Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Publications

5 Students’ Perception and Patterns of Listening Behavior in an Online Forum Discussion

Authors: K. L. Wong, I. N. Umar

Abstract:

Online forum is part of a Learning Management System (LMS) environment in which students share their opinions. This study attempts to investigate the perceptions of students towards online forum and their patterns of listening behavior during the forum interaction. The students’ perceptions were measured using a questionnaire, in which seven dimensions were used involving online experience, benefits of forum participation, cost of participation, perceived ease of use, usefulness, attitude, and intention. Meanwhile, their patterns of listening behaviors were obtained using the log file extracted from the LMS. A total of 25 postgraduate students undertaking a course were involved in this study, and their activities in the forum session were recorded by the LMS and used as a log file. The results from the questionnaire analysis indicated that the students perceived that the forum is easy to use, useful, and bring benefits to them. Also, they showed positive attitude towards online forum, and they have the intention to use it in future. Based on the log data, the participants were also divided into six clusters of listening behavior, in which they are different in terms of temporality, breadth, depth and speaking level. The findings were compared to previous clusters grouping and future recommendations are also discussed.

Keywords: e-learning, learning management system, listening behavior, online forum.

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4 The Motivating and Limiting Factors of Learners’ Engagement in an Online Discussion Forum

Authors: K. Durairaj, I. N. Umar

Abstract:

Lately, asynchronous discussion forum is integrated in higher educational institutions as it may increase learning process, learners’ understanding, achievement and knowledge construction. The asynchronous discussion forum is used to complement the traditional, face-to-face learning session in hybrid learning courses. However, studies have proven that students’ engagement in online forums is still unconvincing. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate the motivating factors and obstacles that affect the learners’ engagement in asynchronous discussion forum. This study is carried out in one of the public higher educational institutions in Malaysia with 18 postgraduate students as samples. The authors have developed a 40-items questionnaire based on literature review. The results indicate several factors that have encouraged or limited students’ engagement in asynchronous discussion forum: (a) the practices or behaviors of peers, or instructors, (b) the needs for the discussions, (c) the learners’ personalities, (d) constraints in continuing the discussion forum, (e) lack of ideas, (f) the level of thoughts, (g) the level of knowledge construction, (h) technical problems, (i) time constraints and (j) misunderstanding. This study suggests some recommendations to increase the students’ engagement in online forums. Finally, based upon the findings, some implications are proposed for further research.

Keywords: Asynchronous Discussion Forum, Engagement, Factors, Motivating, Limiting.

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3 Students’ Level of Knowledge Construction and Pattern of Social Interaction in an Online Forum

Authors: K. Durairaj, I. N. Umar

Abstract:

The asynchronous discussion forum is one of the most widely used activities in learning management system environment. Online forum allows participants to interact, construct knowledge, and can be used to complement face to face sessions in blended learning courses. However, to what extent do the students perceive the benefits or advantages of forum remain to be seen. Through content and social network analyses, instructors will be able to gauge the students’ engagement and knowledge construction level. Thus, this study aims to analyze the students’ level of knowledge construction and their participation level that occur through online discussion. It also attempts to investigate the relationship between the level of knowledge construction and their social interaction patterns. The sample involves 23 students undertaking a master course in one public university in Malaysia. The asynchronous discussion forum was conducted for three weeks as part of the course requirement. The finding indicates that the level of knowledge construction is quite low. Also, the density value of 0.11 indicating the overall communication among the participants in the forum is low. This study reveals that strong and significant correlations between SNA measures (in-degree centrality, out-degree centrality) and level of knowledge construction. Thus, allocating these active students in different group aids the interactive discussion takes place. Finally, based upon the findings, some recommendations to increase students’ level of knowledge construction and also for further research are proposed.

Keywords: Asynchronous Discussion Forums, Content Analysis, Knowledge Construction, Social Network Analysis.

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2 The Effects of Drill and Practice Courseware on Students’ Achievement and Motivation in Learning English

Authors: Y. T. Gee, I. N. Umar

Abstract:

Students’ achievement and motivation in learning English in Malaysia is a worrying trend as it is lagging behind several other countries in Asia. Thus, necessary actions have to be taken by the parties concerned to overcome this problem. The purpose of this research was to study the effects of drill and practice courseware on students’ achievement and motivation in learning English language. A multimedia courseware was developed for this purpose. The independent variable was the drill and practice courseware while the dependent variables were the students’ achievement and motivation. Their achievement was measured using pre-test and post-test scores, while motivation was measured using a questionnaire. A total of 60 students from three vernacular primary schools in a northern state in Malaysia were randomly selected in this study. The findings indicate: (1) a significant difference between the students’ pre-test and posttest scores after using the courseware, (2) no significant difference in the achievement score between male and female students after using the courseware, (3) a significant difference in motivation score between the female and the male students, and (4) while the female students scored significantly higher than the male students in the aspects of relevance, confidence and satisfaction, no significant difference in terms of attention was observed between them. Overall, the findings clearly indicate that although the female students are significantly more motivated than their male students, they are equally good in terms of achievement after learning from the courseware. Through this study, the drill and practice courseware is proven to influence the students’ learning and motivation.

Keywords: Courseware, drill and practice, English learning, motivation.

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1 Students’ Level of Participation, Critical Thinking, Types of Action and Influencing Factors in Online Forum Environment

Authors: N. I. Bazid, I. N. Umar

Abstract:

Due to the advancement of Internet technology, online learning is widely used in higher education institutions. Online learning offers several means of communication, including online forum. Through online forum, students and instructors are able to discuss and share their knowledge and expertise without having a need to attend the face-to-face, ordinary classroom session. The purposes of this study are to analyze the students’ levels of participation and critical thinking, types of action and factors influencing their participation in online forum. A total of 41 postgraduate students undertaking a course in educational technology from a public university in Malaysia were involved in this study. In this course, the students participated in a weekly online forum as part of the course requirement. Based on the log data file extracted from the online forum, the students’ type of actions (view, add, update, delete posts) and their levels of participation (passive, moderate or active) were identified. In addition, the messages posted in the forum were analyzed to gauge their level of critical thinking. Meanwhile, the factors that might influence their online forum participation were measured using a 24-items questionnaire. Based on the log data, a total of 105 posts were sent by the participants. In addition, the findings show that (i) majority of the students are moderate participants, with an average of two to three posts per person, (ii) viewing posts are the most frequent type of action (85.1%), and followed by adding post (9.7%). Furthermore, based on the posts they made, the most frequent type of critical thinking observed was justification (50 input or 19.0%), followed by linking ideas and interpretation (47 input or 18%), and novelty (38 input or 14.4%). The findings indicate that online forum allows for social interaction and can be used to measure the students’ critical thinking skills. In order to achieve this, monitoring students’ activities in the online forum is recommended.

Keywords: Critical thinking, learning management system, level of online participation, online forum.

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