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Oberg, Andrew (2015) ACTIVE LEARNING MANIFESTED WITHIN A SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE CLASSROOM. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The size and scope of online K-12 education is increasing rapidly. Research to develop a deeper understanding of the benefits of and barriers to delivering instruction via the Internet is limited. Traditionally research has shown that strategies of active learning, which when applied properly in K-12 classrooms, contribute to positive student attitudes towards self and learning and increase academic achievement. From a review of the literature, it was clear that there is limited research on synchronous online classrooms and on the indicators of active learning as they are manifested in synchronous online classrooms. Consequently, the aim of this study was to portray the perspectives of synchronous online teachers towards indicators of active learning. Participants for this study were teachers from a single cyber charter school. The participants responded to an online survey designed to elicit perceptions of important indicators of active learning, barriers to implementation of active learning, and strategies used to engage students in active learning strategies in synchronous online classrooms. A simple descriptive research design was applied to analyze the data.
The data show that the most important indicator of effective instruction was teacher preparation required to create engaging learning activities. Teachers perceived all but two of the primary indicators of active learning identified in the literature (time on task and activities that promote collaboration) as “very important” or “extremely important”. Teachers’ perceptions of these primary indicators as not important contradict the literature on active learning. Teachers generally described the role of the student as the greatest barrier to implementing active learning in a synchronous online learning environment while the role of technology was viewed as only marginally distracting. The perceptions of synchronous online teachers align with what is reported in the literature on active learning in traditional classrooms. The results of this study have implications for teacher evaluation, hiring procedures, professional development and future research into active learning within the synchronous classroom.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTrovato, Charlenetrovato@pitt.eduTROVATO
Committee MemberKerr, Mary Margaretmmk@pitt.eduMMK
Committee MemberLongo, Ralphlongoj@pitt.eduLONGOJ
Committee MemberBickel, Williambickel@pitt.eduBICKEL
Committee MemberDoran,
Date: 26 May 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 23 March 2015
Approval Date: 26 May 2015
Submission Date: 7 April 2015
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 173
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Active Learning, Online Learning, Synchronous Classroom, Indicators of Active Learning
Date Deposited: 26 May 2015 19:45
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:27


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