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Learning Trajectories and the Role of Online Courses in a Language Program


Computer Assisted Language Learning Volume 31, Number 3, ISSN 0958-8221


Currently there is a push toward offering more language courses online because they can provide students with new forms of social and learning interaction, widen their access to education, and offer an individualized learning experience in large classes. Little research exists examining how students transition between online and on-campus language courses and what effect this has on students' academic success. We analyzed student data from language courses with online and on-campus counterparts, to better understand the extent to which online learning enables students to meet their intended learning outcomes. Our goals were to establish how the medium of learning (online vs. classroom) impacts students' academic success, to identify patterns in the students' transitioning between online and on-campus courses, and to gather evidence-based information about students' course choices and their decisions about online vs. on-campus. In addition to the comprehensive statistical analysis of learner data, we conducted a qualitative analysis of language biography surveys and semi-structured interviews with students currently enrolled in the German program. While the statistical data provided a birds-eye view of student trajectories over 10 years, the surveys and interviews gave us in-depth information about individual learning trajectories and students' curricular decisions.


Schulze, M. & Scholz, K. (2018). Learning Trajectories and the Role of Online Courses in a Language Program. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 31(3), 185-205. Retrieved April 3, 2020 from .

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