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A comparative analysis between English 1020 course outcomes taught online and face-to-face

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A comparative analysis between English 1020 course outcomes taught online and face-to-face
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Welker, Alyson Page
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Rhetoric -- Study and teaching ( lcsh )
English language -- Composition and exercises ( lcsh )
English language -- Composition and exercises ( fast )
Rhetoric -- Study and teaching ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
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The contents of this thesis provide a detailed comparison between the outcomes of students taking English 1020 in two different settings: online and in the on-campus classroom. This research was conducted within the 2011-2012 school year. Core Composition I was taught by the same instructor, with the same curriculum, outcomes, and methods in both sections. Specific students, outcomes, and methods were used to create comparable environments in both settings in order to look carefully at the differences and similarities the two environments pose on students, grades, learning, and engagement. This research focuses on how writing is taught and understood differently online than in the on-campus classroom. Class interaction, expectations, relationships, peer review, and discussion differences and similarities are also taken into consideration within the two mediums. Results, while based on a small group of students, do not attempt to speak for online education as a whole, but rather, suggest hypotheses and motivation for further research on the topic.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Alyson Page Welker.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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University of Colorado Denver

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Full Text
A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS BETWEEN ENGLISH 1020
COURSE OUTCOMES TAUGHT ONLINE AND FACE-TO-FACE
by
Alyson Page Welker
B.A., University of Colorado Denver, 2010
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado Denver
In partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
English
2012


This thesis for the Master of Arts
degree by
Alyson Welker
has been approved
by
Joanne Addison
Rodney Herring
Michelle Comstock
April 9, 2012


Welker, Alyson (M.A. English)
A Comparative Analysis Between English 1020 Course Outcomes Taught Online and
Face-to-Face
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Joanne Addison
ABSTRACT
The contents of this thesis provide a detailed comparison between the outcomes of
students taking English 1020 in two different settings: online and in the on-campus
classroom. This research was conducted within the 2011-2012 school year. Core
Composition I was taught by the same instructor, with the same curriculum,
outcomes, and methods in both sections. Specific students, outcomes, and methods
were used to create comparable environments in both settings in order to look
carefully at the differences and similarities the two environments pose on students,
grades, learning, and engagement. This research focuses on how writing is taught and
understood differently online than in the on-campus classroom. Class interaction,
expectations, relationships, peer review, and discussion differences and similarities
are also taken into consideration within the two mediums. Results, while based on a
small group of students, do not attempt to speak for online education as a whole, but
rather, suggest hypotheses and motivation for further research on the topic.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I recommend
its publication.
Approved: Joanne Addison


DEDICATION
I dedicate this thesis to my grandparents, Florence and Nicolas Pietrafesa, my parents,
Mike and Page, and my husband, John, all of whom contributed to the motivation and
funding of my lengthy education.
I also dedicate this to my sweet son, Jonah, who has slept peacefully on my chest as I
wrote the majority of this thesis.
IV


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I would like to thank my advisor, Joanne Addison, for her guidance and support
throughout my entire degree. It is because of her that I entered into the Rhetoric
program where I discovered my passion for online teaching and learning. Her advice
has led me through a rewarding education to a career I am truly thankful for.
I would like to extend appreciation to, Rodney Herring, who has been an excellent
teaching mentor. His unconditional encouragement has been an invaluable motivator
in many important endeavors, and has greatly impacted the teacher I have become.
Michelle Comstock, has been another gracious leader, whose example has helped me
to reach new standards for myself as a writer. I would like to express my deep
gratitude for her help throughout the entire thesis process.
For all of your work, I am forever grateful.
v


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Figures.........................................vii
Tables.........................................viii
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION...................................1
2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE......................12
3. RESEARCH & RESULTS............................23
4. DISCUSSION OF RESULTS.........................50
5. CONCLUSIONS...................................57
APPENDIX
A. ESSAY REQUIREMENTS............................62
B. INTRODUCTION HANDOUT..........................63
C. CONCLUSION HANDOUT............................64
D. STUDENT ENGAGEMENT SURVEY.....................65
E. HUMAN SUBJECTS APPROVAL.......................68
WORKS CITED...........................................69
vi


LIST OF FIGURES
Figure
3.1 Outcome Comparisons in Chapter 3................................40
3.2 Overall Grade Comparisons for Netiquette Paper in Chapter 3.....43
3.3 Overall Grade Comparisons in Chapter 3..........................43
vii


LIST OF TABLES
Tables
3.1 Inter-rater reliability system in Chapter 3....................................35
3.2 On-campus student outcomes in Chapter 3........................................38
3.3 Online student outcomes in Chapter 3...........................................38
3.4 Student engagement survey differences in Chapter 3.............................47
3.5 Not applicable questions in Chapter 3..........................................48
viii


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
The debate over online educations ability to meet the same standards and
outcomes of face-to-face education has been prominent throughout all fields of
education since online instruction was introduced. However, the fact remains that
whether it parallels on-campus learning or not, it is in high demand. With the rising
costs of facilities, increasing numbers of students (especially unconventional
students), and technologys prominent growth and influence in our culture, the
demand for online courses continues to increase. As online course numbers continue
to climb, the emphasis has begun to shift away from the debate over which mode of
education is better. Instead the debate now is over how each medium can improve the
other, and how can we use all of our resources to best educate the students of the
future.
English Departments, in particular, have an especially important role in the
acceptance and rejection of online education and teaching with technology, as reading
and writing abilities are key components in any digital setting. Though there are
multiple perspectives on the topic, there are two clearly opposing views on the
1


subject. On one side of the debate Heather Urbanski has defined as the nostalgic
English professors, who entered the field with their love for their notebooks, pencils,
and books, (and lets be honest, theres a part of that nostalgia in all of us). On the
other side are those who, despite the tangible comforts of the past, are embracing the
ideas and enhancements technology can bring into the classroom. Overall, both sides
are concerned with the quality of education the students receive, and finding the best
ways possible to teach their pupils. Though the teaching of writing has long before
technology been up for debate, I am tempted to wonder if our lack of solid resolutions
stem from the fact that we have not yet encountered the perfect combination of
pedagogies and mediums used to teach writing. I would like to suggest that the
answer might be found through the further exploration and incorporation of
technology in and outside of the classroom.
Teachers of writing need to become aware of, and educated on, the new
dimensions being brought to the field through technology. This is not a feat that will
be accomplished easily, or that will ever completely lay still. As the digital age
continues to expand we will continually need to reconsider, reconstruct, and
renegotiate the ways in which we teach writing. I would like to introduce a quote I
found to be truly motivating when I consider my current research, as well as future
research, of these ideas:
2


In addition to standards for the what of teaching, educators are also
rethinking the how of teaching with technology so that meaningful
learning results. In short, teachers need to bring a particular expertise
that can help them guide their students to become effective digital
writers and able learners irrespective of the opportunities they may
have outside of school. For teachers, it is not simply a matter of
integrating technology into the school day, but rather a matter of
uncovering the most powerful uses of technology to accomplish
learning goals for specific students. To do this, they can create digital
environments and experiences to extend their most effective practices
into even more powerful learning opportunities for students (DeVoss,
Eidman-Aadahl, & Hicks, 28-29).
These are the factors and ideas that get me excited about the limitless possibilities of
incorporating technology in the classroom. The areas that allow for the enhancement
of teaching practices beyond the current realm are astounding, and I am hopeful that
my research will help me to gain a better understanding of how to do so.
Personally, online education is important to me because it is something that I
feel will be a large part of my future. As I am currently hoping to continue on in my
education to obtain a doctoral degree in the field of English and teach at the
3


university level, I am well aware of the shifting times, technology, and trends in and
outside of the traditional classroom. I myself am a student who has benefited greatly
from the independent learning style that is reflected in the online classroom, and I am
interested in learning more about the ways I can use this new space in education to
the best of my abilities as a teacher as well as a student.
On a professional level I believe all educators should be aware of the new and
different challenges technology presents in the classroom. Although I am focusing
specifically on composition, I hope my findings will be helpful to those in other
subjects as well. I also feel the need to advocate for these types of studies to be
repeated regularly across all curriculums. As my literature review shows, these
studieseven when done in different fieldscan be helpful to every field taught
online. Some of the aspects of online instruction are department specific, but other
aspects cross over into all categories and ages to benefit all types of instructors and
institutions.
My research will be particularly informative to my institution, the University
of Colorado Denver, because I am specifically looking at the outcomes outlined by
our Director of Composition, Dr. Amy Vidali. I will also be conducting my
classrooms through UCDs technologies: Blackboard for my on-campus course and
eCollege for my online course. At UCD, Blackboard is used in congruence with on-
campus courses only, and eCollege is the software used to conduct online courses. I
4


believe that at other institutions with other technologies and course goals the
outcomes would most likely vary, though, the information I collect will be
translatable to other institutions and fields as well.
Theoretical and Pedagogical Motivations
I have come across many influential authors on this topic. These authors
introduce the multiple aspects of teaching online along with the technological
advantages that can also be facilitated in the on-campus classroom. I hope to
incorporate the following ideas into my teaching methods:
Rhetorical theory has and continues to change through these new forms of
online writing; [Computer-mediated communications] increasingly widespread
integration into all facets of culture has encouraged scholars and teachers to
reinterpret (yet again) the traditional canons of rhetoric (Selber 2). The online
effects on education are pushing teachers to rethink pedagogies, principles, and
practices. The differences between an in-class lecture and an online lecture pose a
gap larger than one might imagine. Selber suggests, and I agree, that the best way to
understand these gaps and learn to work through them is to go back to the traditional
roots of teaching composition.
Online pedagogies need to be re-worked. Beth Hewetts conclusion for online
theory includes: rhetorical, classical, and process approaches need to be combined
5


online to best teach the students in this medium (79), and the idea that, [Online]
educators do not control the most basic of their own online pedagogies; instead, their
teaching is mediated by the online environment.. .it is critical that educators
understand their OWI pedagogy at the practical, experiential level (159). This
statement was one I could not agree with more before I entered the online classroom
as an instructor, and has become even more relevant after having taught online.
Hewetts advice serves not only writing instructors, but also all online instructors as
they play with the experience of switching from the classroom to the website, and
possibly back again as hybrid courses are formed.
Hewetts perspective encompasses the idea that, Online instruction requires
quick thinking and clear, purposeful communication. With writing formation
particularly, instructors must know both how to provide reader feedback and how to
teach using precise vocabulary and explanations that help students proceed primarily
from instructional text (13). Hewett also portrays a lot of information through the
eyes of the student, which is extremely helpful. Her perspectives go full circle from
student, to tutor, to teacher in the examples and research that she presents. Hewetts
motives stem from having taught in networked classrooms since 1994. Her
experience, as well as the current rise in online learning, has motivated her to study
the ways instructors/tutors are teaching online, and how to improve this new method.
Hewetts research has thus influenced me to do the same.
6


Teaching writing online not only changes curriculums and pedagogies, but it
also has a thought-provoking effect on the role of the teacher; one that has me
continually analyzing the online space. This same idea influences the students of this
environment as well. A hypertext not only invites readers to participate in making
texts, but forces them to do so, requiring both readers and writers to become co-
learners (Johnson-Eilola, qtd. in Zappen 323). As a result, students must learn how
to act in this environment: how to improve their writing skills, online communication
skills, and negotiate with computer-mediated social behaviors. Through the process
of teaching and learning online a circular educational experience begins to take place.
Online writing instructors and students are continually learning how to textually
communicate lessons, timelines, directions, and emotions. Both student and teacher
are acquiring more than simple writing skills through this online writing instruction
process; they are also gaining a simultaneous educational experience not previously
present in any classroom before.
This educational experience also includes one of the more difficult aspects of
online learning: the identity shift. Identity in online communication can be a
particularly new and difficult experience for students and teachers to navigate. James
Zappen discusses how the reader-author interchangeability increases these ideas,
These interactions between ourselves and others are not entirely of our own
7


choosing. In some online environments, such as hypertext environments, these
interactions encompass not only ourselves as authors, but also our own and others
selves as readers (322). This example presents yet another unforeseen educational
benefit to students and teachers of writing. As with each exchange between student
and teachers, as well as student and student, participants are forced into the roles of
authors and readers. As composition instructors it is our responsibility to negotiate
and educate students through and about these roles.
This idea of role integration is also supported by Stuart Selbers ideas about
the importance of teaching and expanding our understanding of functional literacy to
incorporate todays technologies that are needed not only to function in the business
world, but also in society in general. It has become important for students to
understand and critically analyze the uses of online texts and their expanding,
developing roles. Selber defines the term functional literacy today to encompass that
of computer literacy and explains the necessity for student literacy: The wide array
of literacies they will need in order to participate fully and productively in the
technological dimensions of their professional and personal lives. [Including]
managing online environments, participating in online activities, and dealing with
technical problems (472). Within this argument lies one of the many reasons to use
and include computers across all curriculums, especially within writing. This idea
also highlights potential benefits that online and technology-integrated courses offer
8


to students and their career futures. The more online course experience students
have, the more likely they are to understand the online environments including:
business and work email, company websites, online applications for future career
positions, synchronous chat between professional co-workers in and outside of the
workplace, and how to best participate professionally within them.
Online education has educators altering many aspects of their roles as
instructor, as well as their pedagogies, curriculums, and delivery. Separate or
combined, this is not an easy task. In his conclusion, Selber believes that, Those
who ignore technology hide behind the insights of the past to reject new
configurations of rhetoric. Those who picture technology as an add-on underestimate
the extent to which dialectic tensions occupy the literate spaces and activity of a
digital age (483). It is neither my intent to hide behind or underestimate
technologys impacts on the teaching of writing, especially where it is present in the
classroom. As my personal experience with online education expands, I find the
ways in which rhetoric can be used to best educate our students and teachers
fascinating. It is my intent to learn more about the effects these simple ideas can have
on our abilities as students, educators, and computer-mediated communicators;
dealing with these ideas as Selber suggests in a way that is direct, serious, and
productive.
9


Research
My research will specifically discuss the outcome comparisons between
UCDs ENGL 1020 course taught online and on-campus. While articles in my
literature review address these ideas in other courses, I am focusing on my field,
rhetoric and composition, specifically looking at writing and learning outcomes.
Other authors in my literature review have looked at these differences throughout
time, but have not empirically done so.
My approach incorporates qualitative and empirical research methods.
Qualitative: My research will be a comparison between the successes of specific
outcomes in ENGL 1020 courses online and on-campus classrooms. I will be looking
at one unit essay from six different students from each section (12 students in all):
two high scoring students, two middle ranging students, and two lower scoring
students from both the online and on-campus classrooms. To ensure accuracy, my
scores will be based on an inter-rater reliability system of three other ENGL 1020
instructors as well as myself, who will compare final scores of the students work.
The specific outcomes I will be looking at include knowledge, understanding, and
improvement of: thesis, introduction, transitions, argument, counter-argument,
conclusion, and source integration. Students knowledge and improvement will be
measured based on the five drafts of their unit one papers they wrote in progression,
10


and their ability to demonstrate their understanding of the ideas and lessons presented
to them through handouts and PowerPoint presentations.
Quantitative: My students were asked to complete a survey produced by the
National Survey for Student Engagement (NSSE). The survey asks students for
specific numerical data such as: the amount of hours spent on coursework each week,
the number of pages written for this particular course, the number of texts read, and
their perceived interactions with students and instructors in and outside of class. This
survey will be given to my online students as well and scored according to NSSEs
standards. As this survey has been nationally composed I believe it will provide me
with the most tangible results in interpreting student engagement levels.
My study will include empirical research: a combination of both qualitative
and quantitative methods. The qualitative aspects of my research include the
innumerable ways that students demonstrate their learning through each course and
each draft that they write. The majority of my thesis will be focused around this type
of research. While the engagement aspect of my thesis will begin to touch on the
quantitative methods of research, as I will be comparing the specific and average
number or hours, texts, pages written, and levels of interaction found in the student
engagement surveys. Together I hope these two approaches will provide me with
well-rounded conclusions that will be beneficial to others on a larger scale, while also
providing me with a growing platform necessary for continued research.
11


This thesis and the research it entails were conducted over a period of two
years. The first year, prior to teaching, literature on the topic was reviewed
extensively. Chapter two contains the literature review that resulted from the many
authors who have helped to inspire and outline the research I conducted at UCD. The
second year of my research involved the actual teaching of the courses and gathering
the data surrounding my questions. Chapter three will discuss my research and the
results I found in both my online and on-campus courses. Chapter four is a
discussion of those results, and chapter five contains my conclusions. My key
research questions are:
1. In what ways are the outcomes different when two English 1020
(Composition I) classes are taught in different environments: one online and
one on-campus?
2. And how can we use this information to enhance both classroom settings?
3. What role, if any, does student engagement play in congruence with success
rates of learning outcomes?
12


