Read Only Participants

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Summary - Read-Only Participants: A Case for Student Communication in Online Classes Tonia Ray
Grand Canyon University: UNV-501
January 30, 2013

Summary - Read-Only Participants: A Case for Student Communication in Online Classes More than ever, online classes are becoming a viable approach and solution for students pursuing undergraduate and secondary degrees. However, the accessibility to these classes does not guarantee all online students are receiving a quality education. Recent studies have shown that as online course enrollment increases, issues with assignment completion, lower quality work, and dropout rates have risen. One study revealed the drop-out rate for online students is 20 to 50% (Nagel, Blignaut, & Cronje, 2009), (as cited in Bernard et al., 2004). In their research, Nagel, Blignaut, and Cronje (2009) like Klemm (1998), Rovani, and Barnum (2003) felt it was essential to be participative in online discussions to be successful in a web-based learning environment. The study also revealed that within the virtual community of learners there exist two types of students that pose a risk to the online learning community, legitimate non-participation and inadvertent non-participation read-only participation. Legitimate non-participation students avoid the stage and are content observing others and contribute little to the success of the group. This type of student does not share personal learning experiences and feeds off group ideas (Nagel, Blignaut, & Cronje, 2009), (as cited in Collins, Brown, & Holum, 1991). Inadvertent non-participation students avoid online participation. Because of technical deficiencies, these at-risk students will put off assignments, which ultimately contributes to the higher drop-out rate (Nagel, Blignaut, & Cronje, 2009), (as cited in Miller, Rainer, & Corley, 2003). Research for the study was performed during an online 8 week computer integrated education course and used the Davies,...
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