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Encouraging Student Participation in an On-line Course Using ‘Pull’ Initiatives / Paul Peachey; Amanda Jones; Paul Jones

The Electronic Journal of e-Learning, Volume: 4, Issue: 1, Pages: 67 - 79

Swansea University Author: Paul, Jones

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Abstract

This paper presents an empirical study involving initiatives that encouraged students to log onto online courses in entrepreneurship delivered by the University of Glamorgan. The aim of the research was to explore items of interest to the online students that may increase participation in the forums...

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Published in: The Electronic Journal of e-Learning
ISSN: 1479-4403
Published: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited 2006
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa44673
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Abstract: This paper presents an empirical study involving initiatives that encouraged students to log onto online courses in entrepreneurship delivered by the University of Glamorgan. The aim of the research was to explore items of interest to the online students that may increase participation in the forums and hence potentially enhanced engagement with the course module. The online tutor created additional forums within the discussion board of the virtual learning environment (VLE) that included a variety of online games and quizzes that were relative to the module topic. The rationale that underpinned this initiative was to reduce the possible blandness of the VLE as perceived by some students. The games and quizzes were carefully designed to enhance knowledge in the subject and thereby provided additional learning opportunities. The initiative was also thought to assist in the formation of an online learning community. The study involved experimentation by the online tutor with subsequent observation of the behavioural patterns of the students. In one module, the dedicated social and games forums attracted 54% of the total postings for the module. The findings suggest that including online quizzes and games that are relevant to the taught subject can increase the participation levels of the students and possibly enhance the learning process. The findings of this study may inform the design, development and delivery of online learning programmes. The findings also inform strategies of good practice in online moderation and may help to reduce withdrawal rates, which are typically high in the field of elearning (Potashnik and Capper, 1998).
Keywords: Virtual learning environment, Fun, Discussion forum, Participation, Games
College: School of Management
Issue: 1
Start Page: 67
End Page: 79