Simonsons Equivalency Theory Discussion

Simonsons Equivalency Theory Discussion ORDER NOW FOR CUSTOMIZED AND ORIGINAL ESSAY PAPERS ON Simonsons Equivalency Theory Discussion You are required to post a thread to each discussion topic by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of the assigned module/week. When you are posting a text-based thread, it must be substantive and a minimum of 250 words. (Remember this is discussion). Each thread must contain 3 APA style, peer-reviewed references. Current APA reference format is required for citations, and a reference list in current APA format is required at the conclusion of each thread. Proper grammar, as outlined in the APA manual, is expected. Simonsons Equivalency Theory Discussion Simonson et al.: chs. 11–12 Spector et al.: chs. 20, 68 After this module/week’s lesson and reading, discuss Simonson’s Equivalency Theory and how it might affect how universities or K–12, handle development, implementation, and management of a distance learning program. ch_11.zip ch_12.zip grades__student_satisfaction_and_retention_in_online_and_face_to_face_introductory_psychology_units_a_test_of_equivalency_theory.pdf ORIGINAL RESEARCH published: 10 May 2016 doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00673 Grades, Student Satisfaction and Retention in Online and Face-to-Face Introductory Psychology Units: A Test of Equivalency Theory David Garratt-Reed 1*, Lynne D. Roberts 1* and Brody Heritage 2 1 School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Curtin University, Bentley, WA, Australia, 2 School of Psychology and Exercise Science, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA, Australia Edited by: Stephen Wee Hun Lim, National University of Singapore, Singapore Reviewed by: Ludmila Nunes, Purdue University, USA and University of Lisbon, Portugal Junhong Yu, The University of Hong Kong, China *Correspondence: David Garratt-Reed [email protected]; Lynne D. Roberts [email protected] Specialty section: This article was submitted to Educational Psychology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology Received: 19 February 2016 Accepted: 22 April 2016 Published: 10 May 2016 Citation: Garratt-Reed D, Roberts LD and Heritage B (2016) Grades, Student Satisfaction and Retention in Online and Face-to-Face Introductory Psychology Units: A Test of Equivalency Theory. Front. Psychol. 7:673. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00673 There has been a recent rapid growth in the number of psychology courses offered online through institutions of higher education. The American Psychological Association has highlighted the importance of ensuring the effectiveness of online psychology courses (Halonen et al., 2013). Despite this, there have been inconsistent findings regarding student grades, satisfaction, and retention in online psychology units. Equivalency Theory (Simonson, 1999; Simonson et al., 1999) posits that online and classroom-based learners will attain equivalent learning outcomes when equivalent learning experiences are provided. We present a study of an online introductory psychology unit designed to provide equivalent learning experiences to the preexisting face-to-face version of the unit. Using quasi-experimental methods, academic performance, student feedback, and retention data from 866 Australian undergraduate psychology students were examined to assess whether the online unit developed to provide equivalent learning experiences produced comparable outcomes to the ‘traditional’ unit delivered face-to-face. Student grades did not significantly differ between modes of delivery, except for a group-work based assessment where online students performed more poorly. Student satisfaction was generally high in both modes of the unit, with group-work the key source of dissatisfaction in the online unit. The results provide partial support for Equivalency Theory. The group-work based assessment did not provide an equivalent learning experience for students in the online unit highlighting the need for further research to determine effective methods of engaging students in online group activities. Consistent with previous research, retention rates were significantly lower in the online unit, indicating the need to develop effective strategies to increase online retention rates. Simonsons Equivalency Theory Discussion While this study demonstrates successes in presenting students with an equivalent learning experience, we recommend that future research investigate means of successfully facilitating collaborative group-work assessment, and to explore contributing factors to actual student retention in online units beyond that of non-equivalent learning experiences. Keywords: equivalency theory, online learning, introductory psychology, group-work, student retention Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 1 May 2016 | Volume 7 | Article 673 Garratt-Reed et al. Equivalency Online Psychology is no definitive answer as to whether online psychology units foster similar student grades to face-to-face versions of those units. The inconsistent findings regarding student grades in psychology-specific units and courses are mirrored in the literature comparing online and face-to-face classes across disciplines (e.g., Wang and Newlin, 2000; Poirier and Feldman, 2004). The variability in study results is