Is It Worth the Effort? The Impact of Incorporating Synchronous Lectures into an Online Course

Joann S. Olson, Fawn E. McCracken


This study explores student achievement, sense of social community, and sense of learning community (Rovai, 2002) in two sections of an online course taught concurrently by the same instructor. One section was delivered in a fully asynchronous format; the other incorporated weekly synchronous lectures using an Adobe Connect environment. Students were randomly assigned to one of the two sections but allowed to change sections (before the semester began) if unwilling or unable to participate in weekly Adobe Connect meetings. Data included grades on course assignments, final course grades, end-of-course evaluations, and responses to the Classroom Community Inventory (Rovai, Wighting & Lucking, 2004). No significant differences were found on measures of academic achievement, student satisfaction, social community, or learning community between the two sections.


Online Education; Synchronous; Classroom Community Inventory; Social Community; Learning Community

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