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Introduction
Online education is becoming ever more prevalent throughout all fields at the
university. As online course demand and enrollment continues to rise, so too does
our need for further research and understanding of this new mode of education. The
2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning reveals that enrollment rose by almost one
million students from a year earlier. The survey of more than 2,500 colleges and
universities nationwide finds approximately 5.6 million students were enrolled in at
least one online course in fall 2009, the most recent term for which figures are
available. Other statistics from the survey suggest that the growth rate for online
enrollment (at 21%) far exceeds the rate of overall growth for higher education (2%).
Statistics particular to my research in comparing the outcomes of these courses have
also increased: in 2003 only 57% of participants found online education to be
comparably successful (as far as outcomes are concerned) to on-campus courses;
today that number has increased to 66%. This steady increase promotes the need for
13


further research and investigation into the success rates and comparisons of online
versus on-campus classroom outcomes.
Definitions of online, face-to-face, and hybrid learning from the Sloan Survey
of Online Learning: Online courses, the primary focus of this report, are defined as
those in which at least 80 percent of the course content is delivered online. Face-to-
face instruction includes courses in which zero to 29 percent of the content is
delivered online; this category includes both traditional and web facilitated courses.
The remaining alternative, blended (sometimes called hybrid) instruction is defined
as having between 30 percent and 80 percent of the course content delivered online.
While the survey asked respondents for information on all types of courses, the
current report is devoted to online learning only.
Previous Findings
When compared to Face-to-Face education, online learning is still in its
infancy, and so too are the studies surrounding it. Though there are many current
studies being done on the topic, the findings of such studies are still up for debate as
the descrepencies found among the multitude of research surrounding technologys
role in academic learning outcomes continue to build. The argument has been made
that many studies are based on very small sample sizes and take place in schools or
classrooms where individual educators are highly expert in particular uses of
14


technology, and thus these studies may not be generalizable to other contexts
(Warshauer & Matuchniak 294). Shanna Smith Jaggars and Thomas Bailey would
agree with Warschauer and Matuchniak that, the higher education community still
regards fully online couses with some ambivalence, perhaps due to the mixed results
of a large (if not necessarily rigorous) body of research literature (Effectiveness of
Fully Online Courses for College Students: Response to a Department of Education
Meta-Analysis 1). While Jaggars and Bailey acknowledge that this type of research
isnt conclusive, they do appreciate the necessity of it. This article generally
highlights the common for and against debate, and has been a useful tool in the
development of my research. This argument, however, does not take into account that
technology is a relatively new medium in education, and that these small studies serve
as the beginnings of much larger studies. As technologys use in education continues
to expand, I believe that these studies will as well. Nevertheless it is important to be
aware of the results of these existing studies in order to best formulate larger, more
conclusive research on the topic..
Online
The importance of online research for each partiular field is just as important as
online research conducted across the disciplines. Both types of research benefit the
other in their findings, and serve to improve the use of online eduation overall. It
15


should be no surprise that there are many studies that come to conclusions that
promote online education and its benefits to students, teachers, and universities. One
such study conducted by Cara Rabe-Hemp, Susan Woollen, and Gail Sears Humiston
was conducted in 2009, on a group of two hundred and eighty-three students from
Midwestern State University. The students were surveyed in a study comparing the
differences in online and traditional lecture learning styles. Their conclusions about
the online environment and its effects on students learning state that Online learning
is achieved by means of greater student-to-faculty contact, participation in class
discussions, and a more reflective learning style (213). They also concluded through
their surveys and analysis that the interaction between students and teachers online
rendered more educational opportunities than the on-campus discussions. Their
findings prove to persuade readers of the benefits to online learning found in their
investigation. Their conclusions support M. Kazmer who states, Despite the
physical distance between teacher and students, interaction may be achieved, and
even exceed that found in traditional classrooms (qtd. in Rabe-Hemp et al. 208).
The information suggests that online education builds more autonomous learners who
show an increased level of personal development as well as a greater responsibility in
the participation of their learning. This information would appear to promote more
independent students and learners in all areas of academia. The autonomous
16


learning advantage seems to be the greatest result of the online learning
environment.
An advantage to online learning that coincides with the teaching of writing is
the fact that students are required to write online for every case that would usually be
required to speak in the classroom, and that this elevated requirement of writing
demands more reflection than speaking (Rabe-Hemp et al. 213); hence making the
learning and course work online more thoughtful and critical than in the classroom. A
more focused study conducted by Linda Stine, specifically observing introductory
composition courses at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. Though Stines overall
conclusions find the benefits and negative of both teaching environments, she
acknowledges that the best way to teach writing is to have students write as much as
possible; and that online courses require the most amount of writing. This
information suggests that teachers of writings should have a particularly invested
interest in online education, as the benefits for their students writing abilities increase
through the ample practice required online. This idea may explain why some online
writing students score higher than on-campus students in similar courses; however,
this is an area where more research on the topic could find more definitive results.
17


On-Campus Advocates
Those who are pro-campus tend to make their arguments by outlining the cons
of online learning. Although Linda Stine doesnt partake in the online/on-campus
debate she does encounter a number of dependent students who struggle in the online
setting, but thrive on-campus. Stine agrees that these students are prepared for
college-level work, but she doesnt believe that dependent students are ready to take
on the challenge of the independent online learning environment. Technology levels
and dependency should be considered when teaching or taking course online, but
these issues should be acknowledged and overcome by both parties, as online
learning is becoming an important educational experience. Other online downfalls
include the assumption that writing on the computer creates reliability on word and
grammar checkers (Stine 51), that online students suffer more from procrastination
(R. Brown qtd. in Hemp et al. 208), and that online students were less likely to
complete the assignments and the course overall, making their grades lower than their
on-campus counterparts (Jaggars and Bailey 14). These findings yield important
information for future research to address and include in order to propose possible
solutions.
Rather than find flaws in the atmosphere of online education, some authors
prefer to focus their attention on the online instructor. Because correct online
pedagogy adaptation is something many online teachers struggle with, some are being
18


criticized for their trasfer of ideas, rather than developing approaches to teaching
that would take advantage of the capabilities of computer-mediated distance
education, instructors in many cases simply transfer their in-class pedagogy to an
online format (Jaggars & Bailey 2). While I agree that there are downfalls to this
type of pedagogy transfer, I also believe that what these authors describe is only the
first step in making the transition from an on-campus to online instructor. I feel it is
necessary to remember that online education is still in the beginning stages, and this
type of pedagogical interpretation needs to occur in order to improve and understand
this growing and productive medium.
Although advocates for on-campus learning are present in all departments,
Heather Urbanski discusses the nostalgia many English professors in particular, feel
towards the paper, the pen, and the hard copy texts of their own education. The
nostalgia creates barriers between some teachers and technology. It is
understandable after all, that the English discipline most specifically would hang on
to its love of the tangible, but it is also hindering our students in their abilities to
function in todays society. Cynthia Selfe would agree that these nostalgic professors
are ignoring computers and, in effect, hindering student progress. Selfe proclaims
that, When we dont have to pay attention to machines, we remain free to focus on
the theory and practice of language (Technology and Literacy 413). However, I
would like to argue that we need to focus our theory and practice of language on and
19


through the new capabilities of these machines. I understand the nostalgia, but the
evolution of education is not going to stop and wait for us to accept these new terms;
it will simply go on without us.
Hybrid
Many reserachers are quick to pick sides in this ongoing debate of the best
educational environment; however, other researchers are just as inclined to find the
middle ground between the two. Jaggars and Bailey were two such authors, whose
quest to find information on the topic led them to encounter numerous other studies
surrounding online education. Of the twenty-eight studies Jaggars and Bailey found
as evidence for their article they were able to evaluate that only seven of them were
conducted on semester-length, fully online courses. The seven studies consistently
showed that there were no differences in outcome abilities in students online and on-
campus. Because each study was conducted differently and looking at separate
outcomes, these small studies were formed to create one large study, which had more
telling results. Likewise, similar studies should continue to be compared and
combined to form larger bodies of more conclusive information.
Although Jaggars and Bailey were able to take this information and conclude
that either environment was suitable for student learning, other authors use this
information to advocate for hybrid learning environments. Stine is one such authors,
20


whos final solution declared that, One week online and one week face to face in a
classroom, seems to offer our students the best of both worlds: the infinite freedom of
the Internet enhanced and made manageable by the regular classroom interactions
(66). If we are truly to take the best teaching methods and approach from each
environment and combine them, then the best solution would naturally be the hybrid
course, which would allow us to do so in the most productive way. Though I agree
with the benefits of hybrid learning listed throughout Stines paper, I am disappointed
with her final motivations for this type of learning: to cater to the dependent learner.
At this stage of higher education I do not feel it is beneficial to avoid this type of
learning, but rather, it is our responsibility to guide students to be successful at it.
Regarding the teaching of writing online, hybrid would be a beneficial
solution as well. Because there are so many elements of both environments that are
difficult to completely bring into the opposite setting, hybrid courses offer students
the benefits of both settings. Beth Hewett is another author whose conclusions seem
to stay fairly neutral on all aspects of online and in-class writing instruction. She
does not claim that one is better than the other, but states the benefits (and negatives)
of both equally. Neither voice nor text is better or worse. Similarly, neither
asynchronous nor synchronous is a better modality. When faced with the choice
about which to use, it is important to decide based on the qualities and strengths of
the available modality and platform, as well as what needs to be accomplished (31).
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Hewetts advice should be considered in every assignment and lecture choice we
make as instructors today; it is important to understand which is the most successful
method to teach what needs to be taught. In answering this question, and possibly
encountering numerous failed attempts, more productive teaching methods can be
practiced and implemented into more beneficial curricula.
Technology in Education
Even for those who wish to remain fully on-campus, technology is still going
to be a changing factor in the classroom. The benefits of technology in both
environments are plentiful, especially for the teachers of writing. Composition
instructors have always taught students how to write to different audiences, and
computer-mediated communication expands the number of possible audiences to a
variety unheard of before this time. These new possibilities for readers and writers
present a unique teaching opportunity for composition instructors. Along with
various audience, a writers identity can also experience an important shift when
composing in the online environment: Online writing environments allow for very
different kinds of performances of the body that writers use to build ethos and identity
within diverse communities (Stacey Pigg 241). These communities Pigg addresses
are also the types of new audiences I believe students should be practicing writing
for. With students growing up today surrounded by technology, they are often largely
22


unaware of the identity and audience shifts that needs to take place when addressing
the different individuals and communities present online. It would be beneficial to
students if we, as composition instructors, could begin to teach with these ideas in
mind.
The benefits of technology are especially pertinent to writing students. In
response to the evolution of online education, progress-oriented Beth Hewett believes
that, Composition is going digital. Her book argues for more teaching and
understanding of online instruction especially in the form of conferences. There is a
need to better understand the limitations of online writing and how to use written
language to its full advantage. Hewett argues that we must alter our pedagogies to
best teach writing in real and practical ways over the Internet. We badly need
deeply descriptive, yet reflective research into instructional commentary and revision
that occurs in both asynchronous and synchronous settings (159), which is what her
book attempts to do, but Hewett acknowledges, and I agree, that we need more;
online educators have much room for improvement.
Conclusions
As technology expands, so too does the research which outlines the many
ways it can improve, and also hinder, education. As I have illustrated through the
texts above, online education is continuing to become an important subject of
23


discussion across all curriculums and age levels. By comparing the many perspective
in the online debate I was able to draw on the similarities and differences across all
fields when involving online instruction. I believe global aspects of the Internet
classroom are as important to consider as the minute aspects specific to each
department. General statistics are also just as important to note as the more specified
topics of online writing instruction. After evaluating each text, it became apparent
that the need for continued research is necessary. Because of the many different
perspecitves involving online education, I feel strongly that all online instructors
should conduct these types of research on their own courses to find the best possible
means to teach their individual outcomes. Overall, the literature I have come across
involving online education in general, and online writing instruction specifically,
have motivated my decision and interest in studying this expanding mode of
education; and I hope that this study will encourage others to do the same.
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CHAPTER 3
RESEARCH & RESULTS
Research Objectives
This study analyzes and compares the learning outcomes of students in two
different learning environments: the on-campus classroom and fully online courses.
Through looking at these two educational settings side-by-side, hypotheses can be
formed about the success rates of learning outcomes and student engagement
including peer and faculty interaction. While there is a plethora of research surveying
online and on-campus education, there is still much research to be done on specific
comparison groups with focus on outcomes and engagement. In order to analyze and
compare student learning outcomes and engagement, the following questions will be
investigated:
1. In what ways are the outcomes different when two English 1020
(Composition I) classes are taught in different environments: one online and
one on-campus?
2. And how can we use this information to enhance both classroom settings?
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3. What role, if any, does student engagement play in congruence with success
rates of learning outcomes?
Methods
For the purposes of this research I am going to be judging good writing
through the progression and success of outcomes, as put forth by the Composition
Program, displayed throughout three progressive drafts students revise in peer and
faculty reviews. While my personal definition of good writing goes far beyond the
means I will use to measure the success of outcomes between these two courses, the
ways I have chosen will provide a more concrete means of reaching conclusive
results.
Participants
The University of Colorado Denver is located in metro Denver, and is known
for its diverse group of students. Non-traditional students are the norm here and
consist of: international students, first generation students, and students returning to
school after spending time in the workforce. The average student age on our campus
is twenty-seven years old. Our campus is proud of its low student to faculty ratio, and
as a result, the English Department has a strict limit of 24 students per composition
26


course. Classes are a semester long, and include online, on-campus, and hybrid
options. On-campus composition courses meet for seventy-five minutes, twice a
week. While the majority of composition courses meet in a computer lab one day a
week, my course section was not granted this privilege.
Actual participants were taken from both my online and on-campus courses
taught during the 2011-2012 school year. Twelve students were selected: six students
from my on-campus course, and six students from my online course. Students were
selected by means of their scores, and permission to use their work only. No other
factors were considered when selecting participants for this research.
Measures
The essays I chose to compare included six student papers that scored the
closest to one another percentage-wise between the two courses. Scores from these
papers were verified by an inter-rater reliability system, which consisted of three
English Composition instructors reading and agreeing upon the grades given. I took
two student papers from each course scoring above the ninetieth percentile, two from
each course that fell somewhere within the eightieth percentiles, and two from each
course scoring seventy percent or below. Though I was hoping for exact comparisons
27


for each essay, I was not given a large enough group of students for this to occur.
The essays that I did choose had comparable downfalls in similar sections of the
papers, which I hope will help to gain a greater understanding of how the two
environments effected my students writing in similar and in different ways.
Participant Measures
Involving overall comparisons between the two courses, the numbers of
participants varied between the online and on-campus courses. My on-campus course
started with the maximum of twenty-four students. I had one student drop out the
fifth week when the first papers were due. Another student dropped out for health
reasons at the eighth week, while a third student failed to return to class after the
eleventh week not having completing any of the three essays. This brought my class
total down from twenty-four students to twenty-one at the very end. Because the
latter two students did not drop the course until after the Unit 1 paper was complete, I
will be tallying percentages based on the twenty-three students who were present for
the assignment at hand.
My online course started with the maximum of twenty-four students. After
the first two weeks five students dropped the course. Another student, who has
28


logged zero hours in the course, has failed to officially drop from my roster. I had
three students who failed to turn in the first essay. This leaves class attendance at
eighteen students, with the potential for three more incomplete grades.
Because of the disproportionate number of student enrollment in these two
courses I have chosen to focus most outcomes on the twelve select student papers I
will be analyzing. Any other outcome will be calculated into percentages to help gain
a better perspective of the number differences between the two groups.
The essays of the participants I have chosen to analyze were picked according
to their grades as well as their consent to use their writing samples in my research. Of
the students who gave me permission to use their work, I selected the essays that best
correlated with each classroom environment. In order to best weigh the outcomes I
selected two students from each course in the top scoring category (90% or above),
two students from each course in the middle scoring category (75% or above), and
two students from each course in the lowest scoring category (70% or below). This
strategy left me with twelve student essays overall. Below, I have outlined each
students outcome success/failure as well as their grades.
Essay Topic: Netiquette
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After compiling a workshop on E-mail Etiquette to present at the Writing
Center, which came about as a result of student demand, I came across an article
entitled Students Writing Emails to Faculty: An Examination of E-Politeness Among
Native and Non-Native Speakers of English by Sigrun Biesenbach-Lucas, an
instructor at Georgetown University. The article discussed how students
communicate with their professors, and inquired about the need for a universal
etiquette to be taught to students in the university. As a first-time English instructor, I
felt inspired (and required) to introduce this concept to my students. As a result, my
students were presented the E-mail Etiquette Workshop, Biesenbach-Lucas article
was assigned, and Netiquette became the title of my first unit as well as the term for
their first assignment: the definition essay.
For the definition essay students are asked to come up with their own
definition of the term netiquette and attempt to persuade their audience that their
definition is the most successful definition of the term based on supportive examples
and evidence. The requirements of this paper are found in Appendix A.
While the concept of netiquette may seem irrelevant in a face-to-face course, I
tied it to our use of technology (including Blackboard and email communications) to
help students relate to its importance. I, myself, followed the guidelines in each email
correspondence I had with my students. I also posted the PowerPoint form of the
30


workshop onto Blackboard for the students to reference when writing their papers. In
my on-campus ENGL 1020 I used Blackboard to post announcements, assignments,
in-class PowerPoint presentations, class readings, rubrics, handouts, and writing
samples. Students were only required to access Blackboard to print the reading
materials, otherwise, the materials were posted for students who had been absent,
misplaced handouts, or wanted to review the PowerPoint presentations. With email
being their only forum to practice proper netiquette in class, the topic wasnt as
inspiring as I had hoped. Emails fell short of proper netiquette in one way or another,
while their essays on the topic were jumbled and confused. Meanwhile, in-class
discussions and face-to-face conference continued in a casual manner.
Outcomes
The outcomes I chose to compare in these essays include the thesis,
introduction, transitions, argument/counter-argument, source usage, and conclusions.
These outcomes were chosen because they encompass three of the ten specified
outcomes for the University of Colorado Denvers ENGL 1020. The rest of the
outcomes were excluded as they are taught and evaluated in successive assignments.
The learning outcomes as defined by the Director of Composition, Dr. Amy Vidali
31


include: 1. Students increase their ability to read and respond to college-level
texts: This outcome would include the source usage element of evaluation found in
this particular essay; 2. Students produce arguments that demonstrate critical
thinking and analysis: This outcome would refer to the argument/counter-argument
aspect of the definition essay; 3. Students develop strategies to control surface-
level issues: This category includes students abilities to understand and incorporate
theses, introductions, transitions, and conclusions into their essays. The learning
outcomes will be compared and evaluated through the means provided below:
Thesis: A thesis statement must be clearly present within the essay, while also
serving as a guide for the reader.
Introduction: Introductions should demonstrate an understanding of the tools
outlined in the introduction handout (see Appendix B).
Transitions: Transitions should be present at the beginning and end of each
body paragraph. Transitions should serve as links to connect paragraphs to
one another, as well as link ideas back to the thesis.
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Argument/Counter-Argument: Both should be present within the body of
the essay. Evidence and examples should be present and analyzed in each
point of the argument and counter-argument.
Source Usage: One source and quote were required for this essay. Sources
should be incorporated and cited correctly within the text as well as the works
cited page.
Conclusion: Conclusions should demonstrate an understanding of the tools
outlined in the conclusion handout (see Appendix C).
Inter-rater Reliability System
To verify accuracy in grading, and inter-rater reliability system was put in
place. This system involved two English 1020 Composition instructors and myself
coming to a consensus on the final grades of the essays used in this study. I chose
two papers from each group: the high, the middle, and the low scoring ranges in each
class to be reviewed for this research. I eliminated all course numbers, marks, and
scores from the student papers before handing them over to the other instructors to
review. One composition instructor received the on-campus essays and the other
received the online essays; both were unaware of which environment group they were
33