reflected in meta-analytic effect sizes indicating no overall difference in student grade outcomes for online and face-to-face units, despite widespread variability in individual study findings (e.g., Bernard et al., 2004a,b; Sitzmann et al., 2006; Lahti et al., 2014). It seems that the question of whether online units (psychology-specific or otherwise) can produce educational outcomes comparable to face-to-face courses has been settled (Bernard et al., 2004b; Borokhovski et al., 2012). However, the question of whether and when they actually do appears to be more complicated, as indicated by the inconsistency in results of studies comparing student grades across the two delivery media. Bernard et al. (2004b) suggested that that a variety of factors, including instructional techniques, can lead to students in online units achieving different grades to their classroom-based peers, contributing to this inconsistency in findings throughout the literature. One reason for the inconsistency in student grades is that, in most cases, online units are designed with the assumption that online learning is fundamentally different to face-to-face learning, in that learners and instructors are separate from one another. As a result, the majority of online courses have not been designed to provide directly equivalent learning experiences to their face-to-face counterparts (Karatas and Simsek, 2009). Consequently, most studies comparing face-to-face and online learning do so using courses that have not been specifically designed to be equivalent, even if the instructor, content, and/or some other variables are the same (Karatas and Simsek, 2009). Consequently, it is difficult to ascertain whether grade differences observed are the result of variables related to study mode, or instead reflective of differences in course structure and content presentation (e.g., Clark, 1994). v Equivalency Theory (Simonson, 1999, p. 7; Simonson et al., 1999) is based on the notion that “instructional experiences are essential to learning” and that no student, regardless of study mode, should be forced to endure lesser instructional experiences. Consequently, students who study in the online mode require learning experiences that are specifically tailored to their learning environment. This theory stipulates that online and classroom-based learners will attain equivalent learning outcomes only when equivalent learning experiences are afforded to them and that, therefore, online units should be designed to provide equivalent learning experiences to faceto-face units: “Such an approach suggests that course designers create learning experiences of equivalent value for learners regardless of the course delivery medium, allowing that the experiences themselves could be different” (Lapsley et al., 2008, p. 2). This assertion is consistent with Clark (1994) argument that content delivery, rather than format, is likely to be the key variable determining student outcomes. It is also INTRODUCTION In contemporary higher education there is a significant movement toward offering online units and courses as an alternative to traditional, face-to-face study (e.g., Mandernach et al., 2012; Xin et al., 2015). This applies to the discipline of psychology, despite faculty skepticism regarding teaching psychology online (Tanner et al., 2009; Mandernach et al., 2012). Indeed, the American Psychological Association (APA) has indicated the importance of ensuring the effectiveness of online psychology units (Halonen et al., 2013). Where a unit is offered in face-to-face and online format, it is important to demonstrate that online students are not at a disadvantage to their classroombased peers (or vice-versa). Consequently, it is pertinent to examine the equivalence of learning outcomes for students who study psychology online compared to those studying in the faceto-face mode. When comparing the effectiveness of online units with face-to-face units, three variables are of importance. The first of these is student grades, the second is student satisfaction, and the third is student retention (Bernard et al., 2004b; Lyke and Frank, 2012; Xin et al., 2015). Research on student grades in online psychology units has, to date, produced inconsistent findings. For example, Xin et al. (2015) found that, despite no pre-existing differences in grade point average, students in a traditional undergraduate exercise psychology course performed better on the examination and on overall course grade when compared to students in the online or hybrid versions of the course. Similar results were obtained by Edmonds (2006) upon analyzing the examination results of 175 undergraduates who completed a general psychology unit either online or in face-to-face mode between 1998 and 2003. Students in the face-to-face classroom performed significantly better on examinations after controlling for prior academic performance (there were no differences before applying this control). Simonsons Equivalency Theory Discussion In contrast, Lyke and Frank (2012) found no differences in the performance on unit quizzes of online compared to face-to-face students in a theories of counseling course. Other studies have mirrored this finding of no difference in student grades (e.g., Lawson, 2000; Graham, 2001; Waschull, 2001; Dell et al., 2010) between the modes of unit delivery. However other