The author redesigned a course titled “Applied Information Technology: Networking” and applied online collaborative learning (CL) with initiation and self‐regulated learning (SRL) to improve students’ involvement in this course in an environment that is full of free online games, shopping websites, and social networking websites. The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential effects of online CL with initiation and SRL on students’ involvement.
This study designed an intervention of online CL with initiation and SRL to improve students’ involvement and their learning in a blended course. It is believed that this article is important to the computing field and could provide insight for teachers to design their online courses and teaching methods.
The author in this study adopted SRL in the implementation of online CL with initiation, and explored their effects on improving students’ involvement. The results of this empirical study report that the effects of online CL with initiation and SRL were positive, and led to the best involvement in the blended course among the three classes.
The effects of online CL with initiation and SRL in this study were positive; however, problems of experimental validity may result from students in the comparison group being incidentally exposed to the treatment condition, having more enthusiastic teaching, being more motivated than students in the control group, etc. (Gribbons and Herman). Besides, some other contextual factors and individual behaviours might influence students’ online learning effects. For example, students’ adaptability to the online learning environments and their readiness for self‐directed learning may result in the differences of the effects among the three groups (Shen, Lee and Tsai).
The internet has enabled a shift from contiguous learning groups to asynchronous distributed learning groups utilizing computer‐supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environments (Kreijns, Kirschner and Jochems). It is expected that the interventions of online teaching methods, course design, and learning activities in this study may provide a reference for teachers, particularly for blended learning computing courses.
The results of this study report that the effects of online CL with initiation and SRL were positive, and contributed to the best involvement in the blended course among the three classes. The author further discusses the implications for schools and teachers who plan to provide online or blended learning for their students.
First, this study provides a scenario about how to help students collaborate and learn regularly, and improve their involvement in a blended course through online CL and SRL, particularly for computing courses. Second, this study specifies how teachers can provide initiation to help students climb the learning curve and overcome the bottlenecks typically encountered in the implementation of online CL. Third, this study is one of the first attempts to explore and demonstrate the effects of online CL with initiation and SRL in a blended course simultaneously.
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