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Interaction in face -to -face and asynchronous groupware experiences: A collective case study

Norma J. H Patterson, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study was designed to describe the same course in a graduate degree program offered in each of its formats: face-to-face and an asynchronous computer mediated environment. A qualitative collective case study procedure was employed and a descriptive survey administered. ^ This research identified and analyzed the quality of the learning process from the activities and perceptions of its students, instructors, and administrator. Methodology employed to obtain data included interviews, a demographic survey of students, participants' journal entries and time logs during the semester, students' written work, educational administration department materials, class observations, class meeting discussion transcriptions or boards, grades and course evaluations. ^ Major themes investigated aspects of the learning experience. When the course expectations were fulfilled in the course experiences, students thought they had a quality learning experience. Interactivity was categorized into themes that described the amount and types of interactivity within each of the class environments and its impact upon the process and types of learning. The students in the Lotus Notes groupware class spent twice as much time on the course as the face-to-face students. Class discussion, the major course requirement, was a major portion of interaction. Categories included interaction with content, instructor, and students. Face-to-face students divided time between a weekly class session, where students and professors split control of time whereas the distributed students controlled all their time within the course schedule. As a result of increased control, professors played twice as many roles on campus while they limited themselves to administrative and facilitating roles online. Students' roles doubled when they controlled more of the discussion. Themes included the merits and restrictions of each learning environment. Technology positively enhanced the learning experience when it worked properly. Interactivity enhanced the learning experience when a community developed where all contributed and critical thinking advanced to higher levels. Rich reading materials built the foundation for discussion. Distributed students were emphasized productivity. Overall, quality learning was experienced when participants were ‘good students.’ ^

Subject Area

Education, Technology of|Education, Curriculum and Instruction|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Patterson, Norma J. H, "Interaction in face -to -face and asynchronous groupware experiences: A collective case study" (2002). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3064171.