Factors Affecting Student Engagement in Online Collaborative Learning Courses

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 716)

Abstract

Student engagement is a crucial precondition for successful learning. However, the discussion of engagement in online learning contexts has been limited. Thus, the main objective of this paper is to contribute to the current understanding of what affects online students’ engagement. The paper reports on a case study conducted in the context of Uganda. A focus group interview was carried out with 14 participants of online collaborative learning courses. I identified four categories of factors affecting online students’ engagement: (1) the online course environment, (2) informal online groups established by students, (3) interactions with co-located peers, and (4) online group dynamics. Thus, one of the main factors contributing to student engagement was scaffolding from an experienced peer and support of co-located classmates. On the contrary, the main challenge was the use of the course learning management system (LMS). Access issues led to the establishment of informal online groups. While students were generally motivated by the collaborative nature of the course, they also experienced challenges in their online groups in terms of cohesiveness.

Keywords

Engagement Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL)  Learning management systems (LMS) Community of practice (CoP)  Mobile learning 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Global Development and PlanningUniversity of AgderKristiansandNorway

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