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Enhancing Classroom Interaction in Distance Education Utilizing the World Wide Web

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Mid-South Educational Research Association Annual Meeting,


This study evaluated strategies to encourage interaction in a distance education setting, specifically a Ball State University (Indiana) distance graduate-level course in Elementary School Curriculum which utilized the World Wide Web and a "Class Page." Participants were primarily elementary school teachers (47 graduate students) who completed survey instruments concerning their participation on the "Class Page," interactions with both the instructor and other students, and utilization of Web resources. An initial survey regarding students' computer literacy skills and usage patterns was followed by seven additional surveys throughout the semester which focused on "Class Page" usage and interaction patterns. Among the findings were: student views regarding the value of getting to know fellow classmates shifted from 0 percent (Week 2) to 88 percent (Week 15); students judging they were able to freely express their views went from 11 percent (Week 2) to 91 percent (Week 15). Increases were also noted across the semester concerning out-of-class participation, enjoyment using the Internet, use of e-mail, and appreciation of the distance environment tools for encouraging involvement and interaction. Although many students questioned the usefulness of the "Page" at the beginning of the semester, the final survey found all viewed the "Page" as useful. (Contains 11 references.) (DB)


Thompson, J.C., Malm, L.D., Malone, B.G., Nay, F.W., Oliver, B.E. & Saunders, N.G. (1997). Enhancing Classroom Interaction in Distance Education Utilizing the World Wide Web. Presented at Mid-South Educational Research Association Annual Meeting 1997. Retrieved April 17, 2021 from .

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