The paper presents an exploratory study on the involvement of students within a blended university course that implements a series of collaborative activities aimed at developing both specific e-learning and transversal skills (social, cognitive, and metacognitive). The aim is twofold: (i) to observe the evolution of students’ involvement during an informal discussion, occurring in an online forum; (ii) to analyze the role played by the tutors who monitored the course. A data set consisting of 978 messages produced by 42 students and two tutors, produced during 9 weeks of the course, was analyzed. The messages have been coded through a purposely created category system. Furthermore, the data has been collapsed into three time periods, each lasting three weeks. The results highlight how the role of the tutor is very important at the outset of the course to sustain students’ involvement, whose commitment grows along the course. The high level of involvement explains students’ feeling of missing the online interaction in the periods when the platform is less used or when the conclusion of the course is approaching. Finally, also negative aspects related to an initial skepticism for the new approach or to the stress of the deadlines have been faced by the students with reciprocal encouragement.

Engagement in a Blended University Course

Ligorio M. B.
2020

Abstract

The paper presents an exploratory study on the involvement of students within a blended university course that implements a series of collaborative activities aimed at developing both specific e-learning and transversal skills (social, cognitive, and metacognitive). The aim is twofold: (i) to observe the evolution of students’ involvement during an informal discussion, occurring in an online forum; (ii) to analyze the role played by the tutors who monitored the course. A data set consisting of 978 messages produced by 42 students and two tutors, produced during 9 weeks of the course, was analyzed. The messages have been coded through a purposely created category system. Furthermore, the data has been collapsed into three time periods, each lasting three weeks. The results highlight how the role of the tutor is very important at the outset of the course to sustain students’ involvement, whose commitment grows along the course. The high level of involvement explains students’ feeling of missing the online interaction in the periods when the platform is less used or when the conclusion of the course is approaching. Finally, also negative aspects related to an initial skepticism for the new approach or to the stress of the deadlines have been faced by the students with reciprocal encouragement.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/257068
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