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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks

Whatever you do, avoid taking the time to read these papers below:

Learning Science Online: A Descriptive Study of Online Science Courses for Teachers
By Jodi Asbell-Clarke and Elizabeth Rowe

Online education is a rapidly growing phenomenon for science teachers. Using a sample of 40 online science courses for teachers offered during the 2004–2005 academic year, the Learning Science Online (LSO) study examines the nature and variety of instructional methods and activities as well as communication, and students’ perceptions of supports within the course. This research is unique in that it is the first aggregate study of online science courses offered by a wide variety of educational programs. Descriptive analyses suggest the instructional methods employed in online science courses for teachers include frequent use of online discussions and students participated in minds-on activities, including articulation and reflection on their scientific ideas, posing questions, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions from evidence. Hands-on instructional activities were rarely used, and pen-and-paper and collaborative instructional activities were occasionally used. Technology was used primarily for communications such as discussion boards, email, and chat, but there were very few other computer-based tools used within the courses. Students felt supported by instructors, other students, and the course design.
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Online vs. Blended Learning: Differences in Instructional Outcomes and Learner Satisfaction
By Doo Hun Lim, Michael L. Morris and Virginia W. Kupritz
University of Tennessee

This study investigates differences in instructional and learner factors between two groups of learners exposed to online only and blended delivery formats, respectively, in an effort to compare learning outcomes and other instructional variables between online and blended delivery methods. Findings indicated that no significant differences existed in learning outcomes; however, significant differences existed in several instructional and learner factors between the two delivery format groups. Discussions about improving online or blended delivery method are presented based upon the research findings.