Technology Use in an Online MBA Program. Mengyu Zhai, Shijuan Liu, Curt Bonk, Seung-hee Lee, Xiaojing Liu, Richard Magjuka Indiana University

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1 Technology Use in an Online MBA Program Mengyu Zhai, Shijuan Liu, Curt Bonk, Seung-hee Lee, Xiaojing Liu, Richard Magjuka Indiana University 1

2 About the Online MBA Program Founded in 1999 Program length: 24 months Completion rate: 96% Course delivery: online Course Management System (ANGEL) One week in-residence per year Grown from 12 students in 1999 to nearly 1,000 today Female students: 20% International students: 20% 2

3 Background The Kelley Direct (KD) Instructional Research Team was formed during the 2004 calendar year. A program evaluation research project was conducted with a primary focus on improving the quality of online teaching. This presentation represented findings from the project regarding technology uses 3

4 Purposes of the Study Study the use of specific technologies in the courses of the program Investigate general perceptions of faculty and students concerning technology use Find out suggestions for improvement of the technologies from faculty and students 4

5 Literature Review A course management system (CMS), a collection of such software tools such as asynchronous discussion boards and real time chat tools, has the potential to transform teaching and learning (Ansorge & Colley, 2003; Carmen & Haefner, 2002). Most online courseware is pedagogically negligent Assistance in developing rich situations for collaborative knowledge construction, information seeking and sharing, reflection, debate and problem based is overlooked in the design of courseware tools. (Bonk & Dennen, 2002, p332). Compared to courses delivered in face-to-face setting, courses that were delivered entirely online rely more on technology (Bonk, 2001; Firdyiwek, 1999; Moore, 2003) 5

6 Literature Review In addition, studies have also shown that instructors play a key role in using the technology successfully (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2003; Willis, 1994; Wilson, 1998). Online educators need to be competent in using technology as a means for effective instruction (Floyd, 2003). As many researchers pointed out, there is a pressing need to study how the technology is being used by online instructors (Bonk, 2001, 2003; Garrison et al, 2003; University of Illinois, 1999). However, indicates that our understanding of the question continues to be extremely limited (Bonk, 2003; Garrison, et al, 2003). 6

7 Methodology Faculty and student interviews 26 faculty members of online MBA programs 10 first-year online MBA students 10 second-year online MBA students Student surveys 264 public online MBA students responded 162 first-year students 102 second-year students Questionnaires handed out during one-week in-residence orientation Content analysis of course Websites 27 online courses in the MBA program 7

8 Methodology Content Analysis of Course Web sites 27 courses were selected from diverse business disciplines A coding scheme consists of 9 categories: (1) course structure, (2) technology interactivity, (3) social interaction, (4) instructional design, (5) instructor facilitation, (6) case type, (7) learner collaboration, (8) degree of learner control, (9) assessment 10 subjective rating scales to evaluate the quality and the level of interaction of online courses Inter-rater reliability between two analysts 8

9 Results: General Perception 9

10 General Course Design Used the ANGEL course management system. About 12 percent of students surveyed viewed ANGEL as one of the key strengths of the program About 93 percent of the students expressed their satisfaction with the course quality. The course satisfaction is positively correlated with straightforwardness of technologies used in the online courses. 10

11 KD offers a sufficient amount of orientation on how to use ANGEL to new students. Strongly Disagree 0% Disagree 6% Neutral 4% Strongly Agree 38% Agree 52% 11

12 Online courses provide appropriate tools or technologies for collaboration (e.g., group workspace, group discusses board, group chatting). Strongly Agree 21% Strongly Disagree 3% Disagree 12% Neutral 14% Agree 50% 12

13 Technologies are used effectively in supporting learning and teaching in KD courses. Strongly Agree 21% Strongly Disagree 1% Disagree 11% Neutral 13% Agree 54% 13

14 The tools/technologies used in KD courses (e.g., PowerPoint, audio, video, multimedia) are helpful in fostering deep learning. Strongly Disagree 0% Strongly Agree 24% Disagree 2% Neutral 13% Agree 61% 14

15 The tools/technologies used in KD courses are easy to use.. Strongly Disagree 0% Strongly Agree 21% Disagree 1% Neutral 9% Agree 69% 15

16 Results: Use of Specific Technologies 16

17 Usage of Different Tools in KD Courses Textbook Announcement Asynchronous discussion forum Interactive quiz tools PowerPoint slides Web pages Audio/vedio clips Synchronous communications Polling Multimedia Virtual office hour Voice/visual based two-way...

18 Used as a major communication tool. Used to answer individual questions that students do not want to ask or cannot ask in online class discussion forums. A few faculty members allow students to turn assignments in using . Used to send important reminders or announcement to students. 18

19 Asynchronous Discussion Type of Asynchronous Forum Course used Percentage of usage Whole class discussions 23 85% Small team discussions 4 15% Private team area for Q&A and file sharing 9 33% Student introduction forum 2 7% Student online coffee house 2 7% Introduction forum 2 7% Court forum 1 4% Bulletin board to express student expectations 4 15% Student Activity Course used Percentage of usage Asking/responding to instructor questions % 19

20 Asynchronous Discussion Instructional Activities Course used Percentage of usage Instructor participation in class discussions Instructor participation in team discussions Discussion question provided at the beginning Instructor moderate the whole discussion Instructor summary feedback at the end Participation in online discussions as part of assessment 25 93% 1 4% 19 70% 12 44% 9 33% 18 67% 20

21 Asynchronous Discussion Several issues that affected the degree of their presence: No knowing effective moderating strategies to promote peer interaction Time commitment associated with facilitating online discussion The authoritarian role of the online instructor might deter a fruitful peer discussion among online learners the negative effect of time lag in asynchronous discussion could easily cause dominance issues in discussions because early students can take control of the forum by effusive comments 21

