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Learning Technology Research

The UW-Whitewater Learning Technology Center (LTC) frequently conducts research on issues related to learning technology and student success. LTC research generally follows two tracks: (1) evaluating specific learning technologies, and (2) examining potential predictors of student success in technology-mediated environments. More recently, the LTC has begun exploring learning analytics as well.

Recently, LTC research on online active learning, online learning climate, and student engagement was published in the journal “Interactive Learning Environments.”

If you are interested in collaborating with the LTC on research relating to learning technologies and student success, please contact the LTC (ltc@uww.edu).


Purpose
To better understand the current status of online learning at UWW, the UWW LTC requested online course grade and completion data from the UWW Registrar’s Office (Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, and Spring 2016 semesters). The hope was to find some predictors of UWW student successful online course completion that could be used to inform online teaching and learning best practices.

What did we do?
Student course completion/success was defined in terms of successful completion (a grade of “C” or higher, or “Satisfactory” status). We ran statistical analyses on each semester to identify any predictive value in a number of variables (including race, sex, first generation student status, age, and GPA) on student success/completion.

What did we find?
Higher cumulative grade point average (GPA) was the only item found that positively predicted passing online courses in every semester. No variable negatively predicted passing online courses in every semester was found. UWW students with higher cumulative GPAs appear to be more likely to successfully complete online courses.


Purpose
In order to gain understanding of how UWW students perceive the learning experience in online courses at UWW, the UWW LTC surveyed students taking online courses in the Fall 2016 semester. The purpose was to identify some student demographic and affective factors that might predict how much UWW students perceived learning in online courses.

What did we do?
The LTC administered an online survey to UWW students currently enrolled in online courses that included a number of demographic items (e.g., age, race), academic items (e.g., first-generation status, technology barriers), and affective items (e.g., learner empowerment, communication satisfaction). 494 students completed the survey.

What did we find?
Student motivation toward the specific course, a perception of being able to impact/influence the direction of the course, and the perceived meaningfulness of the course all appeared positively related to students’ perceptions of learning in the course. Student motivation and perceived meaningfulness of the course also appeared related to each other.



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