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Active and interactive learning online: a comparison of Web-based and conventional writing classes

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4 Author(s)
B. Mehlenbacher ; North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC, USA ; C. R. Miller ; D. Covington ; J. S. Larsen

This study examines how students enrolled in two Web-based sections of a technical writing class performed compared to students enrolled in a conventional version of the class. Although no significant difference in student performance was found between the two learning conditions, our data reveal intriguing relationships between students' prior knowledge, attitudes, and learning styles and our Web-based writing environment. One finding that we focus on is that reflective, global learners performed significantly better online than active, sequential learners, whereas there was no difference between them in the conventional class. Our study highlights the complexity of effective teaching and the difficulty of making comparisons between the online and the classroom environments. In particular, we maintain that the transfer of active learning strategies to the Web is not straightforward and that interactivity as a goal of instructional Web site design requires significant elaboration

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 2 )