evaluating. They were first asked to read all six papers and decide which scoring
range the papers fell into. After making their selections the two instructors were
asked to switch class essays and repeat the process. After this process was complete
the three of us met and disclosed our findings. Both instructors placed the essays in
the same scoring categories as I originally had. All three of us agreed on which
papers fell into each of the scoring categories for each class.
After the essays were put into the three scoring categories, each essay was
graded based on the outcomes evaluated for this research: thesis, introduction,
transitions, arguments, conclusion, and source usage. The outcomes included in this
thesis were highlighted and reviewed one at a time. Each instructor scored the
outcome separately before comparing answers. If answers varied than either the
majority or the average answer was used as the final mark. Each outcome was scored
with the subsequent marks: X, /-, /, or /+. The deciding factors for these scores
were as follows:
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Table 3.1 Inter-rater Reliability System
/+ / /- X
Thesis 1. Thesis included a claim. 2. Thesis gave evidence to support claim in a forecasting statement. Thesis was successful at either 1 or 2. Thesis attempted, but was unsuccessful at either 1 or 2. Thesis attempted both 1 and 2, but was unsuccessful at both. Thesis was absent from the essay.
Introduction Introduction included: 1. Background information, 2. Examples and/or definitions, 3. Was structured from broad to narrow. Introduction was successful in 2 out of the 3 criteria outlined in the handout. Introduction was successful in 1 out of the 3 criteria outlined in the handout. Introduction was absent from the essay.
Transitions Transitions were present at the beginning and end of each paragraph. Transitions were mostly present, but lacking in a few paragraphs. Transitions were barely present, but the student had a few successful attempts. Transitions were absent altogether from the essay.
Argument/ Counter- argument Both argument and counter- argument were present and successful in the essay. Both argument and counter- argument were present, but were unsuccessful. Either the argument or the counter- argument was missing from the essay Both argument and counter- argument were absent from this essay.
Conclusion Conclusion: 1. Restated thesis, 2. Included a call to action/look to future, 3. Was structured from narrow to broad. Conclusion was successful in 2 out of the 3 criteria outlined in the handout. Conclusion was successful in 1 out of the 3 criteria outlined in the handout. Conclusion was absent from the essay.
Source Usage Source was cited correctly in-text and in bibliography. In-text citation and bibliography were present, but one of the two was unsuccessful. In-text citation and bibliography were both present, but both were incorrect. In-text citation and bibliography were both absent from the essay.
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Student Engagement
Student Engagement as defined by the National Survey for Student
Engagement (NSSE): Student engagement represents two critical features of
collegiate quality. The first is the amount of time and effort students put into their
studies and other educationally purposeful activities. The second is how the
institution deploys its resources and organizes the curriculum and other learning
opportunities to get students to participate in activities that decades of research
studies show are linked to student learning.
Because it was argued in Rabe-Hemp, Woollen, and Humistons research, that
students are much more engaged in on-campus courses as opposed to their online
counterparts, I chose to conduct a survey with students in both settings. The same
exact survey was given to each group during the eleventh week of the semester. For
the purposes of this research I chose to incorporate 28 questions that were directly
related to English Composition courses (see Appendix F for exact survey). The
average answer was found through the mean of the students answers combined in
each classroom.
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Findings
An outline was formulated to better understand and compare the successes of
student outcomes within their essays. Students who successfully met or exceeded the
goal of an outcome received a /+ in that outcomes column. Students who met the
average requirement for an outcome received a single /. If a student fulfilled parts of
the requirement, but failed to complete all the goals for a specific outcome they
received a /- for that outcome, and if an outcome was absent altogether from their
papers students have an received an X.
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Table 3.2 On-campus student outcomes
Thesis Introduction Transitions Source Usage Argument/Counter- Argument Conclusion Overall Grade
Rachel /+ /+ / /+ /+ /+ 95%
Kaitlin / / /+ /+ /+ /+ 94%
Lily / / / /+ /+ / 87%
All /+ /- / /+ /- / 84%
Santana /- /- /- /- / /- 70%
Sarah /- /- /- X /- /- 67%
Table 3.3 Online student outcomes
Thesis Introduction Transitions Source Usage Argument/Counter- Argument Conclusion Overall Grade
Ernest /+ /+ /+ /+ /+ /+ 98%
Austin /+ /+ /+ /+ / /+ 95%
Jenae /+ /+ /+ /+ / / 89%
Meredith /+ / /+ /+ /- /+ 88%
Kirill X /- /- / /- /- 70%
Annette X /- /- /- /- /- 68%
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On-Campus
Thesis- 2/6, 33.3% were completely successful; 2/6, 33.3% failed.
Introduction: 1/6, 17% were completely successful; 3/6, 50% failed.
Transitions: 1/6, 16.6% were completely successful; 2/6, 33.3% failed.
Source Usage: 4/6, 66.6% were completely successful, while 2/6, 33.3%. were absent.
Argument: 3/6, 50% were completely successful; 2/6, 33.3% failed.
Conclusion: 2/6, 33.3% were completely successful; 2/6, 33.3% failed.
Online
Thesis- 4/6, 66.6% were completely successful, while 2/6, 33.3% were absent.
Introduction: 3/6, 50% were completely successful; 2/6, 33.3% failed.
Transitions: 4/6, 66.6% were completely successful; 2/6, 33.3% failed.
Source Usage: 4/6, 66.6% were completely successful; 1/6, 16.6% failed.
Argument: 1/6, 16.6% were completely successful; 3/6, 50% failed.
Conclusion: 3/6, 50% were completely successful; 2/6, 33.3% failed.
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Figure 3.1 Outcome Comparisons
Thesis Source Usage
Introduction
50----50-
Success
Failure
Transitions
Argument/C ounter-Argument
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While the graphs in Figure 3.1 serve as a visual for outcome success and
failure, it is important to be aware that the data found is based on six students from
each course: twelve students total. There are large percentage variances due to the
small amount of participants used for this portion of research.
On-Campus Individual Student Outcomes and Grades
Rachel received a 95%: This students introduction, thesis argument/counter-
argument, conclusion, and source usage met all requirements. The student only
followed half of the guidelines for transitions, while the other half met the
requirements.
Kaitlin received a 94%: This students thesis was choppy in structure making
the sub-points and the direction of the paper less easily followed, but overall the
introduction met requirements. Transitions, source usage, argument/counter-
argument, and conclusion also met requirements.
Lily received an 87%: Introduction was missing background information.
The thesis was present, but unorganized. Two-thirds of transitions were present and
met the guidelines, while the rest were absent. Counter-argument was strong and
39


supported main argument. Conclusion introduced new information, and failed to
restate claim. Source usage met requirements.
Alejandra received an 86%: This students introduction was weak and did
not follow guidelines: jumped between ideas, did not include background
information, poorly written. Thesis, transitions, and conclusions followed guidelines.
Counter-argument was absent while claims overlapped creating repetition, but overall
they were present and organized. Source usage met requirements.
Santana received 70%: Her thesis included two different claims with sub-
points that didnt match the overall arguments found in the body of the paragraphs.
The introduction was repetitive and disproportionately small for an introduction and
in comparison with the rest of her paper. The transitions in this paper were present,
yet repetitive, at the beginning of each paragraph, but absent at the end as each claim
ended mid-thought. The claims and counter-argument make valid points, which
reference class discussions, but are not presented in a clear and logical manner. The
conclusion did not follow guidelines: introduces new information, fails to restate
either of the original claims, and does not mention or relate the ideas back to the main
topic of netiquette. Student did not cite required source.
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Sarah received 67%: The students thesis lacked any evidence/sub-points to
support their claim. The introduction did not follow structure guidelines and was of-
topic. Transitions were present at the beginning of each paragraph, but were absent at
the end leaving each claim in mid-thought. Argument was unorganized and lacking a
counter-argument. Conclusion did not follow guidelines: included new information,
unorganized, did not restate claim. Sources did not relate to topic, and Biesenbach-
Lucas was not included, which was a requirement.
Online Individual Student Outcomes and Grades
Ernest received a 98%: The student met all requirements for the thesis,
introduction, argument/counter-argument, conclusion, and source usage. The
students transitions were absent on one paragraph only.
Austin received a 95%: The student met all requirements for the thesis,
introduction, argument, transitions, conclusion, and source usage. Student failed to
meet the counter-argument requirement of discussing the repercussions, but met all
other counter-argument requirements.
Jenae received an 89%: The student met all requirements for the thesis,
introduction, transitions, argument, and source usage. The student did not fulfill the
41


repercussions requirement for the counter-argument. Students conclusion included
new information, which should have been mentioned prior to the conclusion. Overall,
these infractions would have dropped the students grade to a 89%, but because it was
late the student lost half a letter grade as stated in the syllabus, making her final grade
87%.
Meredith received would have received an 88%: The student met all
requirements for the thesis, introduction, transitions, conclusion, and source usage.
The student failed to include the examples and evidence in her argument and counter-
argument. This students grade was an 88%, but because it was late the student lost
half a letter grade as stated in the syllabus., making her final grade 85%.
Kirill received a 70%: The introduction, transitions, and the conclusion were
present, but did not meet the requirements. Argument and counter-argument were
present, but unstructured/supported as thesis was absent. Source usage met all
requirements.
Annette received a 68%: Thesis and counter-argument were absent.
Introduction, transitions, and conclusion did not follow the guidelines. Source did not
include a bibliography.
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Overall Grade Comparisons
Figure 3.2 Overall Grade Comparisons for Netiquette Paper
Online ClOn-Campus
Figure 3.3 Overall Grade Comparisons
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Overall Grades
As the chart shows, online students grades have a large gap between the most
successful and least successful students, while the F2F students fill in this gap with
many students final grades falling somewhere in the middle of the online students
grades. The on-campus students grades fell on a more progressive scale.
Overall, the high-scoring online students (students scoring 90% or above)
percentiles were consistently greater than the high-scoring on-campus students: 66%
of online students scored above 90%, whereas, only 30% of on-campus students
scored above 90%. However, the low-scoring online students (students scoring 70%
or below) percentiles were also consistently inferior to the low-scoring on-campus
students: 17% of online students scored below 70%, whereas, only .04% of on-
campus students scored below 70%. The majority of F2F students, 57%, received
average scores on their papers (between 75% and 89%). Only 17% of online students
had average scoring papers. It is important to note that this 17% of students
originally received grades above 90%, but their grades were lowered due to late
papers, not because they were unsuccessful in demonstrating the outcomes.
As indicated by the graphs in Figures 3.1 and 3.2 the grades of online students
tend to fall on the outer limits of the grading scale. While overall grades indicated
that there was a difference in success rates between the online and on-campus
44


students, the grades were not as helpful in explaining why. The User Activity feature
on eCollege became another measurement tool used when attempting to analyze these
results. The User Activity feature allows instructors to see how many minutes
students are spending each week participating in discussions, viewing the class
PowerPoints, and reading the weekly articles. It is not surprising that the amount of
minutes students spent viewing the Netiquette PowerPoint and reading materials
correlates with the amount of points they earned on their first papers, as well as their
grades overall.
Ernest, who received a 98% on the Netiquette Paper, spent a total of 51
minutes viewing the Netiquette PowerPoint, and 47 minutes reading the netiquette
article. Ernest spent 207 minutes participating in peer reviews and discussions.
Austin, who received a 95% on the Netiquette Paper, spent a total of 77
minutes viewing the Netiquette PowerPoint, and 104 minutes reading the netiquette
article. Austin participated in peer reviews for 351 minutes.
Kirill, who received a 70% on the paper, spent 3 total minutes viewing the
PowerPoint, and did not complete the Weekly Reading. This student also spent a
total of 45 minutes completing peer reviews.
45


Antoinette, who received a 68% on the paper, spent 9 total minutes reviewing
the Netiquette PowerPoint, and 6 total minutes on the weekly reading. This student
did not complete any peer reviews.
These correlations were present throughout my online students grades, and
the drastic number differences between time spent on the course linking with the
drastic number differences in final grades seems to state that there isnt much middle-
ground in the online classroom. Student either spent a very large or very small
amount of time completing and reviewing coursework online, and the number of
minutes spent directly compared with their overall grades. This finding is perhaps the
reason behind the grade discrepancies found in Figures 3.1 and 3.2. Because F2F
courses do not allow for this type of data collection, it is more difficult to know where
my teaching failed versus where the student failed to learn the information being
presented. However, this information can be used to enhance these methods in both
settings.
Student Engagement
The average results of the student engagement survey found that out of 28
questions, students in both settings answered differently for only 6 of the questions.
46


The possible answers for each question in order from least to greatest were: Never,
Sometimes, Often, Very Often. The questions and answers were as follows:
Table 3,4 Student engagement survey differences
Question Online Answer F2F Answer
12. Made a class presentation. Never Sometimes
13. Worked with other students on projects DURING CLASS. Never Often
14. Worked with classmates OUTSIDE OF CLASS to prepare for class assignments. Never Sometimes
15. Discussed ideas from your readings or classes with others outside of class (students, family members, co-workers, etc.) Often Sometimes
24. Used an electronic medium (Blackboard, e-mail, instant messaging, internet, listserv, online library) to complete an assignment. Very Often Often
26. Institutional emphasis: Providing the support you need to thrive socially. Sometimes Often
I wanted to highlight these questions in particular, because the scores of the
survey resulted in slightly higher student engagement measured in my F2F classroom.
I agree that there is a social aspect on campus that translates to an un-fillable gap
online, but it is also important to notice that the questions on this survey are geared
towards the on-campus student. Questions 12 and 13 were interesting because they
asked if students had made class presentations and worked with other students on
47


projects DURING CLASS. Both sections of my composition class were given the
same assignments that the on-campus students considered to be class presentations
and projects that were worked on in the classroom. These same assignments were
given to my online students to accomplish in an asynchronous setting that is not
defined in the wording of these questions; therefore, the answers vary while the
curriculum does not. I could see such discrepancies leading to unreliable results.
Of the 28 questions there were also three that were deemed not applicable by
my online students. These questions had to do with student appearances and
backgrounds, and are outlined below:
Table 3,5 Not applicable questions_______________________________________________
21. Had serious conversations with students who are very different from you in terms
of their religious beliefs, political opinions, or personal values.______________
22. Had serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity than your
own,_____________________________________________________________________________
23. Did this course encourage contact among students from different economic,
social, racial, or ethnic backgrounds?___________________________________________
Assuming that all online courses have a diverse population of students, the
answer would most likely be Very Often for the majority of online students;
however, they are largely unaware of these racial and background differences.
Interestingly, my on-campus students, on average, answered Sometimes to all three
of these questions. If these questions were answered for online students, they would
48


have scored much higher on this section of the survey. For the purposes of this
research, the majority of the translatable questions were answered similarly in both
settings. The variations in answers from Table 3.3 indicate areas of my curriculum in
both settings that are in need of some attention. The survey conclusions did not
indicate that engagement and outcome success rates are necessarily correlating
features of a classroom.
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CHAPTER 4
DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
Summary
The results of this study found that success rates of students abilities to
understand and demonstrate the specific learning outcomes varied between the on-
campus and online environments. The results of the twelve student papers, that were
compared side-by-side, indicated that online students had slightly more success in
five of the six different outcomes: thesis, introduction, transition, source usage, and
conclusions. F2F students had slightly more success in only one of the outcome
categories: argument/counter-argument. However, when overall grades of each class
were compared, the results showed a slightly different pattern: online students
generally scored higher and lower than the on-campus students, whose scores were
more averagely based.
The answer to my first question, in what ways are the outcomes different in
these two environments, is that the outcomes had varying levels of success rates as
50


demonstrated by the students of each group. Both the online and the F2F group had
some success and some failure in each category; yet, the online students had slightly
more success and less failure in the outcomes than the F2F students.
Because of the slight differences in outcomes between the online and on-campus
students, it is hard to acknowledge either setting as the superior learning environment.
Instead, these conclusions offer valuable information as to where students had success
and failure in both settings, which indicates where certain teaching methods should be
repeated, and where others need to be re-worked. This information leads to the
second research question, which asks how we can use this information to enhance
both classroom settings. Through finding where online and F2F outcomes were most
successfully taught and retained, it becomes possible to mesh the successes from both
settings into combined methods, to enhance learning overall. Similarly, this type of
research presents the opportunity to understand where teaching methods and practices
failed; thus, helping to re-work future course to exclude unsuccessful learning
materials. Specific teaching implications, which have resulted from this study, are
outlined in Chapter 5.
The final question addressed in this research involves student engagement
levels, and what roles they play in congruence with the success rates of the learning
outcomes. The results from the survey did not appear to work in congruence with
51


success rates of the learning outcomes; however, both courses reported varying
degrees of successful engagement. F2F students scored slightly higher on the Nation
Survey for Student Engagement; however, online students scored slightly higher in
their abilities to demonstrate the learning outcomes. Two separate ideas can be
concluded from these results: that an increase in engagement with other students can
become a distraction from the learning outcomes in a course, or that engagement
doesnt appear to have enough of an impact on student grades as long as levels of
engagement are somewhat successful.
Student Engagement
The questions deemed not applicable by my online students are an
important feature of the student engagement survey to discuss. From the beginning of
the course, the identity of the other students is limited and can in no, visual way make
the communicators aware of age, disability, race, class, gender, illness, etc. The only
visual information given for every student is his or her name. Names can either aid or
prohibit information about the communicators identity. UCD hosts a variety of
foreign-exchange and second-language students, and as a result students are presented
with a variety or names which are not always identifiable as far as gender is
concerned. At the same time these names will offer a bit of insight into possible
ethnicities; and through most of the names, ethnicity and gender are the two easiest
52