22 Synchronous Communications Used chat room and Microsoft Office Live Meeting service Enable students to bring more issues to the attention of their instructors as well as their peers as they socially interact about key issues or assignment Provide just-in-time course feedback and experiences 22

23 Synchronous Communications Two strategies were found most effective in using synchronous tools: Office hours, which was reported as effective for reducing the repetitive questions asked in . Guest speakers, which was found as a convenient way to invite practitioners into an online course. 23

24 Synchronous Communications Problems instructors and students identified Hard to moderate and difficult to track what each student said Limited tool functionality No audio/visual based cues for synchronous communication in the Angel system Time schedules Typing speed and limited typing length (quote) 24

25 Online Test Tool Interactive quiz and exam functions 67% courses used online quizzes. Of these about half used quizzes as one way of assessment. 25

26 Online Test Tool Some faculty members want the system to provide better test functions. E.g., students to be able to take quizzes and obtain their grades online but not see the answers so that they could retake the tests. Cheating is another problem even though only very few faculty members expressed concerns about this. 26

27 Online PowerPoint Lecture File 15 courses (56 percent) were found to use PPT slides for online lectures. Of these, only 1 course utilized slides with voice over. For the faculty using PPT slides online, some are transferring their traditional class materials online. As more faculty use online PPT lectures, help will be needed to gradually and smoothly transfer from classroom teaching environment to online teaching environment; for example, the narration must be clear. 27

28 Online Video/Audio Clip About half of the 27 courses used audio/video clips in their courses. More than one-third of the courses used selfintroduction or course content-related video clips. The self-introduction video clips were recorded and edited by program technical support persons and are in similar formats. Some of these courses burn the audio/video clips on to CDs and distribute them to students, which is welcomed by students. 28

29 Online Video/Audio Clip Some students hope more audio and video components can be added to their online courses. Due to the loss of real-time interaction and rich contextual cues that the instructors had experienced in the traditional classroom, it was essential for instructors to provide much more elaborate information in their online courses. One instructor mentioned that it was important for him to add video sound clips to enriching the material and the presentation as much as possible. 29

30 Course Announcement & News Line Used by all 27 courses. Over 80 percent of the students reported that the instructors in the program made announcement and gave feedback on a regular basis, and students agree on the importance of announcement Receiving such regular announcement and feedback seems to strengthen student feelings of being part of a learning community, moderately correlated with the overall course satisfaction, and negatively correlated with the intention of dropping out of the class. Some also expressed hope of sending important announcements through s, so they can know what is expected or due without logging into the course website. 30

31 Team Builder - Online Team- Building System 21 courses (78 percent) using virtual teams. With this tool, students in different places can choose their own team members online. The instructors agreed on the importance of establishing online teams and encouraging group knowledge sharing to accomplish a shared learning goal. 31

32 Other Commonly Used Features Handin System - File Upload & Download Tool My Grade - Online Grade Book Multimedia Simulation Web Link Sharing To Share Content Related Web Links Web-page Information Presentation Polls - Online Survey tool My Activity - Student Login Statistics Record Tool Course Evaluation Tool Mainly for Final Course Evaluation Calendar 32

33 Results: Suggestions for Improvement 33

34 Suggestions from Students More technology integration More audio-visual lectures More options and flexibility More synchronous video conferencing tools All self respecting chat programs have these features but our chat is pretty basic. So I think they can upgrade and chat to give the features that MSN has or to give the features that Outlook web access has. 34

35 Suggestions from Students Videoconferencing and teleconferencing not only be used for the instructor-student interaction, should also be used in peer collaboration process. Effective use of tools to promote human interactions 52% of the respondents hope the program to integrate more technology into its educational process 35

36 Suggestions from Faculty Use tools that project student personalities/identities Use video/synchronous conferencing tools Support audio message better in s Improve the chat tools 36

37 Suggestions from Faculty Improve the online grade book Tools to assess online work quantitatively and qualitatively Link the course resources to library resources The need for institutionalized support on developing multimedia elements (Tutorials, orientations, best practices, etc.) 37

38 Suggestions from Faculty Tools to connect different courses into a learning community We are all out there doing our own thing but it would be nice to know what everybody else was doing. It is sometimes difficult to go up and down the hall and say, Hey, are you teaching Kelly Direct? Can I look at your slides? 38

39 Summary and Discussion 39

40 Summary and Discussion Many issues related to creating and maintaining online teams; such issues include virtual team schedules, team building, and team size. Additional technologies designed for virtual teams to communicate, socialize, link information, and share and negotiate ideas need to be provided. There is a definite lack of interactive technology and a need for more advanced online tools. Student respondents reported that the technologies could be used better and more video and audio elements were suggested to be added to the courses. 40

41 Summary and Discussion Student engagement is a key online learning issue. The challenge of making online classes more interactive not only shows the importance of further research on this area, but also demonstrates a need for instructorinstructor interaction within the program as well as with outside experts. As many online educators have pointed out, it is vital that instructors be clearer and more organized when giving directions online. 41

42 Summary and Discussion Only when it comes to more sophisticated technologies or time to learn new techniques, instructors varied in their usage. Many innovative technologies will undoubtedly emerge during the next few years to push online MBA programs such as this one in new and exciting directions while also presenting new challenges and obstacles. 42

43 Overall Conclusions Overall positive attitudes toward online technology use Overall moderate level of technology interactivity in online courses Instructor comfort with asyn. over sync. Instructors needed a variety of facilitating skills Students needs better collaborative technology tools Needs balance of uses of high tech tools and students accessibility 43

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