfere with students' "idea generation, emotional expression, and creative ideas"

Gaytan, J., & McEwen, B. C. (2007). Effective Online Instructional and Assessment Strategies. American Journal of Distance Education, 21(3), 117-132.

1) Online courses are being taught by more females, majority are white, at least 50 years old and experienced faculty.
2) Considerably more females are enrolling in online courses than males. Majority are 1) white, 2) undergraduates 3) education majors. They enroll mainly because of convenience factors.
3) Strategies for maintaining online instructional quality: open communication with students, rigor, variety in instructional methods, requiring interaction.
4) Effective online assessments should include: wide variety of regular assignments, feedback based on a rubric, e-mail messages, chat room conversations, and discussion board postings.
5) Effective assessment techniques: projects, portfolios, self-assessments, peer evaluations, weekly assignments with immediate feedback, timed tests and quizzes, and asynchronous type of communication using the discussion board.
6) Only 34% of the study population responded which may skew some of the responses.

Jones, J. G. (2008). Issues and Concerns of Directors of Postsecondary Distance Learning Programs Regarding Online Methods and Technologies. American Journal of Distance Education, 22(1), 46-56.

1) Main concerns are cost, support, vendor lock in, digital divide/technology access.
2) Interestingly noted that less attention was paid to quality or the level of the teachers and satisfaction of the instruction.

Keeler, C. G., & Horney, M. (2007). Online Course Designs: Are Special Needs Being Met? American Journal of Distance Education, 21(2), 61-75.

1) The list of instructional design elements of barriers or helps for students with special needs is long and sometimes contradictory.
2) 38 design elements were defined as critically important to the design of Web sites for people with disabilities.
3) These elements fall into five categories: accessibility, Web site design, technologies used, instructional methodologies, and support systems. Some of the examples are:
· Allow easy disengagement of pop-up windows.
· Provide visual text equivalents.
· Provide alternatives for moving images.
· Determine the pervasiveness of graphics per page based on the course's target population.
· Ensure required and optional materials are available in accessible formats with instructions.

Moisey, S. D., Ally, M., & Spencer, B. (2006). Factors Affecting the Development and Use of Learning Objects. American Journal of Distance Education, 20(3), 143-161.

Factors facilitating the development and/or use of learning objects:

1. Good examples of learning objects 2. Online resources (recommended Web sites containing information to assist with learning object design and development) 3. Availability of resources to assist with the evaluation of learning objects (MERLOT, Learning Object Analysis Sheet).

1. Defining the term learning object 2. Amount of work involved and skill deficits 3. Structure of repositories 4. Lack of learning objects in some disciplines 5. Quality of learning objects in repositories 6. Granularity of learning objects 7. Metatagging and cataloguing in repositories 8. Copyright and intellectual property.

O'Leary, P. F., & Quinlan Jr., T. J. (2007). Learner–Instructor Telephone Interaction: Effects on Satisfaction and Achievement of Online Students. American Journal of Distance Education, 21(3), 133-143.

· In general, online course exceeded expectations (65%).
· Statistical tests yielded no evidence that the phone call had an effect on student satisfaction.
· Statistically significant effect between phone call and grade but most likely not practical (p=0476).
Factors that may affect the conclusions were timing of the phone call and number of calls.

Offir, B., Bezalel, R., & Barth, I. (2007). Introverts, Extroverts, and Achievement in a Distance Learning Environment. American Journal of Distance Education, 21(1), 3-19.

· There is a relationship between cognitive style and achievement levels.
· Introverts attained significantly higher achievement than extroverts (85.16 vs. 80.05 mean).
· Attributed to cognitive style. Both had challenges. Extroverts had challenge with limited interaction and interaction constraints whereas introverts felt more tension.

Seo, K. K. (2007). Utilizing Peer Moderating in Online Discussions: Addressing the Controversy between Teacher Moderation and Nonmoderation. American Journal of Distance Education, 21(1), 21-36.

· Substance rate was higher for the peer-moderated group (p<.01).
· Moderated groups had more substantive responses.
The conclusion is that student moderation elicits more meaningful interaction.

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