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International Journal of Information Technology & Computer Science ( IJITCS )

Abstract :

Technological advances are shaping the educational system to meet the growing demands of new generation in a “global classroom”. The online human physiology course developed at the University of Toronto has provided a test case for online courses for both distance and on campus learners. These courses provide flexibility and self-directed learning in a semi-structured environment for both local and global students to learn physiology at their own pace and place. Both local and global online courses include lecture videos, online discussion boards available 24/7, virtual office hours, and constant support and monitoring of the course website by a teaching assistant (TA) and the course coordinator (CC). The evaluation and assessment consists of about five online quizzes and a proctored final exam. Our online on-campus courses are considered blended online courses as they combine online-based components with face-to-face time with the TA and CC. In this study we compare the two types of online courses – virtual distance online (VDOC) and blended (on-campus) online (BOC) – in terms of method of delivery, student demographics, educational background, course/degree requirement, performance, and experience rating. While the learning experience is similar in both types of courses, there is an interesting difference in terms of group dynamics, course averages and participation on the course discussion board. The data from these two types of courses will also be compared with an identical on campus course which has no online component to assess the efficiency of online courses as a teaching tool.

Keywords :

: online; virtual online; blended online; videos, discussion board, virtual office hours.

References :

  1. D. Tapscott, Grown up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World, McGraw-Hill, 2008.
  2. T. W. Au, S. Sadiq, and X. Li, “Learning from Experience: Can eLearning Technology Be Used as a Vehicle?” Proceedings of the International Conference on e-Learning;2009, p32
  3. C. Perumalla, J. Mak, N. Kee, and S. Matthews, “Integrating Web Applications to Provide an Effective Distance Online Learning Environment for Students” Procedia Computer Science 3 (2011): 770-784.
  4. M. Bermejo and A. Sanchez, “Improving Learning Experience: Detection of Team Roles in a Discussion Forum” Proceedings of the International Conference on e-Learning;2009, p52.
  5. N. Kee, C. Palmer, S. Matthews, and C. Perumalla “Efficacy of Online Learning - Comparison Between Online and On-campus Physiology Students' Experience” (STHLE).

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