Thursday, May 6, 2010


Online education has become an outlet for many students who seek higher education but cannot or will not attend classes in the classroom. Unfortunately, the drop out and failure rates of online classes is substantially higher than traditional education. Exploring the reasons why students enroll in these classes and finding ways to motivate them to do well lies in the hands of education restructuring and finding ways to promote better performance. The use of Constructivism will ultimately cut down the failure rate, making online education a profitable resource for universities.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Story

Well, my opinion of this topic has moved all over the place. At first, I was anti-online classes. I felt like if I had to go to school, why didn't everyone else? Then I opened up my mind to the other part of education that includes students who aren't as fortunate as me and need cheaper classes that can be accessed from more convenient places. So I looked into online classes and found out that the failure and drop out rates are sky-high compared to traditional education. I wanted to make the opportunity more equal for those who can't go to class physically. Plus, online education holds so many opportunities for additional revenue. Then Tisha told me about all the positives behind Hybrids, and I think this could be a great tool for Rutgers to expand on. I, like many other students, feel more comfortable behind a keyboard. I think I would voluntarily take a Hybrid if it was offered at Rutgers because the benefits are so vast. It would be nice to be able to log on and attend a class whenever I feel motivated and creative. I still have to figure out a solid answer to the problem, but overall, I feel like my view on this situation has made a 180, for the better.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Visual Aids

This image explains the comparison between traditional education and constructivism, which is a theoretical way to teach that allows students to become more motivated about a class or coursework.

This image shows a way to grade online students on their participation and quality of motivation .

Monday, March 29, 2010


Research Paper Outline:

Explain the foundation of what online education is and how it works. Who it benefits; students and universities.
- explain statistically who takes online classes and why do they take them? Dobbs
-- busy adults and lazy undergrauates
- explain financial benefits that could result from online classes (use Targum to compare to Rutgers)
Set up the problem: failure and drop out rate statistics and why online classes are not utilized as much as they should be.
-Use Park and Hee's article as to why online students do not pass and copmpare to Bell's article that explains how online classes are limiters because they only help certain types of students.
Establish the fact that motivation of the online student is what's restictling success.
- the online student has "handicaps" that are usually the reason why they enroll in these classes. Is it their responsbility to be motivated?
- Teachers instructing online classes may not feel responsible for motivating, but could it be their job to restructure classes so more students can succeed? Kirtman/Hunt
How can teachers motivate students to do well in online classes?
-Ransdell. Rovai
Discuss why putting the blame for failure on either the student or the teacher is unimportant. High failure is a problem that needs to be fixed, regardless of the reason. Leaving the motivation up tp the student will not solve the problem, but improving how teachers lead these classes will create a solution. constructivism! Rovai

The Case

As I continue to research and figure out what others have said on my topic, I keep gaining ideas that lead me in a definite direction, but I'm definitely not done determining the best solution for online education motivation. I know that establishing a class that engages in material and analyzes information successfully are the leading factors that distinguish a successful online class. I have read a few articles that explain how teaching instructors to use new methods to teach a class will result in more success. This includes a style that utilizes student-led classes; rather than have the teacher control the class and allow some students to fall behind, the instructor would simply supply the backbone of the class. I believe this method could be an answer to the problem, but only on a certain level. Math classes and other classes that rely on the teachers to do the talking wouldn't thrive on this technique of teaching. This style could definitely motivate students to take the moose my the horns in a literature class. I'm not exactly sure what to do for classes with less-exciting material... One source mentioned that student motivation is strictly a combination of student-faculty interactions, students' critical thinking skills, student-to-student relations and student motivation. I think these elements could be universal for any type of online class. These elements actually make a lot of sense because the classes I have enjoyed and done the best in incorporate all these elements. I let myself fall behind in the classes than don't "do anything for me". I want my classes to HELP me do well. I want to know why the information is important and I want to understand what it takes to do well.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Debate

Throughout my paper,there are a few debates, but my focus isn't on the debates. My focus is on a solution to the problem at hand. To better understand a solution, I supposed I should look closely at the debates in detail. First, the debate between university and professors. The university wants to expand the online course selection and create revenue through enrolling students online. In opposition, many teachers are hesitant to teach these classes because a.) they are scared of the unknown and b.) failure rates are high. This leads to creating a better system for teaching professors how to teach online classes so that every teacher for an online class is educated on how to lead an online class in the best way possible. Also, requirements will be stricter to take online classes so these teachers are working with students who strive to do well instead of slackers who think online classes are an easy solution to traditional classes.
Another debate is between students and teachers. Is it the teacher's responsibility to motivate students to try harder in classes or is it solely the student's responsibility to strive to do well in classes? Although it is obvious that the student must try to do well in classes, online classes are a relatively new approach to higher education and the kinks in the system need to be worked out before placing all the blame on the students. Yes, it is important to limit the student body of online classes to students who will understand the work load of an online class, but more work has to be done before any true blame is placed on anyone. Teachers need to figure out a way to positively motivate students through certain methods that need to be transcribed to an online course. Once all possible measures have been taken to strengthen the system, then we can assume the failure is the fault of the student and not the class or the teacher. Again, it is very important to strictly limit which students take online classes. If it is true that many students that fail online classes also fail other classes consistently, then making the students meet certain requirements will eliminate this pool of students.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Blog #9

Well, I guess I'm supposed to ask you what you could do for me in regards to my research paper. I think you've already done a lot for me, but I supposed if you want to help me even more I can find something for you to do :). First, are there any specific questions you think I should include in my interview of Tisha? I'm almost done composing the email, but it would be nice to have your input, as well. Second, do you think I have a good enough argument to work with? I'm worried that simply researching how to motivate online students, seeing who statistically takes online classes, and the argument regarding whether the success of online classes is the concern of teachers or not doesn't have enough impact to interest a reader and prove a strong point. If you think I have a good argument though, I will take your word for it. Other than that, I think I'm on a good path. :)