Effective Online Learning for Adults: Ragan's Principles Applied

Effective Online Learning for Adults: Ragan's Principles Applied

Darnell J. Bradley (Cardinal Stritch University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5712-8.ch007

Abstract

Using seven of Ragan's 10 principles of effective online teaching, the online course experiences of 84 doctoral students was examined. The doctoral students took a series of research-focused elective courses over the course of a year. An instructor questionnaire was created based on Ragan's principles and disseminated to the students after completion of the course. The author offers analysis of the results via their connection to Ragan's principles and offers practical ideas for how instructors can create effective online learning experiences for adult students.
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Methods

The selected elements Ragan’s framework were interpreted through the researcher’s own lens and practice in online learning. As such, there was license taken in the above description as well as the application to the courses taught by the author.

This study investigated the experience of doctoral students in a series of graduate level research classes. The courses were offered face to face for a number of years prior to being offered in an online format. The researcher authored and designed the courses for online instruction and piloted the courses with the doctoral students referenced in this research. Students were informed prior to their enrollment that the course was being offered in a new format, allowing them to opt out of the class in lieu of a face to face option should they choose. The courses used in the current research were all elective courses, from which students must choose two. The courses were Theory and Model Building, Literature Review, and Advanced Research and Theory. There was a total of 84 students enrolled across the courses, which spanned two separate offerings of each course. To safeguard against bias, the researcher sent the questionnaire after grades for the course were finalized. As such, students felt no pressure to participate in the research, and no pressure to offer answers that would be favorable to the researcher.

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