Introduction to Graduate Studies in the College of Education 6/25/2014
Article Summary: "Read-Only Participants: A Case for Student Communication in Online Classes"
The problem with the article is that it is very contradictory of itself, which made it confusing, especially the first half of the reading. Some research shows that students need to be actively involved with online discussion to learn, while other research argues that read-only lurkers learn as well. Other research states student participation means better course completion rate and benefits learning, and that the student that only lurks or “listens” doesn’t increase knowledge and often failed. The common theme that I saw in the research is that the researchers agreed on what makes a highly successful student is being actively involved and they agreed that these students are gaining a lot of knowledge, while they disagreed as to if the lurkers were learning as much, or at all, as their actively involved counterparts. One of the debates in the articles is what makes a read only participant. If the facilitator doesn’t entertain certain students as they learn and they do not feel instant gratification from participating actively in online discussions, then those students will simply stop participating and therefore will not benefit from peer-to-peer learning. Other reasons that concern me are that some lurkers may lack confidence to participate, may be introverted, or be a novice student and not understand the material or assignment. Some read only participants may care about themselves alone and are satisfied that their own learning needs are being met, thus being selfish. Lastly, some read-only participants may not be convinced that the course will benefit them and may not want to put the time or effort into the course work. The question is are these non-participants still legitimately learning and that conclusion wavered from yes to no in various researches. A major component...
References: University of Pretoria, South Africa; b North-West University, South Africa; cCape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa (Received 5 April 2007; ﬁnal version received 25 May 2007): L. Nagela*, A.S. Blignautb and J.C. Cronje´
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