Roseland & Saeger

Addressing the Elephant in the Room: What One Graduate Program Did to Preserve Program Quality When Converting a Face-to-Face Program to an Online, Asynchronous Degree Program

Denise Roseland, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6500-6919    
 Karla Saeger, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6026-8063

https://doi.org/10.9743/JEO.2023.20.2.10

Abstract

This study examines whether applying purposeful course design that includes a standardized, easy-to-navigate learning management system (LMS), a focus on creating teacher presence, and the establishment of an environment that provides a feeling of community and inclusion among students can foster retention when a degree program shifts from face-to-face (FTF) to fully online. Using Rovai’s Classroom Community Scale (CCS), this study examined student perceptions of the rigor of learning and the presence of community in a fully online asynchronous degree program. The results were mixed in the study. The study could not detect a significant presence of community among students in the program, but it confirmed students’ perception that learning was rigorous. Findings highlight the challenges in building community online and the importance of deliberate, research-based online course design.


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