research has indicated that students studying online psychology courses achieve higher grades than those in the equivalent classroom-based course (e.g., Maki et al., 2000; Taylor, 2002; Upton and Cooper, 2003; Nguyen, 2013). However, it has been suggested that students who are driven to study online are likely to be more organized and selfmotivated than their classroom-based peers (Lapsley et al., 2008), highlighting the need for studies that randomly assign students to study mode (something that is not always feasible or ethically defensible). Poirier and Feldman (2004) randomly allocated students to either an online or face-to-face method of teaching in an introductory psychology course. They found that online students (n = 12) outperformed face-to-face students (n = 9) on exams, but that there were no differences in assignment grades between the two groups. However, given the small sample size in Poirier and Feldman’s study, these results cannot be generalized with confidence. To date, there Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 2 May 2016 | Volume 7 | Article 673 Garratt-Reed et al. Equivalency Online Psychology equivalent learning experiences to the face-to-face version of the unit. It remains unclear whether equivalent learning experiences will result in equivalent levels of satisfaction for students, as indicated by studies showing that online students can achieve higher marks, yet be less satisfied with the unit, compared to face-to-face students (e.g., Maki et al., 2000). Another important factor to consider, in terms of the effectiveness of online units, is student retention. Online courses typically involve much higher attrition rates than face-to-face courses (El-Tigi and Branch, 1997; Olson and Wisher, 2002; Van Doorn and Van Doorn, 2014), possibly due to feelings of isolation caused by lack of face-to-face interaction. From a review of the literature, Bowers and Kumar (2015) suggested that higher rates of attrition that are typically observed in online courses are related to students’ low perceived sense of connectedness and perceived lack of instructor presence. Consequently, “carefully designed interactions, faculty student contact and ongoing instructor feedback” (Bowers and Kumar, 2015, p. 29) are critical for student retention. There has been limited research regarding student attrition/retention in online psychology courses, although evidence suggests higher attrition rates compared to face-to-face classes (Neff and Donaldson, 2013). Simonsons Equivalency Theory Discussion Nevertheless, Nguyen (2013) did not find different rates of retention for face-to-face and online psychology courses across 92 different psychology classes within the same institution. The current study therefore aims to compare student grades and satisfaction, as well as retention rates, in online and face-toface versions of an introductory psychology unit. Unlike previous studies in this area, the online unit was explicitly designed with Equivalency Theory (Simonson, 1999) in mind, with the aim of providing equivalent learning experiences as those afforded in the face-to-face version of the unit. The online version of introductory psychology was designed to be equivalent to the face-to-face version that was running concurrently. We provide the following summary of the design of the face-to-face and fully online psychology units to provide context to the forthcoming analyses. In terms of the format of presentation to students, both versions of the unit were run through a learning management system (BlackboardTM ), with relevant course materials posted into online folders for student access. The unit coordinators (DG-R and BH) posted announcements relating to course materials and assessments which were equivalent for both study modes. Discussion Boards within Blackboard were used for posting and answering assessment and general unit-related questions in both versions of the unit. The same textbook was used in both versions of the unit. Content organization in the online version of the unit was divided into the same six modules covered in the face-to-face version of the unit. Each module focused on different topic areas in psychology (e.g., personality) and a new module was available for students every two teaching weeks, corresponding to the timing of the equivalent module release schedule in the face-to-face unit. This was done to enhance equivalence between the study modes by allowing the unit coordinators to provide focused feedback on each individual module for consistent with meta-analytic findings from Sitzmann et al. (2006) that online and face-to-face units produced equivalent student outcomes when the same instructional methods (such as providing online lectures for online students, rather than written materials) were used. Consistent with this, Bernard et al. (2004b, p. 108) suggested that their meta-analytic findings indicated that online courses should be made “more like face-to-face instruction” to be maximally effective. Dell et al. (2010) suggested that class format is less important than the educational strategies employed in teaching psychology classes. Nevertheless, few studies have set out to directly test Equivalency Theory by comparing student grades across delivery modes whereby the online unit has been designed to be directly equivalent to its face-to-face counterpart. It