Quiet Participation: Investigating non-posting activities in online learning

Lesley Wilton

Abstract


Despite the growth in online learning offerings in K-12 and higher education, limited research has been undertaken to better understand less visible online learning activities. Reading and rereading are not typically valued as important indicators of learning since number or frequency of entries, words or key phrases are usually visible and easily tracked. This paper addresses reading, writing and revisiting behaviours by cluster groups in eight online courses, and looks for patterns related to rereading. Participant perceptions of the value of rereading entries in online learning are discussed. The findings highlight the importance of a more nuanced understanding of the different roles reading and rereading play in online learning discussions. This research informs our understanding of the importance of non-posting behaviors to student learning. Instructionally, these results may encourage valuing of different “paths” to online learning success beyond the criterion of written entries.

Despite the growth in online learning offerings in K-12 and higher education, limited research has been undertaken to better understand less visible online learning activities. Reading and rereading are not typically valued as important indicators of learning since number or frequency of entries, words or key phrases are usually visible and easily tracked. This paper addresses reading, writing and revisiting behaviours by cluster groups in eight online courses, and looks for patterns related to rereading. Participant perceptions of the value of rereading entries in online learning are discussed. The findings highlight the importance of a more nuanced understanding of the different roles reading and rereading play in online learning discussions. This research informs our understanding of the importance of non-posting behaviors to student learning. Instructionally, these results may encourage valuing of different “paths” to online learning success beyond the criterion of written entries.


Keywords


Online learning discussions, rereading, revisiting, non-posting participation

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v22i4.1518