Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Engaging online students through peer-comparison progress dashboards

Engaging online students through peer-comparison progress dashboards PurposeStudents studying exclusively online face the challenge of gauging their progress in relation to that of their disparate peers. The purpose of this paper is to describe the creation of a student progress “dashboard” in an online Masters programme, and the perceived effectiveness of the tool for engaging students.Design/methodology/approachTableau® visualisation software was used to create a dashboard displaying cohort comparison data comprising metrics relating to the continuous assessment components of the Masters programme. An anonymous questionnaire gauged students’ perceptions of the dashboard.FindingsFeedback from students (n=137) suggests the dashboard improved their motivation, incentivising change in study behaviours, and sense of belonging to an online community of learners. It also acted as a conversation catalyst between staff and students, whereby students more readily engaged in dialogue with their personal tutor.Practical implicationsDistance learners are more likely to feel isolated and can become demotivated, which contributes to typically higher levels of withdrawal from online programmes vs those delivered on-campus. Tutors may consider communicating progress data as dashboards to enable online students to monitor their academic progress alongside that of their peers, as a motivational tool in an otherwise disparate group of learners, and to reduce feelings of isolation by reminding distance learners that they are part of a larger online community.Originality/valueThis paper shares student and tutor perspectives on the use of dashboards to increase online students’ motivation, and examines whether the benefits of a peer-comparison dashboard are reserved for high-achieving students. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education Emerald Publishing

Engaging online students through peer-comparison progress dashboards

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/engaging-online-students-through-peer-comparison-progress-dashboards-lPbwBSO8Yj
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2050-7003
DOI
10.1108/JARHE-11-2018-0249
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeStudents studying exclusively online face the challenge of gauging their progress in relation to that of their disparate peers. The purpose of this paper is to describe the creation of a student progress “dashboard” in an online Masters programme, and the perceived effectiveness of the tool for engaging students.Design/methodology/approachTableau® visualisation software was used to create a dashboard displaying cohort comparison data comprising metrics relating to the continuous assessment components of the Masters programme. An anonymous questionnaire gauged students’ perceptions of the dashboard.FindingsFeedback from students (n=137) suggests the dashboard improved their motivation, incentivising change in study behaviours, and sense of belonging to an online community of learners. It also acted as a conversation catalyst between staff and students, whereby students more readily engaged in dialogue with their personal tutor.Practical implicationsDistance learners are more likely to feel isolated and can become demotivated, which contributes to typically higher levels of withdrawal from online programmes vs those delivered on-campus. Tutors may consider communicating progress data as dashboards to enable online students to monitor their academic progress alongside that of their peers, as a motivational tool in an otherwise disparate group of learners, and to reduce feelings of isolation by reminding distance learners that they are part of a larger online community.Originality/valueThis paper shares student and tutor perspectives on the use of dashboards to increase online students’ motivation, and examines whether the benefits of a peer-comparison dashboard are reserved for high-achieving students.

Journal

Journal of Applied Research in Higher EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: May 2, 2019

References