ways to decipher parts of the students identities, while names that disclose both tend
to be rare. Though some students and instructors might consider this lack of identity
a negative aspect, it is what I love most about teaching online; everyone starts out
equal, represented by only a name.
As the semester progressed, however, students were able to discuss the ideas
present in the engagement survey such as: political opinions, religious beliefs,
personal values, race and ethnicity, through weekly discussion and essay prompts.
From the prior assignments I was able to decipher that my students consisted of: three
married mothers with children, a thirty-year-old returning to school after seven years,
a male paraplegic with four children, a senior military veteran applying to graduate
school, a student who is staying this semester with family in Costa Rica, a foreign
exchange student from Russia, two African American students, a student against
abortions, another student for creationism, and a Mormon.
After coming to the above conclusions, I was surprised that my students were
either ignoring the fact that they came to these conclusions too, or that they didnt
read one anothers work as carefully as I did. Due to peer reviews and the discussion
board sequences, I know the latter to be false. The only explanation I can then
assume is that perhaps my students were afraid to come to any conclusion based on
these intimidating topics. It seemed almost out of respect that the online students
53


chose not to answer these questions, when they were just as aware of these
differences as my F2F students (all of which found these questions to be applicable).
The only difference between the two is that F2F students are visually aware of these
differences, while online students may either be disconnected from these ideas, or too
cautious to acknowledge them in this type of survey.
Overall, I found the National Survey for Student Engagement to be
inconclusive. I believe the terms used do not translate into the online environment
the way that they should, and thus, skew the results when compared with on-campus
student answers. It is my opinion that this survey be reconstructed to translate to any
learning environment, whether on-campus, online, or hybrid.
Specific Outcomes
At first, it does not appear that either setting was more successful in the learning
outcomes, but after side-by-side comparisons are made the differences become more
apparent. It is important to remember that this sample is based on twelve students
(six from each course) and that these findings reflect only those twelve students, and
not the entire class. Online students had more success and less failure in the thesis,
introduction, and transitions. Four students from each course were successful with
54


source usage; however, the online student had one less failure than the on-campus
students. Conclusions were another category where both groups had three students
fail; on-campus had three successes, versus the online students who had four.
According to this data, the on-campus students had more success and less failure in
the argument category of the outcomes only.
My only assumption about the outcomes in this research was that my online
students would have had more success, because the topic of the paper was Netiquette;
an idea these students were practicing daily. In fact, when conducting the inter-rater
reliability grading system, the argument portion was the only section where there was
significant discrepancy in the scores. Where one grader found a student deserved a
/+ in the argument section, another grader would give that same student a /-. It
became apparent that my inter-rater reliability system broke at the argument portion,
as the discrepancies in scoring were not present in any other outcome.
It appears that the argument section of a paper has more debatable qualities
than the other outcomes being measured, and thus, my measurement system wasnt
designed for that type of grading. In future studies I hope to look further into the
qualities of these arguments and create a measurement system better suited for inter-
rater reliability grading. Due to the broken measurement system, and the fact that
55


my online students were more successful in many of the other categories, this
outcome cannot hold too much weight in the final conclusions of this research.
Overall Grades
The online student grades scored much higher and much lower than the on-
campus student grades. The majority of on-campus student grades were
demonstrated through a slightly more mediocre-level of understanding. Having
observed both groups of students throughout their entire writing processes of this
essay, it became apparent that the majority of online students fell into one of two
groups: the first group of students really grasped the concept, and were able to
successfully demonstrate an understanding of the tools and methods present in the
assignment guidelines; the second group of online students had a much harder time
understanding the outcomes presented online. The second group of students, we can
assume, either lack the independent learning skills, are not prepared for college-level
English, and/or do not possess the motivations required to be successful in the online
environment, as all students were given the same time and materials to complete the
first paper.
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CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSIONS
Implications of Teaching
As stated in the introduction, the goal of this research was not to determine
which environment is superior, but rather, what resources can be taken from both
settings to best educate students. The grades and outcomes found in this study do not
prove that either environment is superior; however, they do prove that the
environments are drastically different and each produces a variety of benefits. The
hybrid course, then, would be the likely solution for delivering the best educational
experience to students; but this type of course is not always an option for
untraditional students. A comparable solution would be to incorporate as much of
both environments as possible into either setting. In the on-campus setting I believe
in the necessity of the computer lab; a writing class without a computer lab will lack
the technical literacies necessary for English Composition courses in todays world.
My on-campus English 1020 course was deprived of many potential teaching
moments due to the fact that we were without a computer lab. It can also be implied
that certain aspects of the online course initiated higher levels of retention and
57


success involving the learning outcomes demonstrated within many of the online
students papers. These concepts include:
1. Sharing resources and different perspectives on topics discussed in class (through
links to educational websites) on certain aspects of writing such as the thesis
statements, MLA citations, and articles.
2. Pacing of lectures: Having a computer lab, or assigning online presentations as
homework would have allowed my on-campus students to view the PowerPoint
lessons at their own pace. It would be interesting to compare an on-campus course
where information was presented online versus in class to see if there are differences
in outcomes similar to this study.
3. Discussion: In my on-campus classroom there were noticeable trends between
students who participate in discussions and those who do not. Online all students are
required to participate and ask/answer a certain number of posts per week as part of
their grade. The computer allows for this, as often times course length does not.
Incorporating an online discussion into the on-campus classroom would be beneficial
to future research in getting all students to participate and contribute their ideas to
class discussions, and hopefully increase retention as well as understanding of the
learning outcomes.
58


The face-to-face benefits of my on-campus course that should be incorporated
into the online classroom were:
1. Conferencing with students.
2. Peer reviews.
3. Class discussions.
4. Lessons/PowerPoint information.
Synchronous chat sessions are another feature that could enhance future courses.
Chat sessions could potentially take place between not just student and teacher, but
among a group of students as well. It would also be interesting to see if synchronous
chats would be more beneficial to students than the asynchronous discussions which
took place in the online setting only. An increase in the number of synchronous chats
students have with the instructor individually would likely enhance learning
outcomes, because students were able to grasp more of the outcomes when applying
them to their own essays in a one-on-one environment.
After conducting this research I have become even more inclined to believe
that the perfect combination of pedagogies and mediums used to teach writing lies
within the balance of the online and on-campus classroom, because there were both
59


pros and cons found in each setting. As I boldly suggested that the answer could be
found through the further exploration and incorporation of technology in and outside
of the classroom, I believe that my conclusions support this idea. While the answers
are hinted at through this study, there are many more questions I now have to ask. I
will continue to expand and explore these two educational settings in hopes of finding
the most successful means of teaching writing to students through the use of
technology.
Recommendations for Future Research
After making the changes to the curriculum and teaching methods outlined in
the previous section, it will be beneficial to repeat this type of research on a larger
and more repetitive scale. In order to, [uncover] the most powerful uses of
technology to accomplish learning goals for specific outcomes and create digital
environments and experiences to extend their most effective practices into even more
powerful learning opportunities for students (DeVoss, Eidman-Aadahl, & Hicks,
29), it becomes almost necessary for teachers to conduct these types of studies in
order to evolve with and teach through the advantageous means of technology. If this
amount of change and insight can be gained from such a small group of students,
imagine how much could be accomplished within consecutive studies.
60


The motivations behind the research questions were not to find concrete
answers, but rather, to better understand how to best teach with and through the
differences posed in each environment. Similarly, future research should serve as a
means of growth in the how of teaching with technology so that meaningful
learning results (DeVoss, Eidman-Aadahl, & Hicks, 28). While these types of
studies can be referenced and beneficial across the curriculums, the role online
education plays in learning varies significantly within each individual field. Due to
technologys constant progression, the need for continued research will not likely
subside anytime in the near future; therefore, it is recommended that future research
be conducted often and within each individual department of education.
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APPENDIX A
ESSAY REQUIREMENTS
Definition-Argument Assignment
Analyzing Netiquette: Unit 1 Paper Assignment
For this paper you will argue for a particular definition of Netiquette. You will support your
definition with evidence and examples, and your final paper will be polished!
Explaining Your Definition of Netiquette
Your definition will not be a single sentence. Instead, you will provide examples, apply
readings from class, and incorporate your personal experience, resulting in a sophisticated and
thought-provoking definition that lasts several pages.
As we talked and read about, the meaning of Netiquette is up for debate! So in structuring
your definition, you are making an argument. Use the strategies weve talked about:
1. Make arguments that are specific and convincing. Your definition needs to be
defensible and interesting!
2. Incorporate class readings using your critical reading skills. Use quotation analysis to
do this.
Y Quote from the class reading-and remember that you can agree and disagree
with him! You may bring in one outside source if you wish, but this is not
required.
3. Give concrete examples (more on this below).
You are writing this paper for a general, academic audience. This means that you cant assume
that people have read the articles we read in class. This is where the summary skills youve
worked on will come into play introduce a source before using it.
Provide Examples to Support Your Definition
We have considered many examples and situations, asking what counts as Netiquette and what
does not (for instance, we looked at the differences in style and mechanics). You will need to
provide three specific examples that fit or do not fit your definition. A good example is both
interesting and original avoid the obvious and examples already covered in class.
What Im Grading On
Y Your ability to argue convincingly. The reader needs to be convinced by what you say,
which means that you provide evidence and good examples. There should not be gaping
holes in your definition.
Y Your ability to incorporate course readings and ideas. This includes summarizing and
quoting from class sources, as weve worked on in class.
Y Your ability to organize your thoughts in writing. This is not a firee-response paper where
you ramble on or simply voice your opinions. Instead, it is a formal chance to argue in an
organized fashion.
Y Your ability to meet the assignment, including page requirements and required revisions.
62


APPENDIX B
INTRODUCTION HANDOUT
Writing the Introduction
Introductions are generally one paragraph in length, and are located at the beginning of a paper. In
longer (generally five + pages) or for more complex topics, the introduction might be several paragraphs
long.
The purpose of an introduction is to:
S Present the main topic/issue to be
discussed
/ Provide context and relevance to
topic/issue
S Introduce the thesis of the paper
Information to include in the
introduction:
/ Main topic/issue
S Context/relevance
S Background information/history
S Definitions of terms and concepts
S Examples
S Thesis statement
Think of your introduction as an inverted
triangle. Start with broad information
about your topic and narrow you focus as
you approach the end of the introduction:
The goal of the introduction is to grab and
hold the readers attention. Remember
that while you want to excite your reader,
you also want to sound knowledgeable
about your topic.
Other strategies to consider:
S Begin with a short, interesting anecdote
(or stoiy) related to your topic.
S Choose surprising statistics that you
would not expect to findor that go
against the common beliefs about your
topic.
S Try including an analogy to help your
reader gain a better understanding or a
vague concept related to your topic by
developing a unique or unexpected
comparison.
S Provide a relevant quote.
Introductions should not include:
S Dont use stereotypes or cliches (over-
used expressions with little meaning).
S Dont include questions in the
introduction. If you have a question
simply turn it into a statement.
S Dont include irrelevant information to
fill the space.
Writing tips:
Dont write your introduction until you
are revising your first draft. That way,
you will have a better idea of what the
paper will actually say, as opposed to
what you think it will say.
Remember to be aware of your audience,
and always keep in mind the purpose of
your paper.
63


APPENDIX C
CONCLUSION HANDOUT
Writing the Conclusion
Conclusions generally consist of one paragraph. In longer works, however, it might be
many paragraphs or even pages long. The conclusion should relate back to the claim
made in the introduction of the paper, and provide a sense of closure.
If you are having trouble writing a conclusion try waiting until after you've written a
good first draft. Moving the introductory paragraph to your conclusion is often a
productive solution as writing a new introduction is sometimes an easier task. Then
revise the whole essay so that each paragraph flows and so the whole paper has
coherence.
The purpose of a conclusion is to:
Structure sentences into a logical
paragraph:
S Provide a sense of closure that the
After you have written about the information
to the left, consider arranging the sentences in
this format:
idea introduced in the beginning
S Make it clear how this is true, and
uses some way of indicating the paper
is ending
Information to include in conclusions:
S Restate the thesis (in new words)
S Summarize the main points
S Discuss the implications of
thesis/hypothesis
S Look to the future
S Provide relevant questions for further
study or exploration
Conclusions should not:
S No late analyses or evidence that
should have been added in the body.
S Eliminate unnecessary information
S Dont include any new information
S Dont introduce counter arguments in
your conclusion
Broad:
Call for action, look to
the future, further study
or exploration
64


APPENDIX D
STUDENT ENGAGEMENT SURVEY
1. Number of assigned textbooks, books, readings for this course?
2. Number of written papers or reports of 3 or more pages?
3. Number of written assignments fewer than 3 pages?
4. Coursework emphasized: ANALYZING the basic elements of an idea, experience, or theory. Example: examining a particular case or situation in depth. Very little Some Quite a bit Very much
5. Coursework emphasized: SYNTHESIZING and organizing ideas, information, or experiences into new, more complex interpretations and relationships. Very little Some Quite a bit Very much
6. Coursework emphasized: MAKING JUDGMENTS about the value of information, arguments, or methods, such as examining how others gather and interpret data and assessing the soundness of their conclusions. Very little Some Quite a bit Very much
7. Coursework emphasized: APPLYNING theories or concepts to practical problems or in new situations. Very little Some Quite a bit Very much
8. Worked harder than you thought you could to meet an instructors expectations or standards. Very little Some Quite a bit Very much
9. Hours per 7-day week spent preparing for class (studying, reading, writing, doing homework or lab work, analyzing data, rehearsing, and other academic activities).
10. Institutional emphasis: Spending significant amounts of time studying and on academic work. Very little Some Quite a bit Very much
11. Asked questions in class or contributed to class discussions Never Sometimes
65


Often Very Often
12. Made a class presentation. Never Sometimes Often Very Often
13. Worked with other students on projects DURING CLASS. Never Sometimes Often Very Often
14. Worked with classmates OUTISDE OF CLASS to prepare for class assignments. Never Sometimes Often Very Often
15. Discussed ideas from your readings or classes with others outside of class (students, family members, co-workers, etc.) Never Sometimes Often Very Often
16. Discussed grades or assignments with instructor. Never Sometimes Often Very Often
17. Discussed ideas from your readings or classes with faculty outside of class. Never Sometimes Often Very Often
18. Talked about career plans with instructor. Never Sometimes Often Very Often
19. Received prompt written or oral feedback from faculty on your academic performance. Never Sometimes Often Very Often
20. Met with or worked on a project with instructor outside of class time. Never Sometimes Often Very Often
21. Had serious conversations with students who are very different from you in terms of their religious beliefs, political opinions, or personal values. Never Sometimes Often Very Often
66


22. Had serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity than your own. Never Sometimes Often Very Often
23. Did this course encourage contact among students from different economic, social, racial, or ethnic backgrounds? Very Little Some Quite a bit Very Much
24. Used an electronic medium (Blackboard, e-mail, instant messaging, internet, listserv, online library) to complete an assignment. Never Sometimes Often Very Often
25. Institutional emphasis: Providing the support you need to help you succeed academically. Very little Some Quite a bit Very much
26. Institutional emphasis: Providing the support you need to thrive socially. Never Sometimes Often Very Often
27. Quality: Your relationships with other students in this class. 1 2
1: Unfriendly, unsupportive, sense of alienation 3 4
5: Friendly, supportive, sense of belonging 5
28. Quality: Your relationship with your instructor. 1 2
1: Unfriendly, unsupportive, sense of alienation 3 4
5: Friendly, supportive, sense of belonging 5
67


APPENDIX E
HUMAN SUBJECTS APPROVAL
rtity of Cot&odo. ArmctiuU Medical Ca"ipu*
303 724.1055 [Phone]
303 724.0990 (F*J
camlfblSuralBnver edu [E-Mail]
FWAOOO05070 [FWA]
Vaiarana AdmlniaiTaaon Medical Cenlef
The CnHoran** Hoepuei

Certificate of Exemption
l4-Nov-2Gl 1
Investigator: Alyson Welker
Sponsor(s):
Subject: COMIRB Protocol 11-1391 Initial Application
Effective Date: 10-Nov-2011
Anticipated Completion Date: 10-Nov-2014
Exempt Category: 1
Title: Masters Thesis: A Comparative Analysis of English 1020 in the On-campus Versus Online
Learning Environment
This protocol qualifies for exempt status. Periodic continuing review is not required. For the duration of your protocol, any
change in the experimental dcsign/content of this study must be approved by the COM1RB before implementation of the changes.
The anticipated completion date of this protocol is 10-Nov-2014. COMIRB will administratively close this project on this date
unless otherwise instructed either by correspondence, telephone or e-mail to COMIRB@ucdenver.edu. If the project is closed
prior to this date, please notify the COMTRB office in writing or by e-mail once the project has been closed.
You will be contacted every 3 years for a status report on this project.
Any questions regarding the COMIRB action of this study should be referred to the COMIRB staff at 303-724-1055 or
UCHSC Box F-490.
Review Comments:
This Electronic Exempt Approval includes -
Application
Affiliated Site Downtown Campus
Sincerely,
UCD Panel S
68


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Full Text

PAGE 1

A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS BETWEEN ENGLISH 1020 COURSE OUTCOMES TAUGHT ON L INE AND FACE TO FACE by Alyson Page Welker B.A., University of Colorado Denver, 2010 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado Denver In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts English 2012

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! ! "" This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Alyson Welker has been approved by Joanne Addison Rodney Herring Michelle Comstock April 9, 2012

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! ! """ Welker, Alyson (M.A. English) A Comparative Analysis Between English 1020 Course Outcomes Taught Online and Face to Face Thesis directed by Associate Professor Joanne Addison ABSTRACT The contents of this thesis provide a detailed comparison between the outcomes of students taking English 1020 in two different settings: online and in the on campus classroom. This research was conducted within the 2011 2012 school year. Core Composition I was taught by the same instructor, with the same curriculum, outcomes, and methods in b oth sections. Specific students, outcomes, and methods were used to create comparable environments in both settings in order to look carefully at the differences and similarities the two environments pose on students, grades, learning, and engagement. Th is research focuses on how writing is taught and understood differently online than in the on campus classroom. Class interaction, expectations, relationships, peer review, and discussion differences and similarities are also taken into consideration with in the two mediums. Results, while based on a small group of students, do not attempt to speak for online education as a whole, but rather, suggest hypotheses and motivation for further research on the topic. This abstract accurately represents the conte nt of the candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication. Approved: Joanne Addison

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! ! "# DEDICATION I dedicate this thesis to my grandparents, Florence and Nicolas Pietrafesa, my parents, Mike and Page, and my husband, John, all of whom contribu ted to the motivation and funding of my lengthy education. I also dedicate this to my sweet son, Jonah, who has slept peacefully on my chest as I wrote the majority of this thesis.

