Volume 20, Issue 1 - March 2016


Peter Shea, University at Albany, State University of New York

With the announcement of our latest issue of Online Learning we report the achievement of a significant milestone.  The current issue marks our 20th year of continuous publication! While there have been some significant transitions in these two decades, including a name change from the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks...

Creating a Sticky MOOC

Barbara Oakley, Oakland University

Debra Poole, Central Michigan University

MaryAnne Nestor, Kent State University

Learning How to Learn, a MOOC from UC San Diego, is one of Coursera’s most successful offerings; in its first year, nearly one million learners enrolled in the course. As a result of its high student satisfaction levels (4.55 on a 5-point Likert scale) and the persistence of strong student interest in the course, it is worth examining the course’s dynamics more closely in an effort to tease out its sources of satisfaction and popularity.  For this paper, we used students’ responses to an open-ended question to develop a list of potentially important “stickiness” features.  A subset of students enrolled in the third session of Learning How to Learn then rated their overall satisfaction with the course and the extent to which each feature contributed to their persistence in the course.  Three primary factors suggested by a factor analysis of stickiness items correlated most highly with course satisfaction: Instructor Quality, Conceptual Clarity/Importance, and Format.  A description of the course creation process explains how these factors were achieved through the use of metaphor and analogy, instructor interactions with the graphics, the use of motion to maintain students’ attention, tight scripting, a relaxed presentation demeanor, volunteer TA support, and relevant yet occasionally humorous quizzes.

The Impact of Previous Online Course Experience on Students’ Perceptions of Quality

Emily Hixon, Purdue University Calumet

Penny Ralston-Berg, Penn State World Campus

Janet Buckenmeyer, Armstrong State University

Casimir Barczyk, Purdue University Calumet

The purpose of this paper is to explore whether experienced online students (who have completed seven or more online courses) perceive the quality of their courses differently than novice online students (who have completed three or fewer online courses) or students with an intermediate level of online course experience (those...

Emotional Presence in a Relationship of Inquiry: The Case of One-to-One Online Math Coaching

Stefan Stenbom, and  Stefan Hrastinski, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Martha Cleveland-Innes, Athabasca University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Emotions have been confirmed to be a critical component of the process of learning. In the online Community of Inquiry theoretical framework, and the recently suggested online Relationship of Inquiry framework, emotions are considered a subsection of social presence. In this study, the concept of emotional presence is examined. This...

Chair Perceptions of Trust between Mentor and Mentee in Online Doctoral Dissertation Mentoring

Linnea L. Rademaker, Jennifer O’Connor Duffy, Elizabeth Wetzler, and Helen Zaikina-Montgomery

Northcentral University

We explored online dissertation chairs’ perceptions of trust in the mentor–mentee relationship, as trust was identified as a crucial factor in the success of doctoral students. Through the implementation of a multiple-case study, and a qualitative, online questionnaire, and through qualitative data analysis, we discovered 16 chairs’ perceptions of trust...

Student Success Factors in Graduate Psychology Professional Programs

Noelle K. Newhouse and Jessica Cerniak  – The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Research examining factors contributing to online students’ success typically focuses on a single point in time or completion of a single course, as well as individual difference variables, such as learning style or motivation, that may predispose a student to succeed. However, research concerning longer term online student outcomes, such...

Toward an Understanding of Development of Learning to Solve Ill-Defined Problems in an Online Context: A Multi-Year qualitative Exploratory Study

Naren Peddibhotla  State University of New York Polytechnic Institute  Utica, NY

The case study is a classic tool used in several educational programs that emphasizes solving of ill-defined problems. Though it has been used in classroom-based teaching and educators have developed a rich repertoire of methods, its use in online courses presents different challenges. To explore factors that develop skills in...

Creating Dynamic Learning Communities in Synchronous Online Courses: One Approach From the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL)

Melissa McDaniels, Michigan State University

Christine Pfund and Katherine Barnicle, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The ability to convert face-to-face curricula into rigorous and equally rich online experiences is a topic of much investigation. In this paper, we report on the conversion of a face-to-face research mentor training curriculum into a synchronous, online course. Graduate students and postdoc participants from the Center for the Integration...

Utilizing a Simulation within an Online School Technology Leadership Course

Jesse Strycker,  East Carolina University

Online courses and programs have grown to become and continue to be a popular option for students. As part of an online Master’s of Education in Instructional Technology program, students must complete a school technology leadership course. Leadership decision making, policy making, and how to have innovations take hold in...