Title

An Examination of Online Discussions in Higher Education: Leveraging Technology to Increase Learner Engagement and Collaboration

Presenter Email

mrusekb@erau.edu

Location

Jim W. Henderson Administration & Welcome Center (Bldg. #602)

Start Date

14-8-2018 1:00 PM

End Date

14-8-2018 2:30 PM

Submission Type

Presentation

Other Topic Area

Aviation and Aerospace Higher Education

Keywords

Aviation and Aerospace higher education; technology; online discussion boards

Abstract

The online learning environment continues to evolve, seeking to meet the needs of students and researchers alike. The role of discussion boards in this process, however, continues to be an area of concern and research, particularly in aviation and aerospace higher education. While it has been argued that convenience should not replace quality, scholarship shows that many online discussion boards fail to achieve the intended transfer and collaborative construction of knowledge among students, which is of utmost importance for the education of aviation and aerospace professionals. Research also suggests that learner engagement and collaboration are necessary in order to achieve the highest standards of academic quality in this environment. The role of technology, however, may provide opportunities to address current challenges and inadequacies with online discussion boards. This research study evaluated the extent to which the inclusion of audio technology in online discussion boards enhanced learner engagement and collaboration, thereby enhancing the intended transfer of knowledge. Using Edward Deming’s Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle for continuous improvement as the framework, an experimental research approach was taken, utilizing surveys from both students and instructors. The use of an experimental and control group was used to determine the extent to which the inclusion of audio technology, specifically VoiceThread, enhanced learner engagement and collaboration in the online learning environment.

Comments

Presented during Session 5: Educating Students in Aviation

Presenter Biography

Bettina Mrusek earned her Bachelor of Science in Management and MBA from Park University and her PhD in Business Administration from Northcentral University. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Bettina has been working with Embry-Riddle since 2014. She began as a Veteran’s Affairs Counselor for the Worldwide campus and then transitioned to a full-time faculty member in 2016.

Prior to joining ERAU, Bettina served in the United States Marine Corps for 14 years. She worked as an avionics communication and navigation technician and supervisor for multiple aircraft platforms, including both rotary and fixed-wing. In addition to her job as a technician, Bettina also worked in operations and supervised the Mobile Maintenance Facility program. She has a wide array of knowledge and experience with operations, avionics systems, safety, aircraft maintenance and inspections, general aviation, and management.

View Bettina Mrusek’s Bio Page

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Aug 14th, 1:00 PM Aug 14th, 2:30 PM

An Examination of Online Discussions in Higher Education: Leveraging Technology to Increase Learner Engagement and Collaboration

Jim W. Henderson Administration & Welcome Center (Bldg. #602)

The online learning environment continues to evolve, seeking to meet the needs of students and researchers alike. The role of discussion boards in this process, however, continues to be an area of concern and research, particularly in aviation and aerospace higher education. While it has been argued that convenience should not replace quality, scholarship shows that many online discussion boards fail to achieve the intended transfer and collaborative construction of knowledge among students, which is of utmost importance for the education of aviation and aerospace professionals. Research also suggests that learner engagement and collaboration are necessary in order to achieve the highest standards of academic quality in this environment. The role of technology, however, may provide opportunities to address current challenges and inadequacies with online discussion boards. This research study evaluated the extent to which the inclusion of audio technology in online discussion boards enhanced learner engagement and collaboration, thereby enhancing the intended transfer of knowledge. Using Edward Deming’s Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle for continuous improvement as the framework, an experimental research approach was taken, utilizing surveys from both students and instructors. The use of an experimental and control group was used to determine the extent to which the inclusion of audio technology, specifically VoiceThread, enhanced learner engagement and collaboration in the online learning environment.