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! ! # ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I would like to thank my advisor, Joanne Addison, for her guidance and support throughout my entire degree. It is because of her that I entered into the Rhetoric progra m where I discovered my passion for online teaching and learning. Her advice has led me through a rewa rding education to a career I am truly thankful for. I would like to extend appreciation to, Rodney Herring, who has been an excellent teaching mentor. His unconditional encouragement has been an invaluable motivator in many important endeavors, and has g reatly impacted the teacher I have become Michelle Comstock, has been another gracious leader, whose example has helped me to reach new standards for myself as a writer. I would like to express my deep gratitude for her help throughout the entire thesi s process. For all of your work, I am forever grateful.

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! ! #" TABLE OF CONTENTS Figures .. .. vi i Ta bles ..vii i CHAPTER 1. IN TRODUCTION .. .1 2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ...12 3. RESEARCH & RESULTS 23 4. DISCUSSION O F RESULTS...50 5. CONCLUSIONS ... 57 APPENDIX A. ESSAY REQUIREM ENTS...6 2 B. INTR ODUCTION HANDOUT.... .6 3 C. CONCLUSION HANDOUT .....6 4 D. STUDENT ENGAGEMENT SURVEY... 65 E. HUMAN SUBJECTS APPROVAL .. 68 WORKS CITED.. 69

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! ! #"" LIST OF FIGURES Figure 3.1 Outcome Comparisons in Chapter 3..40 3.2 Overall Grade Comparisons for Netiquette Paper in Chapter 3 4 3 3.3 Overall Grade Comparisons in Chapter 3.. 43

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! ! #""" LIST OF TABLES Tables 3.1 Inter rater reliability system in Chapter 3...35 3.2 On campus student outcomes in Chapter 3 3 8 3. 3 Online student outcomes in Chapter 33 8 3. 4 Student engagement survey d ifference s in Chapter 3.. 47 3. 5 Not applicable question s in Chapter 3 48

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! $ ! CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The debate over online education's ability to meet the same standards and outcomes of face to face education has been prominent throughout all fields of education since online instruction was introduced. However, the fact remains that whether it parallels on campus learning or not, it is in high demand. With the rising costs of facilities, increasing numbers of students (especially unconventional students), and technology's prominent growth and influence in our culture, the demand for online courses conti nues to increase. As online course numbers continue to climb, the emphasis has begun to shift away from the debate over which mode of education is better. Instead the debate now is over how each medium can improve the other, and how can we use all of ou r resources to best educate the students of the future. English Departments, in particular, have an especially important role in the acceptance and rejection of online education and teaching with technology, as reading and writing abilities are key compo nents in any digital setting. Though there are multiple perspectives on the topic, there are two clearly opposing views on the

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! % ! subject. On one side of the debate Heather Urbanski has defined as the nostalgic English professors, who entered the field with their love for their notebooks, pencils, and books, (and let's be honest, there's a part of that nostalgia in all of us). On the other side are those who, despite the tangible comforts of the past, are embracing the ideas and enhancements technology can b ring into the classroom. Overall, both sides are concerned with the quality of education the students receive, and finding the best ways possible to teach their pupils. Though the teaching of writing has long before technology been up for debate, I am te mpted to wonder if our lack of solid resolutions stem from the fact that we have not yet encountered the perfect combination of pedagogies and mediums used to teach writing. I would like to suggest that the answer might be found through the further explor ation and incorporation of technology in and outside of the classroom. Teachers of writing need to become aware of, and educated on, the new dimensions being brought to the field through technology. This is not a feat that will be accomplished easily, o r that will ever completely lay still. As the digital age continues to expand we will continually need to reconsider, reconstruct, and renegotiate the ways in which we teach writing. I would like to introduce a quote I found to be truly motivating when I consider my current research, as well as future research, of these ideas:

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! & ! In addition to standards for the what' of teaching, educators are also rethinking the how' of teaching with technology so that meaningful learning results. In short, teachers n eed to bring a particular expertise that can help them guide their students to become effective digital writers and able learners irrespective of the opportunities they may have outside of school. For teachers, it is not simply a matter of integrating te chnology' into the school day, but rather a matter of uncovering the most powerful uses of technology to accomplish learning goals for specific students. To do this, they can create digital environments and experiences to extend their most effective pract ices into even more powerful learning opportunities for students (DeVoss, Eidman Aadahl, & Hicks, 28 29). These are the factors and ideas that get me excited about the limitless possibilities of incorporating technology in the classroom. The areas that a llow for the enhancement of teaching practices beyond the current realm are astounding, and I am hopeful that my research will help me to gain a better understanding of how to do so. Personally, online education is important to me because it is something t hat I feel will be a large part of my future. As I am currently hoping to continue on in my education to obtain a doctoral degree in the field of English and teach at the

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! ! university level, I am well aware of the shifting times, technology, and trends in a nd outside of the traditional classroom. I myself am a student who has benefited greatly from the independent learning style that is reflected in the online classroom, and I am interested in learning more about the ways I can use this new space in educati on to the best of my abilities as a teacher as well as a student. On a professional level I believe all educators should be aware of the new and different challenges technology presents in the classroom. Although I am focusing specifically on composition I hope my findings will be helpful to those in other subjects as well. I also feel the need to advocate for these types of studies to be repeated regularly across all curriculums. As my literature review shows, these studies even when done in different fields can be helpful to every field taught online. Some of the aspects of online instruction are department specific, but other aspects cross over into all categories and ages to benefit all types of instructors and institutions. My research will be part icularly informative to my institution, the University of Colorado Denver, because I am specifically looking at the outcomes outlined by our Director of Composition, Dr. Amy Vidali. I will also be conducting my classrooms through UCD's technologies: Black board for my on campus course and eCollege for my online course. At UCD, Blackboard is used in congruence with on campus courses only, and eCollege is the software used to conduct online courses. I

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! ( ! believe that at other institutions with other technologi es and course goals the outcomes would most likely vary, though, the information I collect will be translatable to other institutions and fields as well. Theoretical and Pedagogical Motivations I have come across many influential authors on this topic. These authors introduce the multiple aspects of teaching online along with the technological advantages that can also be facilitated in the on campus classroom. I hope to incorporate the following ideas into my teaching methods: Rhetorical theory has and continues to change through these new forms of online writing; "[Computer mediated communication's] increasingly widespread integration into all facets of culture has encouraged scholars and teachers to reinterpret (yet again) the traditional canons of rh etoric" (Selber 2). The online effects on education are pushing teachers to rethink pedagogies, principles, and practices. The differences between an in class lecture and an online lecture pose a gap larger than one might imagine. Selber suggests, and I agree, that the best way to understand these gaps and learn to work through them is to go back to the traditional roots of teaching composition. Online pedagogies need to be re worked. Beth Hewett's conclusion for online theory includes: rhetorical, cla ssical, and process approaches need to be combined

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! ) ! online to best teach the students in this medium (79), and the idea that, "[Online] educators do not control the most basic of their own online pedagogies; instead, their teaching is mediated by the online environmentit is critical that educators understand their OWI pedagogy at the practical, experiential level" (159). This statement was one I could not agree with more before I entered the online classroom as an instructor, and has become even more relev ant after having taught online. Hewett's advice serves not only writing instructors, but also all online instructors as they play with the experience of switching from the classroom to the website, and possibly back again as hybrid courses are formed. He wett's perspective encompasses the idea that, "Online instruction requires quick thinking and clear, purposeful communication. With writing formation particularly, instructors must know both how to provide reader feedback and how to teach using precise vo cabulary and explanations that help students proceed primarily from instructional text" (13). Hewett also portrays a lot of information through the eyes of the student, which is extremely helpful. Her perspectives go full circle from student, to tutor, t o teacher in the examples and research that she presents. Hewett's motives stem from having taught in "networked" classrooms since 1994. Her experience, as well as the current rise in online learning, has motivated her to study the ways instructors/tutor s are teaching online, and how to improve this new method. Hewett's research has thus influenced me to do the same.

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! ! Teaching writing online not only changes curriculums and pedagogies, but it also has a thought provoking effect on the role of the teacher ; one that has me continually analyzing the online space. This same idea influences the students of this environment as well. "A hypertext not only invites readers to participate in making texts, but forces them to do so, requiring both readers and writer s to become co learners'" (Johnson Eilola, qtd. in Zappen 323). As a result, students must learn how to act in this environment: how to improve their writing skills, online communication skills, and negotiate with computer mediated social behaviors. Thro ugh the process of teaching and learning online a circular educational experience begins to take place. Online writing instructors and students are continually learning how to textually communicate lessons, timelines, directions, and emotions. Both stud ent and teacher are acquiring more than simple writing skills through this online writing instruction process; they are also gaining a simultaneous educational experience not previously present in any classroom before. This educational experience also inc ludes one of the more difficult aspects of online learning: the identity shift. Identity in online communication can be a particularly new and difficult experience for students and teachers to navigate. James Zappen discusses how the reader author interch angeability increases these ideas, "These interactions between ourselves and others are not entirely of our own

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! + ! choosing. In some online environments, such as hypertext environments, these interactions encompass not only ourselves as authors, but also our own and others' selves as readers" (322). This example presents yet another unforeseen educational benefit to students and teachers of writing. As with each exchange between student and teachers, as well as student and student, participants are forced i nto the roles of authors and readers. As composition instructors it is our responsibility to negotiate and educate students through and about these roles. This idea of role integration is also supported by Stuart Selber's ideas about the importance of tea ching and expanding our understanding of functional literacy to incorporate today's technologies that are needed not only to function in the business world, but also in society in general. It has become important for students to understand and critically analyze the uses of online texts and their expanding, developing roles. Selber defines the term functional literacy today to encompass that of computer literacy and explains the necessity for student literacy: "The wide array of literacies they will need i n order to participate fully and productively in the technological dimensions of their professional and personal lives. [Including] managing online environments, participating in online activities, and dealing with technical problems" (472). Within this a rgument lies one of the many reasons to use and include computers across all curriculums, especially within writing. This idea also highlights potential benefits that online and technology integrated courses offer

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! ! to students and their career futures. Th e more online course experience students have, the more likely they are to understand the online environments including: business and work email, company websites, online applications for future career positions, synchronous chat between professional co wo rkers in and outside of the workplace, and how to best participate professionally within them. Online education has educators altering many aspects of their roles as instructor, as well as their pedagogies, curriculums, and delivery. Separate or combined, this is not an easy task. In his conclusion, Selber believes that, "Those who ignore technolo gy hide behind the insights of the past to reject new configurations of rhetoric. Those who picture technology as an add on underestimate the extent to which dialectic tensions occupy the literate spaces and activity of a digital age" (483). It is neithe r my intent to hide behind or underestimate technology's impacts on the teaching of writing, especially where it is present in the classroom. As my personal experience with online education expands, I find the ways in which rhetoric can be used to best ed ucate our students and teachers fascinating. It is my intent to learn more about the effects these simple ideas can have on our abilities as students, educators, and computer mediated communicators; dealing with these ideas as Selber suggests in a way tha t is direct, serious, and productive.

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! $! Research My research will specifically discuss the outcome comparisons between UCD's ENGL 1020 course taught online and on campus. While articles in my literature review address these ideas in other courses, I am fo cusing on my field, rhetoric and composition, specifically looking at writing and learning outcomes. Other authors in my literature review have looked at these differences throughout time, but have not empirically done so. My approach incorporates quali tative and empirical research methods. Qualitative: My research will be a comparison between the successes of specific outcomes in ENGL 1020 courses online and on campus classrooms. I will be looking at one unit essay from six different students from eac h section (12 students in all): two high scoring students, two middle ranging students, and two lower scoring students from both the online and on campus classrooms. To ensure accuracy, my scores will be based on an inter rater reliability system of three other ENGL 1020 instructors as well as myself, who will compare final scores of the students' work. The specific outcomes I will be looking at include knowledge, understanding, and improvement of: thesis, introduction, transitions, argument, counter argu ment, conclusion, and source integration. Students' knowledge and improvement will be measured based on the five drafts of their unit one papers they wrote in progression,

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! $$ ! and their ability to demonstrate their understanding of the ideas and lessons prese nted to them through handouts and PowerPoint presentations. Quantitative: My students were asked to complete a survey produced by the National Survey for Student Engagement (NSSE). The survey asks students for specific numerical data such as: the amount o f hours spent on coursework each week, the number of pages written for this particular course, the number of texts read, and their perceived interactions with students and instructors in and outside of class. This survey will be given to my online student s as well and scored according to NSSE's standards. As this survey has been nationally composed I believe it will provide me with the most tangible results in interpreting student engagement levels. My study will include empirical research: a combination of both qualitative and quantitative methods. The qualitative aspects of my research include the innumerable ways that students demonstrate their learning through each course and each draft that they write. The majority of my thesis will be focused around this type of research. While the engagement aspect of my thesis will begin to touch on the quantitative methods of research, as I will be comparing the specific and average number or hours, texts, pages written, and levels of interaction found in the stu dent engagement surveys. Together I hope these two approaches will provide me with well rounded conclusions that will be beneficial to others on a larger scale, while also providing me with a growing platform necessary for continued research.

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! $% ! This thesi s and the research it entails were conducted over a period of two years. The first year, prior to teaching, literature on the topic was reviewed extensively. Chapter two contains the literature review that resulted from the many authors who have helped to inspire and outline the research I conducted at UCD. The second year of my research involved the actual teaching of the courses and gathering the data surrounding my questions. Chapter three will discuss my research and the results I found in both my o nline and on campus courses. Chapter four is a discussion of those results, and chapter five contains my conclusions. My key research questions are: 1. In what ways are the outcomes different when two English 1020 (Composition I) classes are taught in diff erent environments: one online and one on campus? 2. And how can we use this information to enhance both classroom settings? 3. What role, if any, does student engagement play in congruence with success rates of learning outcomes?

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! $& ! CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF T HE LITERATURE Introduction Online education is becoming ever more prevalent throughout all fields at the university. As online course demand and enrollment continues to rise, so too does our need for further research and understanding of this new mode of education. The 2010 Sloan S urvey of Online Learning reveals that "enrollment rose by almost one million students from a year earlier. The survey of more than 2,500 colleges and universities nationwide finds approximately 5.6 million students were enrolled in at least one online cour se in fall 2009, the most recent term for which figures are available." Other statistics from the survey suggest that the growth rate for online enrollment (at 21%) far exceeds the rate of overall growth for higher education (2%). Statistics particular t o my research in comparing the outcomes of these courses have also increased: in 2003 only 57% of participants found online education to be comparably successful (as far as outcomes are concerned) to on campus courses; today that number has increased to 66 %. This steady increase promotes the need for

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! $' ! further research and investigation into the success rates and comparisons of online versus on campus classroom outcomes. Definitions of online, face to face, and hybrid learning from the Sloan Survey of Online Learning : Online courses the primary focus of this report, are defined as those in which at least 80 percent of the course content is delivered online Face to face instruction includes courses in which zero to 29 percent of the content is delivered onli ne; this category includes both traditional and web facilitated courses. The remaining alternative, blended (sometimes called hybrid ) instruction is defined as having between 30 percent and 80 percent of the course content delivered online. While the surve y asked respondents for information on all types of courses, the current report is devoted to online learning only. Previous Findings When compared to Face to Face education, online learning is still in its infancy, and so too are the studies surrounding it. Though there are many current studies being done on the topic, the findings of such studies are still up for debate as the descrepencies found among the multitude of research surrounding technology's role in academic learning outcomes continue to bui ld. The argument has been made that "many studies are based on very small sample sizes and take place in schools or classrooms where individual educators are highly expert in particular uses of

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! $( ! technology, and thus these studies may not be generalizable t o other contexts" (Warshauer & Matuchniak 294). Shanna Smith Jaggars and Thomas Bailey would agree with Warschauer and Matuchniak that, "the higher education community still regards fully online couses with some ambivalence, perhaps due to the mixed resu lts of a large (if not necessarily rigorous) body of research literature" ("Effectiveness of Fully Online Courses for College Students: Response to a Department of Education Meta Analysis" 1). While Jaggars and Bailey acknowledge that this type of researc h isn't conclusive, they do appreciate the necessity of it. This article generally highlights the common "for" and "against" debate, and has been a useful tool in the development of my research. This argument, however, does not take into account that tech nology is a relatively new medium in education, and that these small studies serve as the beginnings of much larger studies. As technology's use in education continues to expand, I believe that these studies will as well. Nevertheless it is important to be aware of the results of these existing studies in order to best formulate larger, more conclusive research on the topic.. Online The importance of online research for each partiular field is just as important as online research conducted across the disciplines. Both types of research benefit the other in their findings, and serve to improve the use of online eduation overall. It

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! $) ! should be no surprise that there are many studies that come to conclusions that promote online education and it's benefi ts to students, teachers, and universities. One such study conducted by Cara Rabe Hemp, Susan Woollen, and Gail Sears Humiston was conducted in 2009, on a group of two hundred and eighty three students from Midwestern State University. The students were surveyed in a study comparing the differences in online and traditional lecture learning styles. Their conclusions about the online environment and its effects on student's learning state that "Online learning is achieved by means of greater student to fa culty contact, participation in class discussions, and a more reflective learning style" (213). They also concluded through their surveys and analysis that the interaction between students and teachers online rendered more educational opportunities than t he on campus discussions. Their findings prove to persuade readers of the benefits to online learning found in their investigation. Their conclusions support M. Kazmer who states, "Despite the physical distance between teacher and students, interaction m ay be achieved, and even exceed that found in traditional classrooms" (qtd. in Rabe Hemp et al. 208). The information suggests that online education builds more autonomous learners who show an increased level of personal development as well as a greater responsibility in the participation of their learning. This information would appear to promote more independent students and learners in all areas of academia. The "autonomous

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! $* ! learning" advantage seems to be the greatest result of the online learning en vironment. An advantage to online learning that coincides with the teaching of writing is the fact that students are required to write online for every case that would usually be required to speak in the classroom, and that this elevated requirement of writing "demands more reflection than speaking" (Rabe Hemp et al. 213); hence making the learning and course work online more thoughtful and critical than in the classroom. A more focused study conducted by Linda Stine, specifically observing introductory composition courses at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. Though Stine's overall conclusions find the benefits and negative of both teaching environments, she acknowledges that the best way to teach writing is to have students write as much as possible; and that online courses require the most amount of writing. This information suggests that teachers of writings should have a particularly invested interest in online education, as the benefits for their students writing abilities increase through the am ple practice required online. This idea may explain why some online writing students score higher than on campus students in similar courses; however, this is an area where more research on the topic could find more definitive results.

