Interactive communication as an element of student success in online college math courses

Rita Sowell, Tennessee State University

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between interactions and success of the student in online math courses. The population was all online math courses offered at Volunteer State Community College. The sample consisted of 209 online math students enrolled in courses taught by the researcher during the fall 2007, spring 2008, and fall 2008 semester, including developmental math courses and college algebra classes. Emails from student-to-instructor, emails from instructor-to-student, discussion postings made by the student, discussion postings made by the instructor, number of times the student accessed the course, and when a student accessed the course for the first time were considered as interactions. Each email was classified as academic, social, or technical. Each student discussion posting was an introduction, homework/quiz/test question, or a general posting. Success of the student was measured by the numerical final average. A regression analysis was calculated for each of the dependent variables to the independent variable. The independent variables were the interactions and the dependent variable was final numeric average. A significant relationship was found between the number of emails the student sent to the instructor, the number of emails the instructor sent to the student, and the success of the student. A significant relationship was found between the number of academic and social emails sent from the student, the number of social emails sent from the instructor, and the success of the student. There was a significant relationship found between the number of introduction and homework/quiz/test postings made by a student, the total number of student discussion postings, and the success of the student. A significant relationship was found between the total number of times students accessed the course and the success of the student. Recommendations for professional practice include: (1) Training for faculty teaching online courses on the different types of interactions, course management systems, ancillary software, different ways to use the discussion board, and how to create a sense of community within an online math course; (2) Training for course designers on the importance of interactions and how to create courses that encourage interaction. ^

Subject Area

Education, Mathematics

Recommended Citation

Rita Sowell, "Interactive communication as an element of student success in online college math courses" (2009). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3356172.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3356172

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