Online Learning Environment Essay Essay

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The recent displacement towards intensive usage of computing machine engineering in educational patterns has already become so powerful that computer-based acquisition is no more perceived as something new. Whether it is computing machine research labs in the primary schools or Internet-equipped computing machine installations in the high-school. computing machines have turned into inalienable portion of students’ life. However. such rapid and overpowering spread of the new engineering raised serious inquiries refering positive and negative facets. new chances for pupils and instructors. age distinctive features. and gender particulars of computer-based acquisition.

The latter seems to be one of the major focal points of modern-day research in computer-based acquisition. Article “Gender differences in the usage of computing machine mediated communicating by station alumnus distance students” written by Barrett and Lally ( 1999 ) investigates into the gender facet of computer-mediated instruction. viz. the usage of Computer Mediated Communication ( CMC ) in a specific larning context by a little group of graduate student ( MEd ) distance scholars and their coachs.

Taking into consideration the fact of steadily turning audience of pupils involved into on-line educational patterns. relevancy of such research can barely be questioned. Although the figure of participants is instead little – likely the first and first drawback of the research – the writers have managed to roll up comprehensive sum of informations utilizing students’ electronic journals. questionnaires and transcripts of all their on-line parts.

Barrett and Lally ( 1999 ) use content analysis – arguably the most popular method in psychological science – to measure online duologues between members of the group. Specific attending has been paid to analyzing larning and socio-emotional form of behaviour demonstrated by participants. since the major hypothesis of the writers is that male and female pupils differ significantly on this dimension. The pick of method seems perfectly right maintaining in head the hypothesis posed by the writers.

Key results of the survey supported the authors’ hypothesis: content analysis of the available information has revealed serious difference in behaviour of work forces and adult females put into the online acquisition environment. First. male pupils tend to direct more messages than their female opposite numbers. Second. messages written by male pupils were on mean twice every bit long as messages written by female pupils. And thirdly. male pupils tend to compose socio-emotionally oriented messages. while female pupils exhibit synergistic orientation.

These three findings make it possible for the writers to set up strong correlativity between student’s gender and his/her behaviour in the online acquisition environment. Despite looking plainness of this survey. it seems instead hard to give it a unequivocal appraisal. On the one manus. there is a little sample group. which raises the issue of the study’s dependability. and simple research design. while on the other manus. there is exceeding relevancy of the survey ( maintaining in head that it was published in 1999 ) and of import findings. which have shown right way for farther research.

Although there may be another point of position. the 2nd constituent outweighs all drawbacks of the research: while the drawbacks relate to formal facet of the survey ( e. g. deficient sample size. hapless informations capturing techniques. etc ) . the content ( hypothesis and findings ) is truly great. Newness of the author’s thought has turned the article into a good starting point for other research workers. whose plants help develop the most optimum acquisition and instruction schemes designed harmonizing to specific larning behaviour of both sexes in a assorted online larning environment.

Although newness is the most of import feature of Barrett and Lally’s ( 1999 ) work. they seemingly relied upon a figure of old surveies. Equally shortly as the overall topic of their research is concerned. the survey can barely be addressed as perfectly original: a figure of surveies covering with the impact of computing machine engineerings on the learning environment of schoolrooms ( including the acquisition activities that take topographic point in the schoolroom. and assorted educational schemes designed to do them more effectual ) were written throughout the 1990s.

Although none of them paid serious attending to gender differences that might qualify behaviour of pupils in computing machine acquisition environment. they decidedly revealed a figure of specific characteristics of computer-based ( including online ) acquisition and instruction patterns. For illustration. Richards ( 1996 ) conducted one of the first surveies of the influence of computer-based environment on pupil motives. His research conducted as a portion of the Bell Atlantic’s World School Program revealed that computing machines and the Internet significantly improved students’ motive.

Therefore. 92 per centum of the respondents in Richards’ plan classified the Internet as an effectual acquisition tool ( Richards. 1996 ) . Findingss of another research performed by Follansbee ( 1996 ) and his co-workers the same twelvemonth base in line with those of Richards. Comparison of the larning results of pupils making a undertaking with entree to the Internet demonstrated much higher degree of assurance in carry oning and showing the research undertaking.

Besides. the survey discovered that pupils with entree to the Internet demonstrated better diverseness and ingeniousness showing their undertakings. could break incorporate assorted positions. and presented their answers/projects more accurately ( Follansbee 1996 ) . In 1997. Proost and Lowyck ( 1997 ) published a survey devoted to gender facet of computer-based instruction. The sample group of the survey was impressive: traditional and distance acquisition university pupils – a sum of 1368 pupils ( 945 males and 416 females ) over 18 old ages of age ( Proost and Lowyck. 1997: 371-372 ) .