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! $+ ! On Campus Advocat es Those who are pro campus tend to make their arguments by outlining the cons of online learning. Although Linda Stine doesn't partake in the online/on campus debate she does encounter a number of dependent students who struggle in the online setting, but th rive on campus. Stine agrees that these students are prepared for college level work, but she doesn't believe that dependent students are ready to take on the challenge of the independent online learning environment. Technology levels and dependency shou ld be considered when teaching or taking course online, but these issues should be acknowledged and overcome by both parties, as online learning is becoming an important educational experience. Other online downfalls include the assumption that writing o n the computer creates reliability on word and grammar checkers (Stine 51), that online students suffer more from procrastination (R. Brown qtd. in Hemp et al. 208), and that online students were less likely to complete the assignments and the course overa ll, making their grades lower than their on campus counterparts (Jaggars and Bailey 14). These findings yield important information for future research to address and include in order to propose possible solutions. Rather than find flaws in the atmospher e of online education, some authors prefer to focus their attention on the online instructor. Because correct online pedagogy adaptation is something many online teachers struggle with, some are being

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! $, ! criticized for their trasfer of ideas, "rather than d eveloping approaches to teaching that would take advantage of the capabilities of computer mediated distance education, instructors in many cases simply transfer their in class pedagogy to an online format" (Jaggars & Bailey 2). While I agree that there are downfalls to this type of pedagogy transfer, I also believe that what these authors describe is only the first step in making the transition from an on campus to online instructor. I feel it is necessary to remember that online education is still in t he beginning stages, and this type of pedagogical interpretation needs to occur in order to improve and understand this growing and productive medium. Although advocates for on campus learning are present in all departments, Heather Urbanski discusses the nostalgia many English professors in particular, feel towards the paper, the pen, and the hard copy texts of their own education. The nostalgia creates barriers between some teachers and technology. It is understandable after all, that the English disci pline most specifically would hang on to its love of the tangible, but it is also hindering our students in their abilities to function in today's society. Cynthia Selfe would agree that these nostalgic professors are ignoring computers and, in effect, hin dering student progress. Selfe proclaims that, "When we don't have to pay attention to machines, we remain free to focus on the theory and practice of language" ("Technology and Literacy" 413). However, I would like to argue that we need to focus our the ory and practice of language on and

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! %! through the new capabilities of these machines. I understand the nostalgia, but the evolution of education is not going to stop and wait for us to accept these new terms; it will simply go on without us. Hybrid Many re serachers are quick to pick sides in this ongoing debate of the best educational environment; however, other researchers are just as inclined to find the middle ground between the two. Jaggars and Bailey were two such authors, whose quest to find informat ion on the topic led them to encounter numerous other studies surrounding online education. Of the twenty eight studies Jaggars and Bailey found as evidence for their article they were able to evaluate that only seven of them were conducted on semester le ngth, fully online courses. The seven studies consistently showed that there were no differences in outcome abilities in students online and on campus. Because each study was conducted differently and looking at separate outcomes, these small studies wer e formed to create one large study, which had more telling results. Likewise, similar studies should continue to be compared and combined to form larger bodies of more conclusive information. Although Jaggars and Bailey were able to take this information and conclude that either environment was suitable for student learning, other authors use this information to advocate for hybrid learning environments. Stine is one such authors,

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! %$ ! who's final solution declared that, "One week online and one week face to f ace in a classroom, seems to offer our students the best of both worlds: the infinite freedom of the Internet enhanced and made manageable by the regular classroom interactions" (66). If we are truly to take the best teaching methods and approach from eac h environment and combine them, then the best solution would naturally be the hybrid course, which would allow us to do so in the most productive way. Though I agree with the benefits of hybrid learning listed throughout Stine's paper, I am disappointed w ith her final motivations for this type of learning: to cater to the dependent learner. At this stage of higher education I do not feel it is beneficial to avoid this type of learning, but rather, it is our responsibility to guide students to be successfu l at it. Regarding the teaching of writing online, hybrid would be a beneficial solution as well. Because there are so many elements of both environments that are difficult to completely bring into the opposite setting, hybrid courses offer students the b enefits of both settings. Beth Hewett is another author whose conclusions seem to stay fairly neutral on all aspects of online and in class writing instruction. She does not claim that one is better than the other, but states the benefits (and negatives) of both equally. "Neither voice nor text is better or worse. Similarly, neither asynchronous nor synchronous is a better modality. When faced with the choice about which to use, it is important to decide based on the qualities and strengths of the avai lable modality and platform, as well as what needs to be accomplished" (31).

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! %% ! Hewett's advice should be considered in every assignment and lecture choice we make as instructors today; it is important to understand which is the most successful method to tea ch what needs to be taught. In answering this question, and possibly encountering numerous failed attempts, more productive teaching methods can be practiced and implemented into more beneficial curricula. Technology in Education Even for those who wish to remain fully on campus, technology is still going to be a changing factor in the classroom. The benefits of technology in both environments are plentiful, especially for the teachers of writing. Composition instructors have always taught students how to write to different audiences, and computer mediated communication expands the number of possible audiences to a variety unheard of before this time. These new possibilities for readers and writers present a unique teaching opportunity for composition instructors. Along with various audience, a writer's identity can also experience an important shift when composing in the online environment: "Online writing environments allow for very different kinds of performances of the body that writers use to buil d ethos and identity within diverse communities" (Stacey Pigg 241). These communities Pigg addresses are also the types of new audiences I believe students should be practicing writing for. With students growing up today surrounded by technology, they ar e often largely

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! %& ! unaware of the identity and audience shifts that needs to take place when addressing the different individuals and communities present online. It would be beneficial to students if we, as composition instructors, could begin to teach with these ideas in mind. The benefits of technology are especially pertinent to writing students. In response to the evolution of online education, progress oriented Beth Hewett believes that, "Composition is going digital." Her book argues for more teaching and understanding of online instruction especially in the form of conferences. There is a need to better understand the limitations of online writing and how to use written language to its full advantage. Hewett argues that we must alter our pedagogies to best teach writing in real and practical ways over the Internet. "We badly need deeply descriptive, yet reflective research into instructional commentary and revision that occurs in both asynchronous and synchronous settings" (159), which is what her b ook attempts to do, but Hewett acknowledges, and I agree, that we need more; online educators have much room for improvement. Conclusions As technology expands, so too does the research which outlines the many ways it can improve, and also hinder, educat ion. As I have illustrated through the texts above, online education is continuing to become an important subject of

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! %' ! discussion across all curriculums and age levels. By comparing the many perspective in the online debate I was able to draw on the simila rities and differences across all fields when involving online instruction. I believe global aspects of the Internet classroom are as important to consider as the minute aspects specific to each department. General statistics are also just as important t o note as the more specified topics of online writing instruction. After evaluating each text, it became apparent that the need for continued research is necessary. Because of the many different perspecitves involving online education, I feel strongly that all online instructors should conduct these types of research on their own courses to find the best possible means to teach their individual outcomes. Overall, the literature I have come across involving online education in general, and online writin g instruction specifically, have motivated my decision and interest in studying this expanding mode of education; and I hope that this study will encourage others to do the same.

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! %( ! CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH & RESULTS Research Objectives This study analyzes and compares the learning outcomes of students in two different learning environments: the on campus classroom and fully online courses. Through looking at these two educational settings side by side, hypotheses can be formed about the success rates of le arning outcomes and student engagement including peer and faculty interaction. While there is a plethora of research surveying online and on campus education, there is still much research to be done on specific comparison groups with focus on outcomes and engagement. In order to analyze and compare student learning outcomes and engagement, the following questions will be investigated: 1. In what ways are the outcomes different when two English 1020 (Composition I) classes are taught in different environments : one online and one on campus? 2. And how can we use this information to enhance both classroom settings?

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! %) ! 3. What role, if any, does student engagement play in congruence with success rates of learning outcomes? Methods For the purposes of this research I am going to be judging good writing through the progression and success of outcomes, as put forth by the Composition Program, displayed throughout three progressive drafts students revise in peer and faculty reviews. While my personal definition of good wri ting goes far beyond the means I will use to measure the success of outcomes between these two courses, the ways I have chosen will provide a more concrete means of reaching conclusive results. Participants The University of Colorado Denver is located i n metro Denver, and is known for its diverse group of students. Non traditional students are the norm here and consist of: international students, first generation students, and students returning to school after spending time in the workforce. The avera ge student age on our campus is twenty seven years old. Our campus is proud of its low student to faculty ratio, and as a result, the English Department has a strict limit of 24 students per composition

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! %* ! course. Classes are a semester long, and include on line, on campus, and hybrid options. On campus composition courses meet for seventy five minutes, twice a week. While the majority of composition courses meet in a computer lab one day a week, my course section was not granted this privilege. Actual par ticipants were taken from both my online and on campus courses taught during the 2011 2012 school year. Twelve students were selected: six students from my on campus course, and six students from my online course. Students were selected by means of their scores, and permission to use their work only. No other factors were considered when selecting participants for this research. Measures The essays I chose to compare included six student papers that scored the closest to one another percentage wise be tween the two courses. Scores from these papers were verified by an inter rater reliability system, which consisted of three English Composition instructors reading and agreeing upon the grades given. I took two student papers from each course scoring abov e the ninetieth percentile, two from each course that fell somewhere within the eightieth percentiles, and two from each course scoring seventy percent or below. Though I was hoping for exact comparisons

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! %+ ! for each essay, I was not given a large enough grou p of students for this to occur. The essays that I did choose had comparable downfalls in similar sections of the papers, which I hope will help to gain a greater understanding of how the two environments effected my students' writing in similar and in di fferent ways. Participant Measures Involving overall comparisons between the two courses, the numbers of participants varied between the online and on campus courses. My on campus course started with the maximum of twenty four students. I had one student drop out the fifth week when the first papers were due. Another student dropped out for health reasons at the eighth week, while a third student failed to return to class after the eleventh week not having completing any of the three essays. This brought my class total down from twenty four students to twenty one at the very end. Because the latter two students did not drop the course until after the Unit 1 paper was complete, I will be tallying percentages based on the twenty three students who were present for the assignment at hand. My online course started with the maximum of twenty four students. After the first two weeks five students dropped the course. Another student, who has

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! %, ! logged zero hours in the course, has failed to officially dro p from my roster. I had three students who failed to turn in the first essay. This leaves class attendance at eighteen students, with the potential for three more incomplete grades. Because of the disproportionate number of student enrollment in these t wo courses I have chosen to focus most outcomes on the twelve select student papers I will be analyzing. Any other outcome will be calculated into percentages to help gain a better perspective of the number differences between the two groups. The essays of the participants I have chosen to analyze were picked according to their grades as well as their consent to use their writing samples in my research. Of the students who gave me permission to use their work, I selected the essays that best correlated w ith each classroom environment. In order to best weigh the outcomes I selected two students from each course in the top scoring category (90% or above), two students from each course in the middle scoring category (75% or above), and two students from eac h course in the lowest scoring category (70% or below). This strategy left me with twelve student essays overall. Below, I have outlined each student's outcome success/failure as well as their grades. Essay Topic: Netiquette

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! &! After compiling a workshop o n E mail Etiquette to present at the Writing Center, which came about as a result of student demand, I came across an article entitled "Students Writing Emails to Faculty: An Examination of E Politeness Among Native and Non Native Speakers of English" by S igrun Biesenbach Lucas, an instructor at Georgetown University. The article discussed how students communicate with their professors, and inquired about the need for a universal etiquette to be taught to students in the university. As a first time Englis h instructor, I felt inspired (and required) to introduce this concept to my students. As a result, my students were presented the E mail Etiquette Workshop, Biesenbach Lucas' article was assigned, and "Netiquette" became the title of my first unit as wel l as the term for their first assignment: the definition essay. For the definition essay students are asked to come up with their own definition of the term netiquette and attempt to persuade their audience that their definition is the most successful defi nition of the term based on supportive examples and evidence. The requirements of this paper are found in Appendix A. While the concept of netiquette may seem irrelevant in a face to face course, I tied it to our use of technology (including Blackboard an d email communications) to help students relate to its importance. I, myself, followed the guidelines in each email correspondence I had with my students. I also posted the PowerPoint form of the

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! &$ ! workshop onto Blackboard for the students to reference whe n writing their papers. In my on campus ENGL 1020 I used Blackboard to post announcements, assignments, in class PowerPoint presentations, class readings, rubrics, handouts, and writing samples. Students were only required to access Blackboard to print th e reading materials, otherwise, the materials were posted for students who had been absent, misplaced handouts, or wanted to review the PowerPoint presentations. With email being their only forum to practice proper netiquette in class, the topic wasn't as inspiring as I had hoped. Emails fell short of proper netiquette in one way or another, while their essays on the topic were jumbled and confused. Meanwhile, in class discussions and face to face conference continued in a casual manner. Outcomes The ou tcomes I chose to compare in these essays include the thesis, introduction, transitions, argument/counter argument, source usage, and conclusions. These outcomes were chosen because they encompass three of the ten specified outcomes for the University of Colorado Denver's ENGL 1020. The rest of the outcomes were excluded as they are taught and evaluated in successive assignments. The learning outcomes as defined by the Director of Composition, Dr. Amy Vidali

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! &% ! include: 1. Students increase their ability to read and respond to college level texts: This outcome would include the source usage element of evaluation found in this particular essay; 2. Students produce arguments that demonstrate critical thinking and analysis: This outcome would refer to the argum ent/counter argument aspect of the definition essay; 3. Students develop strategies to control surface level issues: This category includes students' abilities to understand and incorporate theses, introductions, transitions, and conclusions into their ess ays. The learning outcomes will be compared and evaluated through the means provided below: Thesis: A thesis statement must be clearly present within the essay, while also serving as a guide for the reader. Introduction: Introductions should demonstrate an understanding of the tools outlined in the introduction handout (see Appendix B). Transitions: Transitions should be present at the beginning and end of each body paragraph. Transitions should serve as links to connect paragraphs to one another, as wel l as link ideas back to the thesis.

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! && ! Argument/Counter Argument: Both should be present within the body of the essay. Evidence and examples should be present and analyzed in each point of the argument and counter argument. Source Usage : One source and quote were required for this essay. Sources should be incorporated and cited correctly within the text as well as the works cited page. Conclusion : Conclusions should demonstrate an understanding of the tools outlined in the conclusion handout (see Appendix C) Inter rater Reliability System To verify accuracy in grading, and inter rater reliability system was put in place. This system involved two English 1020 Composition instructors and myself coming to a consensus on the final grades of the essays used in this study. I chose two papers fr om each group: the high, the middle, and the low scoring ranges in each class to be reviewed for this research. I eliminated all course numbers, marks, and scores from the student papers before handing them over to the other instructors to review. One co mposition instructor received the on campus essays and the other received the online essays; both were unaware of which environment group they were

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! &' ! evaluating. They were first asked to read all six papers and decide which scoring range the papers fell int o. After making their selections the two instructors were asked to switch class essays and repeat the process. After this process was complete the three of us met and disclosed our findings. Both instructors placed the essays in the same scoring categor ies as I originally had. All three of us agreed on which papers fell into each of the scoring categories for each class. After the essays were put into the three scoring categories, each essay was graded based on the outcomes evaluated for this research: thesis, introduction, transitions, arguments, conclusion, and source usage. The outcomes included in this thesis were highlighted and reviewed one at a time. Each instructor scored the outcome separately before comparing answers. If answers varied than either the majority or the average answer was used as the final mark. Each outcome was scored with the subsequent marks: X, ! or +. The deciding factors for these scores were as follows:

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! &( ! Table 3.1 Inter rater Reliability System + ! X Thes is 1. Thesis included a claim. 2. Thesis gave evidence to support claim in a forecasting statement. Thesis was successful at either 1 or 2. Thesis attempted, but was unsuccessful at either 1 or 2. Thesis attempted both 1 and 2, but was unsuccessful at both. Thesis was absent from the essay. Introduction Introduction included: 1. Background information, 2. Examples and/or definitions, 3. Was structured from broad to narrow. Introduction was successful in 2 out of the 3 criteria outlined in the handout. Introduction was successful in 1 out of the 3 criteria outlined in the handout. Introduction was absent from the essay. Transitions Transitions were present at the beginning and end of each paragraph. Transitions were mostly present, but lacking in a few paragraphs. Transitions were barely present, but the student had a few successful attempts. Transitions were absent altogether from the essay. Argument/ Counter argument Both argument and counter argument were present and successful in the essay. Both argument and counter argument were present, but were unsuccessful. Either the argument or the counter argument was missing from the essay Both argument and counter argument were absent from this essay. Conclusion Conclusion: 1. Restated thesis, 2. Include d a call to action/look to future, 3. Was structured from narrow to broad. Conclusion was successful in 2 out of the 3 criteria outlined in the handout. Conclusion was successful in 1 out of the 3 criteria outlined in the handout. Conclusion was absent fro m the essay. Source Usage Source was cited correctly in text and in bibliography. In text citation and bibliography were present, but one of the two was unsuccessful. In text citation and bibliography were both present, but both were incorrect. In text ci tation and bibliography were both absent from the essay.

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! &) ! Student Engagement Student Engagement as defined by the National Survey for Student Engagement (NSSE): Student engagement represents two critical features of collegiate quality. The first is the amount of time and effort students put into their studies and other educationally purposeful activities. The second is how the institution deploys its resources and organizes the curriculum and other learning opportunities to get students to participate in activities that decades of research studies show are linked to student learning. Because it was argued in Rabe Hemp, Woollen, and Humiston's research, that students are much more engaged in on campus courses as opposed to their online counterparts, I chos e to conduct a survey with students in both settings. The same exact survey was given to each group during the eleventh week of the semester. For the purposes of this research I chose to incorporate 28 questions that were directly related to English Comp osition courses (see Appendix F for exact survey). The average answer was found through the mean of the students answers combined in each classroom.

