Tuesday, 12 November, 2013

Paper Review: College Student Effort Expenditure in Online Versus Face-to-Face Courses: The Role of Gender, Team Learning Orientation, and Sense of Classroom Community

Yang, Y., Cho, Y., Mathew, S., & Worth, S. (2011). College Student Effort Expenditure in Online Versus Face-to-Face Courses: The Role of Gender, Team Learning Orientation, and Sense of Classroom Community. Journal of Advanced Academics, 22(4), 619–638.  

Summary This paper examines following research questions:
  1. Are there gender differences in student effort expenditure in online versus face-to-face courses?
  2. To what extent does team learning orientation predict student effort in online versus face-to-face courses, controlling for a potential gender effect?
  3. To what extent does student SOCC predict effort expenditure in an online versus face-to-face class, controlling for the potential effects of gender and team learning orientation?
In the survey, the participants were 799 college students (64.1% female), with 177 surveyed about their online courses and 619 about traditional face-to-face courses. The survey consisted of measures on students’ sense of classroom community (SOCC), team learning orientation, and the amount of effort contributed toward any specific course of the participants’ choosing. Following were key findings:
  • Male students reported more effort than female students in online courses, whereas females reported more effort in face-to-face courses than males.
  • Students who valued working with others and held a strong belief in benefiting rom teamwork reported having spent more time and energy in their courses regardless of gender and course delivery format.
  • Students who perceived more course value and interest as one of the indicators of their SOCC reported more effort expenditure regardless of the course delivery format.

Assessment
This paper focused on team learning orientation, gender differences and SOCC but there could be other variables that could affect/predict student effort expenditure in online vs. face-to-face courses. Nevertheless, its findings are worth noting and may need to be examined in another settings to assess their generalizability.

Reflection
This paper argues that team learning orientation and SOCC make students work hard in their courses regardless of course delivery format. That means course design should incorporate mechanisms to boost team learning orientation and SOCC. This paper’s findings about gender differences are worth noting.

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