08 November 2017

One Size Does Not Fit All - Research on Mature Students' Educational Experiences

In a follow up from our post on November 2nd, anthro everywhere! blogger Jennifer Long continues to discuss her new pedagogical research project in collaboration with Ms. Silvie Tanu Halim at the W. Booth School of Engineering Practice & Technology. 

Check out last week's posts to learn the context behind our study. In a nutshell, we seek to know more about mature and non-traditional students' educational experiences  and, to explore how these perspectives differ depending on our medium of instruction: online (synchronous, asynchronous), or face-to-face.

We left off on Nov 2nd by showcasing some of our questions about the demographic information of our participants. In today's post, we get down to the nitty-gritty of the learning experiences and preferences.

The rest of our questions deal with student experiences of online learning. Therefore, we have to narrow our participant group to those with online experiences. 

Question 8 follows: Have you ever taken an online course (including high school, college or university courses, training, or workshops) in the past? Yes/No

Here, we put a little logic into things, if a student answers 'no', they are thanked for their time. If they answer yes, students will continue on to the question set below.

If student participants select yes, they are asked to fill out a matrix  with answers between not very effective (all the way) to very effective for the following items:
  1. How effective do you find time spent attending online lectures (in synchronous [defined in survey] format)?
  2. How effective do you find time spent watching pre-recorded lecture videos (which you can watch at any time)?
  3. How effective do you find time spent reading through course notes (for comprehension of material)?
  4. How effective do you find time spent working through problems in the course textbook (through self-directed learning in complement to online resources)?
  5. How effective do you find time spent discussing course content with student peers? 
  6. How effective do you find time spent discussing course content with your instructors?
Then we ask them questions about their use of resource materials for online learning: 

  1. Do you prefer synchronous or asynchronous learning for online courses? Why?
  2. Do you use the accommodation/preference options on the pre-recorded videos (e.g. slow down, speed up videos)? 
  3. Do you replay videos if you do not understand a concept? Why (or why not)? 
  4. How important is it to have an online community with your student peers? Scale of not at all to very important.
As it happens, our survey opened up last night. Check out some of next week's posts to learn how blogger Jennifer Long invites her colleagues students to participate and how we work to avoid undue pressure on our student participants to take part in our survey.

Want to use these questions for your own work? 
Please cite this source as follows:
Long, J., & Tanu Halim, S. (2017, November 02). One Size Does Not Fit All - Research on Mature Students' Educational Experiences [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://anthrolens.blogspot.ca/2017/11/one-size-does-not-fit-all-research-on.html

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