However. that survey dealt merely with the gender differences in perceptual experiences of and penchants for computing machine based learning environments. while Barrett and Lally ( 1999 ) went deeper into the topic. Thus. Proost and Lowyck ( 1997 ) found out that female respondents had. on norm. more negative perceptual experience of computing machine based engineering and a penchant for traditional methods than male respondents ( p. 380 ) . but did non seek to reply the inquiry whether male and female pupils demonstrate different behavioural forms in the online larning environment or non.

While Barrett and Lally ( 1999 ) relied on a figure of old researches. their ain findings were farther explored. confirmed. corrected. and extended by later surveies. Kelly ( 2000 ) used Barrett and Lally’s ( 1999 ) premise that girl wage more attending to the synergistic facet of computer-based communicating and acquisition to explicate why misss usually have small involvement to computing machine scientific discipline. In her history. computing machine does non affect a batch of teamwork and societal interaction and. therefore. is less interesting than traditional communicating and acquisition.

In the same manner Kelly ( 2000 ) explains why absolute bulk of the computing machine games are designed harmonizing to gustatory sensations of male audiences and stress things ( force. intensive action. velocity ) that are non attractive to adult females. Therefore. boys feel more attractive force to computing machines and computer-based acquisition and “… with more males acquiring into callings in the computer science industry. they perpetuate this rhythm of catering for the demands of a preponderantly male audience who gain an entry point into the computing universe via games and subsequently take up callings in the computer science industry” ( Kelly. 2000: 156 ) .

Similarly. Passing and Levin ( 2000 ) explored gender difference amongst pre-school pupils seeking to uncover their penchants to assorted designs of multimedia acquisition interfaces ( in order to better results of larning ) . The survey involved a sample of 90 kids ( 44 misss and 46 male childs ) . and its major result was important difference in male childs and girls’ penchants: male childs demonstrated more attractive force to motion while misss paid more attending to ocular elements.

Shin and Chan ( 2004 ) besides cite Barrett and Lally’s ( 1999 ) in their survey of the effects of online larning on distance instruction pupils. The writers assume that there is a direct relationship between students’ engagement in online acquisition and distance acquisition outcomes taking into consideration gender facet as the major factor that affects on-line acquisition ( p. 277 ) . Riding and Grimley ( 1999 ) investigated how otherwise the same computing machine multimedia affects cognitive manner and public presentation of male childs and misss ( 11 old ages ) .

The survey involved 40 male childs and 40 misss and was conducted in two phases: foremost. participants underwent the process of appraisal which revealed their cognitive manner ; secondly. they were offered a multi-choice callback trial after analyzing a scientific discipline subject with the aid of computing machine and CD-ROM ( p. 44-45 ) . Upon completion of both phases the writers compared computer-based tonss of the participants with tonss given for similar subjects learned with the aid of traditional educational methods.

The writers reported that “with respect to the manner of presentation of the multimedia stuffs. misss who were Wholist-Imagers and Analytic-Verbalisers were better with presentations which had image and sound than those which had merely image and text. Those who were Wholist-Verbalizers and Analytic-Imagers were better with presentations which had image and text than those which had merely image and sound. The consequences were the antonym for male childs.

For both gender groups public presentation was best with presentations which combined image. text and sound” ( Riding and Grimley 1999: 55 ) . Obviously. the article written by Barrett and Lally ( 1999 ) can barely be addressed as a authoritative work which has already become the basic mention point of modern surveies in computer-based instruction and acquisition. At the same clip. it is far from being a mediocre and irrelevant survey that has perfectly non scientific value.

The truth is someplace in between: the article is a well-written piece of work which stands in line with old research. has an component of newness and. hence. opens new chances for scientists. REFERENCES Barrett. E and Lally. V. ( 1999 ) “Gender differences in an online acquisition environment” Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 15. 48-60 Follansbee. S. . Gilsdorf. N. . Stahl. S. . Dunfey. J. . Cohen. S. . Pisha. B. and Hughes. B. ( 1996 ) The function of on-line communicating in schools: a national survey.

Peabody. MA: Center for Applied Special Technology. Kelly. Karen. ( 2000 ) “The Gender Gap: Why Do Girls Get Turned Off to Technology? ” The Digital Classroom. erectile dysfunction. D. T. Gordon. The Harvard Education Letter. Cambridge. pp 154-160 O’Hara. S. P. ( 1998 ) “A instance survey of attitudinal effects of Internet usage in a in-between school integrated scientific discipline curriculum” . Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. San Diego. CA. April 19-22. 1998 ( Eric papers ED417978 ) . Passing. D.

& A ; Levin. H. ( 2000 ) “Gender Preferences for Multimedia interfaces” . Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. 16: 64-71 Proost. K. . Elen J. & A ; Lowyck J. ( 1997 ) “Effects of Gender on Perceptions of and Preferences for Telematic Learning Environments” . Journal of Research on Computing in Education. Summer. 29 ( 4 ) : 370-384 Richards. F. C. ( 1996 ) “The impact of the Internet on instruction and acquisition as perceived by instructors. library media specializers and students” Masters thesis. Salem-Teikyo University ( Eric papers ED410943 )

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