Introducing a Dedicated Prototype Application Tool for Measuring Student's Online Learning Levels of Engagement in a Problem-based Learning Context

P. K. Oriogun and E. Ramsay (UK)

Keywords

Computer Mediated Communication, ProblemBased Learning, ProblemBased Learning, JavaScript, Java Servlet Pages

Abstract

Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) messaging is an invaluable tool for the promotion of learning in higher education institutions. The use of bulletin boards and email has become a standard way for lecturers to communicate with their students, and for students to communicate with one another. However one of the long-standing disadvantages regarding existing bulletin board systems is that they offer no simple way for educators to objectively measure students’ levels of online learning engagement. The SQUAD approach to CMC discourse addresses the difficulty by providing a means through which statistics compiled from students’ online discourse can be used to generate objective estimations of their degree of learning engagement within a problem-based learning context. In this paper the authors present SQUAD v 2.0, an enhanced implementation of the SQUAD approach, which overcomes many of the shortcomings of its predecessor. We furthermore elaborate our findings after having implemented the software within a practical learning context, and estimate its value as a means of enhancing students’ online learning levels of engagement. It is our intention and hope that future work will be to develop this current version to a marketable product.

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