is therefore pertinent to compare student learning outcomes in online units and face-to-face units where the instructional methods (including provision of feedback) have been designed to be equivalent (Lapsley et al., 2008). Simonsons Equivalency Theory Discussion This should provide a more stringent test of whether online and face-to-face units afford students similar learning opportunities. It should also facilitate further exploration of other factors that might mediate differences in outcomes. In the current study this is achieved through the comparison of an online and face-to-face version of an introductory psychology unit that have been designed to be equivalent. Beyond the consideration of student grades, student satisfaction is important because it positively predicts student retention and is linked to student learning outcomes (Lyke and Frank, 2012). Mixed results have been reported when comparing student satisfaction in face-to-face and online psychology courses. Poirier and Feldman (2004) reported that students enrolled in an online introduction to psychology course were more satisfied with their instructors and with the amount and quality of interactions than were their classroombased counterparts, although there were no differences in overall course satisfaction. However, Taylor (2002) found that introductory psychology students were more satisfied with the face-to-face course than its online equivalent, despite overall high levels of satisfaction. Maki et al. (2000) also found that online introductory psychology students were less satisfied with the unit than were their face-to-face counterparts, despite achieving higher grades. Waschull (2001) reported no difference in course satisfaction in two studies comparing online and face-to-face students in an introductory psychology course. Meta-analytic studies across disciplines provide further insight into student satisfaction across media. In their metaanalysis, Sitzmann et al. (2006) reported that levels of student satisfaction were similar for online and classroom-based courses. Allen et al. (2002) conducted a meta-analysis which suggested that online students prefer online learning formats involving more visual information, including visualization of the instructor (compared to text-only). Boling et al. (2012) found similar results in a more recent qualitative study. Again, it is important to examine student satisfaction with online learning in a psychology unit designed to provide Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 3 May 2016 | Volume 7 | Article 673 Garratt-Reed et al. Equivalency Online Psychology a presentation. However, to ensure that students were not disadvantaged due to lack of access to appropriate technology, students were required to submit a PowerPoint presentation, with speaker notes. Simonsons Equivalency Theory Discussion Although this was designed to approximate equivalence to the classroom-based presentations, it is unclear to what extent this assignment was actually providing equivalent learning experiences for students, especially given Biasutti’s (2011) finding that online students typically are dissatisfied with the requirement to conduct group work. A summary of the differences between the face-to-face and online unit is presented in Table 1. online students at the same time as providing that feedback for the face-to-face students. To start each module, online students clicked on the module heading in Blackboard. Module content was presented in sequenced pages, allowing students to progress through the module content in a sequential order that reflected the content ordering in the face-to-face version of the unit. In terms of lecture delivery, lectures in the face-to-face unit consisted of 50 min presentations, which were recorded and could be re-watched by students at their convenience. Lecture content for the online students consisted of brief (typically 5-15 min) lecture segments, specifically recorded for the online unit, which provided the same content as lectures in the face-to-face unit, but in smaller chunks (e.g., Kahn, 2012, as cited in Glance et al., 2013). Consequently, online students were not required to conduct extra reading compared to face-to-face students, unlike in many online units (e.g., O’Neill and Sai, 2014). This design decision aimed to enhance equivalence between the study modes. Lecture segments were typically presented by the same staff member who presented the face-to-face lectures. In addition, following each lecture segment, linking text invited students to participate in various activities that were designed to be equivalent to tutorials in the face-to-face unit. For example, they would be invited to use the Blog posts to discuss and apply the content of lecture segments or invited to complete questionnaires online and discuss the outcomes in the same manner as students would in the face-to-face tutorials. Blogs in particular were designed to provide interaction opportunities between students that would occur in tutorial classes. The equivalency-based design of the online unit, including the visual presentation of material (Allen et al., 2002), and the provision of equivalent support and guidance and opportunities … Get a 10 % discount on an order above $ 100 Use the following coupon code : NURSING10

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