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|"The Impact of Repote-Site Group Size on Student Satisfaction and Relative Performance in Interactive Telecourses"|
ContentsPurpose of the study
Expectations - Predictions
Practical implications - Method used
Theoretical implications - Arguments
Comments on the study
The primary goal was to determine whether and to what extend the number of individuals attending telecourse class sessions (site size) at a given remote site predicts a student's:
The results of this research showed that students attending class sessions
with fewer students reported being more satisfied with the courses and they
performed at exceeding levels of their previous academic performance than
students attending sessions with more students.
Also, they perform as well as, and in some cases better than,
their traditionally taught counterparts.
It was expected that site size would affect facet and overall satisfaction
with the telecourses, as well as relative performance. But no specific
predictions were made, regarding the direction of the anticipated effects.
Subjects. The research involved 288 undergraduate college students (259 of them female) in 17 live interactive telecourses at 68 remote sites in the United States.
Telecourses. The courses spanned a wide and diverse array of disciplines (accounting, biology, economics, business, psychology, history, etc)
Sites. The site sizes ranged from 1 to 33 students.
Attitudinal Assessment Instrument. It was administered to the students the Telecourse Evaluation Questionnaire (TEQ), a widely-used telecourse attitudinal assessment instrument with sound psychometric properties. TEQ lists various facets of of telecourses and asks students to rate each on a five-point Likert-type scale (from Very poor to Very good). They also added a question to assess student's overall satisfaction.
Performance assessment. "Relative performance" was decided to be calculated as the final grade minus prior college GPA (Grade Point Averages). Like that, they were able to get information not only on the student's motivation but also on the student's effort and persistence.
Procedure. During a class session held the final 4 weeks of the
The results showed that:
The study is very interesting and enlightening. I appreciate that they took into consideration the student's motivation (as the relative performance) and not simply the performance during the course that might have lead to wrong assumptions.
Of course, I think that people that have chosen a specific telecourse had some reasons to do that instead of doing it the classical way. I think that's the reason that the best performances found in students that attended the course alone at home.
I have to admit, as I am also a student in a distance course that there
is a feeling of isolation sometimes...
Last modified 13/05/99
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