That concept is further from the truth as Angel, Bilingual and Crone prove in the case study they performed at the University of Pretoria in 2007 when they stated student that do not participate in the class “disrupt the formation of a virtual community of learners and compromise learning. ” To prove that participation is important, Angel, Bilingual, and Crone observed an 8 week course on a computer integrated education course in a web-based distance learning class to Masters Students, ages 30 – 50. Each week students had to research online topics, make discussion post, and view post of other students.
The second half of the course, students were divided into groups and had to collaborate in order to successfully complete assignments. The final grade of the course was not used to determine success. Instead, they used ongoing year marks that reflected a wider spectrum of mastery and application. (Angel, Bilingual and Crone, 2007). Throughout the study, students were monitored for their online visibility. Students who were posting to the discussion board, replying to post of other students, and working together to get understanding of the course material ere highly successful.
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Successful students would start discussion post but would reply more often to posts made by other students. The successful students tended to reply more often to other post than they started. It was determined that students who logged on infrequently compromised their success. The less successful students replied less to discussion posts and had low collaboration scores. Low scoring students did not make contributions that benefited the online community. The conclusion of the study supports the theory that participation is a vital key to the success of students in an inline learning environment.