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! &* ! Findings An outline was formulated to better understand and compare the successes of student outcomes within their essays. Students who successfully met or exceeded the goal of an outcome received a + in that outcome's column. Students who met the average requirement for an outcome received a single If a student fulfilled parts of the requirement, b ut failed to complete all the goals for a specific outcome they received a for that outcome, and if an outcome was absent altogether from their papers students have an received an X

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! &+ ! Table 3.2 On campus student outcomes Thesis Introduction Transitions Source Usage Argument/Counter Argument Conclusion Overall Grade Rachel + + ! + + + 95% Kaitlin ! + + + + 94% Lily ! ! + + 87% Ali + ! + ! 84% Santana ! ! ! 70% Sarah ! X ! 67% Table 3.3 Online student outcomes Thesis Introduction Transitions Source Usage Argument/Counter Argument Conclusion Overall Grade Ernest + + + + + + 98% Austin + + + + ! + 95% Jenae + + + + ! 89% Meredith + ! + + ! + 88% Kirill X ! ! 70% Annette X ! ! 68%

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! &, ! On Campus Thesis 2/6, 33.3% were completely successful; 2/6, 33.3% failed. Introduction: 1/6, 17% were completely successful; 3/6, 50% failed. Transitions: 1/6, 16.6% were completely successful; 2/6, 33.3% failed. Source Usage: 4/6, 66.6% were completely successful, while 2/6, 33.3%. were absent. Argument: 3/6, 50% were completely successful; 2/6, 33.3% failed. Conclusion: 2/6, 33.3% were completely successful; 2/6, 33.3% failed. Online Thesis 4/6, 66.6% we re completely successful, while 2/6, 33.3% were absent. Introduction: 3/6, 50% were completely successful; 2/6, 33.3% failed. Transitions: 4/6, 66.6% were completely successful; 2/6, 33.3% failed. Source Usage: 4/6, 66.6% were completely successful; 1/6, 1 6.6% failed. Argument: 1/6, 16.6% were completely successful; 3/6, 50% failed. Conclusion: 3/6, 50% were completely successful; 2/6, 33.3% failed. !

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! &+ ! Figure 3.1 Outcome Comparisons Thesis Introduction Transitions Source Usage Argument/Counter Argument Conclusion (-! ))! (-! &&! -! $-! %-! &-! '-! (-! )-! *-! ./00122! 345"/61! $)! (-! (-! &&! -! $-! %-! &-! '-! (-! )-! ./00122! 34"5/61! $)! (-! &&! &&! -! $-! %-! &-! '-! (-! )-! ./0012! 34"5/61! ))! ))! &&! $)! -! $-! %-! &-! '-! (-! )-! *-! ./00122! 34"5/61! (-! $)! &&! (-! -! $-! %-! &-! '-! (-! )-! ./00122! 34"5/61! &&! (-! &&! &&! -! $-! %-! &-! '-! (-! )-! ./00122! 34"5/61!

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! &, ! While the graphs in Figure 3.1 serve as a visual for outcome success and failure, it is important to be aware that the data found is based on six students from each course: twelve students total. There are large percentage variances due to the small amoun t of participants used for this portion of research. On Campus Individual Student Outcomes and Grades Rachel received a 95%: This student's introduction, thesis argument/counter argument, conclusion, and source usage met all requirements. The student on ly followed half of the guidelines for transitions, while the other half met the requirements. Kaitlin received a 94%: This student's thesis was choppy in structure making the sub points and the direction of the paper less easily followed, but overall the introduction met requirements. Transitions, source usage, argument/counter argument, and conclusion also met requirements. Lily received an 87%: Introduction was missing background information. The thesis was present, but unorganized. Two thirds of t ransitions were present and met the guidelines, while the rest were absent. Counter argument was strong and

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! '! supported main argument. Conclusion introduced new information, and failed to restate claim. Source usage met requirements. Alejandra received an 86%: This student's introduction was weak and did not follow guidelines: jumped between ideas, did not include background information, poorly written. Thesis, transitions, and conclusions followed guidelines. Counter argument was absent while claims ov erlapped creating repetition, but overall they were present and organized. Source usage met requirements. Santana received 70%: Her thesis included two different claims with sub points that didn't match the overall arguments found in the body of the paragr aphs. The introduction was repetitive and disproportionately small for an introduction and in comparison with the rest of her paper. The transitions in this paper were present, yet repetitive, at the beginning of each paragraph, but absent at the end as each claim ended mid thought. The claims and counter argument make valid points, which reference class discussions, but are not presented in a clear and logical manner. The conclusion did not follow guidelines: introduces new information, fails to restat e either of the original claims, and does not mention or relate the ideas back to the main topic of netiquette. Student did not cite required source.

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! '$ ! Sarah received 67%: The student's thesis lacked any evidence/sub points to support their claim. The intr oduction did not follow structure guidelines and was of topic. Transitions were present at the beginning of each paragraph, but were absent at the end leaving each claim in mid thought. Argument was unorganized and lacking a counter argument. Conclusion did not follow guidelines: included new information, unorganized, did not restate claim. Sources did not relate to topic, and Biesenbach Lucas was not included, which was a requirement. Online Individual Student Outcomes and Grades Ernest received a 98% : The student met all requirements for the thesis, introduction, argument/counter argument, conclusion, and source usage. The student's transitions were absent on one paragraph only. Austin received a 95%: The student met all requirements for the thesis, i ntroduction, argument, transitions, conclusion, and source usage. Student failed to meet the counter argument requirement of discussing the repercussions, but met all other counter argument requirements. Jenae received an 89%: The student met all requir ements for the thesis, introduction, transitions, argument, and source usage. The student did not fulfill the

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! '% ! repercussions requirement for the counter argument. Student's conclusion included new information, which should have been mentioned prior to the conclusion. Overall, these infractions would have dropped the student's grade to a 89%, but because it was late the student lost half a letter grade as stated in the syllabus, making her final grade 87%. Meredith received would have received an 88%: The s tudent met all requirements for the thesis, introduction, transitions, conclusion, and source usage. The student failed to include the examples and evidence in her argument and counter argument. This student's grade was an 88%, but because it was late th e student lost half a letter grade as stated in the syllabus., making her final grade 85%. Kirill received a 70%: The introduction, transitions, and the conclusion were present, but did not meet the requirements. Argument and counter argument were present but unstructured/supported as thesis was absent. Source usage met all requirements. Annette received a 68%: Thesis and counter argument were absent. Introduction, transitions, and conclusion did not follow the guidelines. Source did not include a bib liography.

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! '& ! Overall Grade Comparisons Figure 3.2 Overall Grade Comparisons for Netiquette Paper Figure 3.3 Overall Grade Comparisons )(! )*! ),! *$! *&! *(! **! *,! +$! +&! +(! +*! +,! ,$! ,&! ,(! ,*! ,,! -! (! $-! $(! %-! %(! 3%3!.7/8197!:64812! ;95"91!.7/8197!:64812! )-! )&! ))! ),! *%! *(! *+! +$! +'! +*! ,-! ,&! ,)! ,,! %-! &-! '-! (-! )-! *-! +-! ,-! $--! $$-! ;95"91! ;9<=4>?/2!

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! '' ! Overall Grades As the chart shows, online students' grades have a large gap between the most successful and least successful students, while the F2F students fill in this gap with many students' final grades falling somewhere in the middle of the online students' grades. The on campus students' grades fell on a more progressive scale. Overall, the high scoring online students' (students scoring 90% or above) percentiles were consistently greater than the high scoring on campus students: 66% of online students scored above 90%, whereas, only 30% of on campus students scored above 90%. However, the low scoring online st udents (students scoring 70% or below) percentiles were also consistently inferior to the low scoring on campus students: 17% of online students scored below 70%, whereas, only .04% of on campus students scored below 70%. The majority of F2F students, 57% received average scores on their papers (between 75% and 89%). Only 17% of online students had average scoring papers. It is important to note that this 17% of students originally received grades above 90%, but their grades were lowered due to late pa pers, not because they were unsuccessful in demonstrating the outcomes. As indicated by the graphs in Figures 3.1 and 3.2 the grades of online students tend to fall on the outer limits of the grading scale. While overall grades indicated that there was a difference in success rates between the online and on campus

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! '( ! students, the grades were not as helpful in explaining why. The User Activity feature on eCollege became another measurement tool used when attempting to analyze these results. The User Activit y feature allows instructors to see how many minutes students are spending each week participating in discussions, viewing the class PowerPoints, and reading the weekly articles. It is not surprising that the amount of minutes students spent viewing the N etiquette PowerPoint and reading materials correlates with the amount of points they earned on their first papers, as well as their grades overall. Ernest who received a 98% on the Netiquette Paper, spent a total of 51 minutes viewing the Netiquette Pow erPoint, and 47 minutes reading the netiquette article. Ernest spent 207 minutes participating in peer reviews and discussions. Austin who received a 95% on the Netiquette Paper, spent a total of 77 minutes viewing the Netiquette PowerPoint, and 104 m inutes reading the netiquette article. Austin participated in peer reviews for 351 minutes. Kirill who received a 70% on the paper, spent 3 total minutes viewing the PowerPoint, and did not complete the Weekly Reading. This student also spent a total of 45 minutes completing peer reviews.

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! ') ! Antoinette who received a 68% on the paper, spent 9 total minutes reviewing the Netiquette PowerPoint, and 6 total minutes on the weekly reading. This student did not complete any peer reviews. These correlations were present throughout my online students' grades, and the drastic number differences between time spent on the course linking with the drastic number differences in final grades seems to state that there isn't much middle ground in the online classroom. Student either spent a very large or very small amount of time completing and reviewing coursework online, and the number of minutes spent directly compared with their overall grades. This finding is perhaps the reason behind the grade discrepancies foun d in Figures 3.1 and 3.2. Because F2F courses do not allow for this type of data collection, it is more difficult to know where my teaching failed versus where the student failed to learn the information being presented. However, this information can be u sed to enhance these methods in both settings. Student Engagement The average results of the student engagement survey found that out of 28 questions, students in both settings answered differently for only 6 of the questions.

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! '* ! The possible answers for each question in order from least to greatest were: Never, Sometimes, Often, Very Often. The questions and answers were as follows: Table 3.4 Student engagement survey differences Question Online Answer F2F Answer 12. Made a class presentation. Never Sometimes 13. Worked with other students on projects DURING CLASS. Never Often 14. Worked with classmates OUTSIDE OF CLASS to prepare for class assignments. Never Sometimes 15. Discussed ideas from your readings or classes with others outside of class (students, family members, co workers, etc.) Often Sometimes 24. Used an electronic medium (Blackboard, e mail, instant messaging, internet, listserv, online library) to complete an assignment. Very Often Often 26. Institutional emphasis: Providing the support you need to thrive socially. Sometimes Often I wanted to highlight these questions in particular, because the scores of the survey resulted in slightly higher student engagement measured in my F2F classroom. I agree that there is a social aspec t on campus that translates to an un fillable gap online, but it is also important to notice that the questions on this survey are geared towards the on campus student. Questions 12 and 13 were interesting because they asked if students had "made class pr esentations" and "worked with other students on

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! '+ ! projects DURING CLASS." Both sections of my composition class were given the same assignments that the on campus students considered to be class presentations and projects that were worked on in the classroo m. These same assignments were given to my online students to accomplish in an asynchronous setting that is not defined in the wording of these questions; therefore, the answers vary while the curriculum does not. I could see such discrepancies leading t o unreliable results. Of the 28 questions there were also three that were deemed not applicable by my online students. These questions had to do with student appearances and backgrounds, and are outlined below: Table 3.5 Not applicable questions 21. Had serious conversations with students who are very different from you in terms of their religious beliefs, political opinions, or personal values. 22. Had serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity than your own. 23. Did this co urse encourage contact among students from different economic, social, racial, or ethnic backgrounds? Assuming that all online courses have a diverse population of students, the answer would most likely be "Very Often" for the majority of online students ; however, they are largely unaware of these racial and background differences. Interestingly, my on campus students, on average, answered "Sometimes" to all three of these questions. If these questions were answered for online students, they would

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! ', ! have scored much higher on this section of the survey. For the purposes of this research, the majority of the translatable questions were answered similarly in both settings. The variations in answers from Table 3.3 indicate areas of my curriculum in both set tings that are in need of some attention. The survey conclusions did not indicate that engagement and outcome success rates are necessarily correlating features of a classroom.

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! (! CHAPTER 4 DISCUSSION OF RESULTS Summary The results of this study found that success rates of student's abilities to understand and demonstrate the specific learning outcomes varied between the on campus and online environments. The results of the twelve student papers, that were compared side by side, indicated that on line students had slightly more success in five of the six different outcomes: thesis, introduction, transition, source usage, and conclusions. F2F students had slightly more success in only one of the outcome categories: argument/counter argument. Howev er, when overall grades of each class were compared, the results showed a slightly different pattern: online students generally scored higher and lower than the on campus students, whose scores were more averagely based. The answer to my first question, in what ways are the outcomes different in these two environments, is that the outcomes had varying levels of success rates as

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! ($ ! demonstrated by the students of each group. Both the online and the F2F group had some success and some failure in each category; yet, the online students had slightly more success and less failure in the outcomes than the F2F students. Because of the slight differences in outcomes between the online and on campus students, it is hard to acknowledge either setting as the superior lea rning environment. Instead, these conclusions offer valuable information as to where students had success and failure in both settings, which indicates where certain teaching methods should be repeated, and where others need to be re worked. This informa tion leads to the second research question, which asks how we can use this information to enhance both classroom settings. Through finding where online and F2F outcomes were most successfully taught and retained, it becomes possible to mesh the successes from both settings into combined methods, to enhance learning overall. Similarly, this type of research presents the opportunity to understand where teaching methods and practices failed; thus, helping to re work future course to exclude unsuccessful lea rning materials. Specific teaching implications, which have resulted from this study, are outlined in Chapter 5. The final question addressed in this research involves student engagement levels, and what roles they play in congruence with the success rates of the learning outcomes. The results from the survey did not appear to work in congruence with

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! (% ! success rates of the learning outcomes; however, both courses reported varying degrees of successful engagement. F2F students scored slightly higher on the N ation Survey for Student Engagement; however, online students scored slightly higher in their abilities to demonstrate the learning outcomes. Two separate ideas can be concluded from these results: that an increase in engagement with other students can be come a distraction from the learning outcomes in a course, or that engagement doesn't appear to have enough of an impact on student grades as long as levels of engagement are somewhat successful. Student Engagement The questions deemed "not applicable" b y my online students are an important feature of the student engagement survey to discuss. From the beginning of the course, the identity of the other students is limited and can in no, visual way make the communicators aware of age, disability, race, clas s, gender, illness, etc. The only visual information given for every student is his or her name. Names can either aid or prohibit information about the communicator's identity. UCD hosts a variety of foreign exchange and second language students, and as a result students are presented with a variety or names which are not always identifiable as far as gender is concerned. At the same time these names will offer a bit of insight into possible ethnicities; and through most of the names, ethnicity and gende r are the two easiest

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! (& ! ways to decipher parts of the students' identities, while names that disclose both tend to be rare. Though some students and instructors might consider this lack of identity a negative aspect, it is what I love most about teaching on line; everyone starts out equal, represented by only a name. As the semester progressed, however, students were able to discuss the ideas present in the engagement survey such as: political opinions, religious beliefs, personal values, race and ethnicity, through weekly discussion and essay prompts. From the prior assignments I was able to decipher that my students consisted of: three married mothers with children, a thirty year old returning to school after seven years, a male paraplegic with four childr en, a senior military veteran applying to graduate school, a student who is staying this semester with family in Costa Rica, a foreign exchange student from Russia, two African American students, a student against abortions, another student for creationism and a Mormon. After coming to the above conclusions, I was surprised that my students were either ignoring the fact that they came to these conclusions too, or that they didn't read one another's work as carefully as I did. Due to peer reviews and the discussion board sequences, I know the latter to be false. The only explanation I can then assume is that perhaps my students were afraid to come to any conclusion based on these intimidating topics. It seemed almost out of respect that the online studen ts

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! (' ! chose not to answer these questions, when they were just as aware of these differences as my F2F students (all of which found these questions to be applicable). The only difference between the two is that F2F students are visually aware of these differ ences, while online students may either be disconnected from these ideas, or too cautious to acknowledge them in this type of survey. Overall, I found the National Survey for Student Engagement to be inconclusive. I believe the terms used do not transla te into the online environment the way that they should, and thus, skew the results when compared with on campus student answers. It is my opinion that this survey be reconstructed to translate to any learning environment, whether on campus, online, or hy brid. Specific Outcomes At first, it does not appear that either setting was more successful in the learning outcomes, but after side by side comparisons are made the differences become more apparent. It is important to remember that this sample is based on twelve students (six from each course) and that these findings reflect only those twelve students, and not the entire class. Online students had more success and less failure in the thesis, introduction, and transitions. Four students from each course were successful with

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! (( ! source usage; however, the online student had one less failure than the on campus students. Conclusions were another category where both groups had three students fail; on campus had three successes, versus the online students who ha d four. According to this data, the on campus students had more success and less failure in the argument category of the outcomes only. My only assumption about the outcomes in this research was that my online students would have had more success, becau se the topic of the paper was Netiquette; an idea these students were practicing daily. In fact, when conducting the inter rater reliability grading system, the argument portion was the only section where there was significant discrepancy in the scores. Where one grader found a student deserved a + in the argument section, another grader would give that same student a It became apparent that my inter rater reliability system broke at the argument portion, as the discrepancies in scoring were not pre sent in any other outcome. It appears that the argument section of a paper has more debatable qualities than the other outcomes being measured, and thus, my measurement system wasn't designed for that type of grading. In future studies I hope to look fu rther into the qualities of these arguments and create a measurement system better suited for inter rater reliability grading. Due to the broken measurement system, and the fact that

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! () ! my online students were more successful in many of the other categories this outcome cannot hold too much weight in the final conclusions of this research. Overall Grades The online student grades scored much higher and much lower than the on campus student grades. The majority of on campus student grades were demonstrated through a slightly more mediocre level of understanding. Having observed both groups of students throughout their entire writing processes of this essay, it became apparent that the majority of online students fell into one of two groups: the first group of students really grasped the concept, and were able to successfully demonstrate an understanding of the tools and methods present in the assignment guidelines; the second group of online students had a much harder time understanding the outcomes presente d online. The second group of students, we can assume, either lack the independent learning skills, are not prepared for college level English, and/or do not possess the motivations required to be successful in the online environment, as all students were given the same time and materials to complete the first paper.

