Assessing the Effectiveness of Using Live Interactions and Feedback to Increase Engagement in Online Learning

Assessing the Effectiveness of Using Live Interactions and Feedback to Increase Engagement in Online Learning

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Traditional, in-person instruction provides a social environment and immediate feedback mechanisms that typically ensure participants are successful. In comparison, online mediums for instruction lack these mechanisms and rely on the motivation and persistence of each individual learner, often resulting in low completion rates. In this study, we examined the effect of introducing enabling tools and live feedback into an online learning experience on learner performance and persistence in the course, as well as election to complete supplemental readings and assignments. The findings from our experiments show positive correlations with strong statistical significance between live interactions and all performance measures studied. Specifically, we find that students who consistently participated (at least once a week on average) received final grades 80% higher than those who did not and were twice as likely to earn a certificate of completion. Furthermore, the odds of a student receiving higher grades are increased by a factor of 23% for each additional hour spent using our enabling tools and the odds of passing the course by 35%. We contend that further exploration and implementation of such enabling tools will aid both instructors and learners, as the online platforms may continue to be the preferred choice of instruction even after the pandemic subsides.



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