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! (* ! CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS Implications of Teaching As stated in the introduction, the goal of this research was not to determine which environment is superior, but rather, what resources can be taken from both settings to best educate students. The grades and outcomes found in this study do not prove that either environment is superior; however, they do prove that the environments are drastically different and each produces a variety of benefits. The hybrid course, then, would be the likely solution for delivering the best educational experience to studen ts; but this type of course is not always an option for untraditional students. A comparable solution would be to incorporate as much of both environments as possible into either setting. In the on campus setting I believe in the necessity of the comput er lab; a writing class without a computer lab will lack the technical literacies necessary for English Composition courses in today's world. My on campus English 1020 course was deprived of many potential teaching moments due to the fact that we were wit hout a computer lab. It can also be implied that certain aspects of the online course initiated higher levels of retention and

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! (+ ! success involving the learning outcomes demonstrated within many of the online students' papers. These concepts include: 1. S haring resources and different perspectives on topics discussed in class (through links to educational websites) on certain aspects of writing such as the thesis statements, MLA citations, and articles. 2. Pacing of lectures: Having a computer lab, or as signing online presentations as homework would have allowed my on campus students to view the PowerPoint lessons at their own pace. It would be interesting to compare an on campus course where information was presented online versus in class to see if the re are differences in outcomes similar to this study. 3. Discussion: In my on campus classroom there were noticeable trends between students who participate in discussions and those who do not. Online all students are required to participate and ask/ans wer a certain number of posts per week as part of their grade. The computer allows for this, as often times course length does not. Incorporating an online discussion into the on campus classroom would be beneficial to future research in getting all stud ents to participate and contribute their ideas to class discussions, and hopefully increase retention as well as understanding of the learning outcomes.

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! (, ! The face to face benefits of my on campus course that should be incorporated into the online classroom were: 1. Conferencing with students. 2. Peer reviews. 3. Class discussions. 4. Lessons/PowerPoint information. Synchronous chat sessions are another feature that could enhance future courses. Chat sessions could potentially take place between not just student and t eacher, but among a group of students as well. It would also be interesting to see if synchronous chats would be more beneficial to students than the asynchronous discussions which took place in the online setting only. An increase in the number of synch ronous chats students have with the instructor individually would likely enhance learning outcomes, because students were able to grasp more of the outcomes when applying them to their own essays in a one on one environment. After conducting this research I have become even more inclined to believe that the perfect combination of pedagogies and mediums used to teach writing lies within the balance of the online and on campus classroom, because there were both

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! )! pros and cons found in each setting. As I boldl y suggested that the answer could be found through the further exploration and incorporation of technology in and outside of the classroom, I believe that my conclusions support this idea. While the answers are hinted at through this study, there are many more questions I now have to ask. I will continue to expand and explore these two educational settings in hopes of finding the most successful means of teaching writing to students through the use of technology. Recommendations for Future Research Afte r making the changes to the curriculum and teaching methods outlined in the previous section, it will be beneficial to repeat this type of research on a larger and more repetitive scale. In order to, "[uncover] the most powerful uses of technology to acco mplish learning goals for specific outcomes" and "create digital environments and experiences to extend their most effective practices into even more powerful learning opportunities for students" (DeVoss, Eidman Aadahl, & Hicks, 29), it becomes almost nece ssary for teachers to conduct these types of studies in order to evolve with and teach through the advantageous means of technology. If this amount of change and insight can be gained from such a small group of students, imagine how much could be accompli shed within consecutive studies.

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! )$ ! The motivations behind the research questions were not to find concrete answers, but rather, to better understand how to best teach with and through the differences posed in each environment. Similarly, future research sh ould serve as a means of growth in the "'how' of teaching with technology so that meaningful learning results" (DeVoss, Eidman Aadahl, & Hicks, 28). While these types of studies can be referenced and beneficial across the curriculums, the role online educ ation plays in learning varies significantly within each individual field. Due to technology's constant progression, the need for continued research will not likely subside anytime in the near future; therefore, it is recommended that future research be conducted often and within each individual department of education.

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! )% ! APPENDIX A ESSAY R EQUIREMENTS Definition Argument Assignment Analyzing Netiquette: Unit 1 Paper Assignment For this paper you will argue for a particular definition of Netiquette. You will support your definition with evidence and examples, and your final paper will be polished! Explaining Your Definition of Netiquette Your definition will not be a single sentence. Instead, you will provide examples, apply readings from class, and incorporat e your personal experience, resulting in a sophisticated and thought provoking definition that lasts several pages. As we talked and read about, the meaning of Netiquette is up for debate! So in structuring your definition, you are making an argument Use the strategies we've talked about: 1. Make arguments that are specific and convincing Your definition needs to be defensible and interesting! 2. Incorporate class readings using your critical reading skills Use quotation analysis to do this. Quote from the cla ss reading and remember that you can agree and disagree with him! You may bring in one outside source if you wish, but this is not required. 3. Give concrete examples (more on this below). You are writing this paper for a general, academic audience. This means that you can't assume that people have read the articles we read in class. This is where the summary skills you've worked on will come into play introduce a source before using it. Provide Examples to Support Your Definition We have considered many examples and situations, asking what counts as Netiquette and what does not (for instance, we looked at the differences in style and mechanics). You will need to provide three specific examples that fit or do not fit your definition. A good example is both interesting and original avoid the obvious and examples already covered in class. What I'm Grading On Your ability to argue convincingly. The reader needs to be convinced by what you say, which means that you provide evidence and good examples. There should not be gaping holes in your definition. Your ability to incorporate course readings and ideas. This includes summarizing and quoting from class sources, as we've worked on in class. Your ability to organize your thoughts in wri ting. This is not a free response paper where you ramble on or simply voice your opinions. Instead, it is a formal chance to argue in an organized fashion. Your ability to meet the assignment, including page requirements and required revisions ! !

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! )& ! APPENDIX B INTRODUCTION HANDOUT Writing the Introduction Introductions are generally one paragraph in length, and are located at the beginning of a paper. In longer (generally five + pages) or for more complex topics, the introduction might be several paragraphs long. The purpose of an introduction is to: Present the main topic/issue to be discussed Provide context and relevance to topic/issue Introduce the thesis of the paper Information to include in the int roduction: Main topic/issue Context/relevance Background information/history Definitions of terms and concepts Examples Thesis statement Think of your introduction as an inverted triangle Start with broad information about your topic and narrow you focu s as you approach the end of the introduction: The goal of the introduction is to grab and hold the reader's attention. Remember that while you want to excite your reader, you also want to sound knowledgeable about your topic. Other strategies to consider: Begin with a short, interesting anecdote (or story) related to your topic. Choose surprising statistics that you would not expect to find or that go against the common beliefs about your topic. Try including an analogy to help your reader gain a better understanding or a vague concept related to your topic by developing a unique or unexpected comparison. Provide a relevant quote. Introductions should not include: Don't use stereotypes or clichÂŽs (over used expressions with little meaning). Don't include questions in the introduction. If you have a question simply turn it into a statement. Don't include irrelevant information to fill the space. Writing tips: Don't write your introduction until you are revising your first draft. That way, you will have a better idea of what the paper will actually say, as opposed to what you think it will say. Remember to be aware of your audience, and always keep in mind the purpose of your paper. !"#"$%&'( @4"9!7A?"0B"22/1C! =A971D7B6151#4901C! E40FG6A/98!"9HAB I"27A6J! )*$"( +,"-./.-'( KD4>?512C! 81L"9"7"A92!AH! 716>2!498! 0A901?72! 0%$$*1'( MI12"2! .7471>197!

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! )' ! APPENDIX C CONCLUSION HANDOUT Writing the Concl usion Conclusions generally consist of one paragraph. In longer works, however, it might be many paragraphs or even pages long. The conclusion should relate back to the claim made in the introduction of the paper, and provide a sense of closure If you ar e having trouble writing a conclusion try waiting until after you've written a good first draft. Moving the introductory paragraph to your conclusion is often a productive solution as writing a new introduction is sometimes an easier task. Then revise the whole essay so that each paragraph flows and so the whole paper has coherence. The purpose of a conclusion is to: Provide a sense of closure that the idea introduced in the beginning Make it clear how this is true, and uses some way of indicating the paper is ending Information to include in conclusions: Restate the thesis (in new words) Summarize the main points Discuss the implications of thesis/hypothesis Look to the future Provide relevant questions for further study or exploration Conclusions should not: Don't include any new information Don't introduce counter arguments in your conclusion No late analyses or evidence that should have been added in the body. Eliminate unnecessary information Structure sentences into a logical parag raph: After you have written about the information to the left, consider arranging the sentences in this format: 0%$$*1'( N127471! 7I12"2C! 2/>>46"O1! 7I1!>4"9! ?A"972! )*$"(!"#"$%&'( P>?5"047"A92!AH! 7I12"2B IJ?A7I12"2C! ?A"97!7A!514#1! 614816!Q"7I!!! 2$*%3'( =455!HA6!407"A9C!5AAF!7A! 7I1!H/7/61C!H/67I16!27/8J! A6!1D?5A647"A9!

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! )( ! APPENDIX D STUDENT ENGAGEMENT SURVEY 1. Number of assigned textbooks, books, readings for this course? 2. Number of written papers or reports of 3 or more pages? 3. Number of written assignments fewer than 3 pages? 4. Coursework emphasized: ANALYZING the basic elements of an idea, experience, or theory. Example: examining a particular case or situation in depth. Very little Some Quite a bit Very much 5. Coursework emphasized: SYNTHESIZING and organizing ideas, information, or experiences into new, more complex interpretations and relationships. Very little Some Quite a bit Very much 6. Coursework emphasized: MAKING JUDGMENTS about the value of information, arguments, or methods, such as examining how others gather and interpret data and assessing the soundness of their conclusions. Very little Some Quite a bit Very much 7. Coursework emphasized: APPLYNING theori es or concepts to practical problems or in new situations. Very little Some Quite a bit Very much 8. Worked harder than you thought you could to meet an instructor's expectations or standards. Very little Some Quite a bit Very much 9. Hours per 7 day week spent preparing for class (studying, reading, writing, doing homework or lab work, analyzing data, rehearsing, and other academic activities). 10. Institutional emphasis: Spending significant amounts of time studying and on academic work. Very little Some Qu ite a bit Very much 11. Asked questions in class or contributed to class discussions Never Sometimes

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! )) ! Often Very Often 12. Made a class presentation. Never Sometimes Often Very Often 13. Worked with other students on projects DURING CLASS. Never Sometimes Often Very Often 14. Worked with classmates OUTISDE OF CLASS to prepare for class assignments. Never Sometimes Often Very Often 15. Discussed ideas from your readings or classes with others outside of class (students, family members, co workers, etc.) Never Sometimes Often Very Often 16. Discussed grades or assignments with instructor. Never Sometimes Often Very Often 17. Discussed ideas from your readings or classes with faculty outside of class. Never Sometimes Often Very Often 18. Talked about career plans with instructor. N ever Sometimes Often Very Often 19. Received prompt written or oral feedback from faculty on your academic performance. Never Sometimes Often Very Often 20. Met with or worked on a project with instructor outside of class time. Never Sometimes Often Very Often 21. Had serious conversations with students who are very different from you in terms of their religious beliefs, political opinions, or personal values. Never Sometimes Often Very Often

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! )* ! 22. Had serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity than your own. Never Sometimes Often Very Often 23. Did this course encourage contact among students from different economic, social, racial, or ethnic backgrounds? Very Little Some Quite a bit Very Much 24. Used an electronic medium (Blackboard, e mail, instant messaging, internet, listserv, online library) to complete an assignment. Never Sometimes Often Very Often 25. Institutional emphasis: Providing the support you need to help you succeed academically. Very little Some Quite a bit Very much 26. Institutional emphasis: Providing the support you need to thrive socially. Never Sometimes Often Very Often 27. Quality: Your relationships with other students in this class. 1: Unfriendly, unsupportive, sense of alienation 5: Friendly, supportive, sense of belonging 1 2 3 4 5 28. Quality: Your relationship with your instructor. 1: Unfriendly, unsupportive, sense of alienation 5: Friendly, supportive, sense of belonging 1 2 3 4 5

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! ! ! ! ! ! )+ APPENDIX E HUMAN SUBJECTS APPROVAL

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! ! ! ! ! ! ), WORKS CITED Allen, Elaine, and Jeff Seamen. Going the Distance: Online Education in the United States, 2011 Rep. November ed. Babson: Babsum Survey Research Group, 2011. The Sloan Consortium Web. Ball, Cheryl E, and James R. Kalmbach. Raw: (Reading and Writing) New Media Cresskill, N.J: Hampton Press, 2010. Print. Biesenbach Lucas, Sigrun. "Students Writing Emails to Faculty: An Examination of E Politeness." Language Learning & Technology 5th ser. 11.June (2007): 59 81. Georgetown University Web. 22 June 2011. Brooks Young, Susan. Teaching with the Tools Kids Really Use: Learning with We b and Mobile Technologies Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin, 2010. Print.

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! ! ! ! ! ! *! DeVoss, Dˆnielle Nicole., Elyse Eidman Aadahl, and Troy Hicks. Because Digital Writing Matters: Improving Student Writing in Online and Multimedia Environments San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 2010. Print. Flynn, Nancy, and Tom Flynn. Writing Effective E mail: Improving Your Electronic Communication Menlo Park, CA: Crisp Learning, 2003. Print. Flynn, Nancy. The E policy Handbook: Rules and Best Practices to Safely Manage Your Co mpany's E mail, Blogs, Social Networking, and Other Electronic Communication Tools New York: American Management Association, 2009. Print. Gurak, Laura J., and Smiljana Antonijevic. "Digital Rhetoric and Public Discourse." Ed. Andrea A. Lunsford, Kirt H Wilson, and Rosa A. Eberly. The SAGE Handbook of Rhetorical Studies Los Angeles, CA: SAGE, 2009. 497 507. Print. Haig, Matt. E mail Essentials How to Make the Most of E communication London: Kogan Page, 2001. Print.

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! ! ! ! ! ! *$ Hartman, Diane B., and Karen S. Nantz. The 3 Rs of E mail: Risks, Rights, and Responsibilities Menlo Park, CA: Crisp Publications, 1996. Print. Hassini, Elkafi. "Student Instructor Communication: The Role of Email." Computers & Education 47.2006 (2006): 29 40. Elsevier Web. 22 June 2011. Hewett, Beth L. The Online Writing Conference: A Guide for Teachers and Tutors Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 2010. Print. Hewett, Beth L., and Christa Ehmann. Preparing Educators for Online Writing Instruction: Principles and Processes Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English, 2004. Print. Johnson Eilola, Johndan. "Among Texts." Ed. Stuart A. Selber. Rhetorics and Technologies: New Directions in Writing and Communication Columbia: University of South Carolina, 2010. 33 55. Print.

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! ! ! ! ! ! *% M eans, Barbara, Yukie Toyama, Robert Murphy, Karla Jones, and Marianne Bakia. "Effectiveness of Fully Online Courses for College Students: Response to a Department of Education Meta Analysis." US Department of Education Center for Technology in Learning, S ept. 2010. Web. 9 Jan. 2010. . Miller, Carolyn. "Writing in a Culture of Simulation: Ethos Online." The Semiotics of Writing: Transdisciplinary Perspectives on the Technology of Writing. Ed. Patrick Coppock. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2001. 253 279. National Survey of Student Engagement Rep. Bloomington: Trustees of Indiana State University, 2011. NSSE Web. Pigg, Stacey. "Teaching New Media ted Student Bodie." Ed. Cheryl E. Ball and James Kalmbach. RAW! Reading and Writing New Media (2010). Print.

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! ! ! ! ! ! *& Rabe Hemp, Cara, Susan Woollen, and Gail Sears Humiston. "A Comparative Analysis of Student Engagement, Learning, and Satisfaction in Lecture Hall and Online Learning Settings." The Quarterly Review of Distance Education 10.2 (2009): 207 21. Web. Selber, Stuart A. "Reimagining the Functional Side of Computer Literacy." CCC 55.3 (2004): 470 503. Print. Selber, Stuart A. Rhetorics and Technologies: New Directions in Writing and Communication Columbia: University of South Carolina, 2010. Print. Selfe, Cynthia L. "Technology and Literacy: A Story about the Perils of Not Paying Attention." CCC 50.3 (1999): 411 503. Print. Sheridan, David M, and James A. Inman. Multiliteracy Centers: Writing Center Work, New Media, and Multimodal Rhetoric Cresskill, N.J: Hampton Press, 2010. Print.

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! ! ! ! ! ! *' Shimmin, Brad. Effective E mail Clearly Explained: File Transfer, Security, and Interoperab ility Boston: AP Professional, 1997. Print. Stine, Linda. "The Best of Both Worlds: Teaching Basic Writing in Class and Online." Journal of Basic Writing 23.2 (2004): 49 68. Web. Urbanski, Heather. Writing and the Digital Generation: Essays on New Medi a Rhetoric Jefferson, NC [u.a.: McFarland, 2010. Print. Wardle, Elizabeth, Doug Downs, and Dennis Baron. "From Pencils to Pixels: The Stages of Literacy Technologies." Writing about Writing: a College Reader Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2011. 422 41. Print. Warschauer, Mark, and Tina Matuchniak. "New Technology and Digital Worlds: Analyzing Evidence of Equity in Access, Use and Outcomes." SAGE 34.1 (2010): 179 229. Web.

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! ! ! ! ! ! *( Zappen, James P. "Digital Rhetoric: Toward an Integrated Theory." Technical Communication Quarterly 14.3 (2005): 319 25. Print.