The Design & Management of Effective Distance Learning Programs – Chapter 7

Chapter 7: A Preliminary Exploration of Social Needs in Distance Education

William B. Martz, Jr. and Morgan M. Shepherd 
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, USA

Copyright © 2002, Idea Group Publishing.

OVERVIEW

This chapter explores the concern for social needs in distance education. As a foundation, the chapter discusses the evolving learning environment and stakeholder expectations that distance education must address as it grows in prevalence. In addition, technology is a key enabler of any distance learning program. This chapter analyzes several theories that integrate learning and technology for potential insights applicable to distance learning. These insights lead to an exploratory study to compare the “need for affiliation” between students working in groups for distance classes (virtual groups) and students working in groups for on-campus classes (actual groups). The preliminary results of the study indicate that some issues concerning socialization do exist between the two groups. Ultimately, the study points to the need for more formal and definitive measures of the social aspects of group work in distance education.

INTRODUCTION

Distance education is struggling to identify what it should be. Clearly, there are many stakeholders vested in the results of the ultimate definition. State organizations want to efficiently use taxpayer dollars for education; instructors want to efficiently present course topics for effective learning; students want to optimize their learning process to maximize their careers. It is safe to say that, ultimately, all parties want the best outcome; the biggest problem is that no one is sure of all the parts that need to be considered.

For the purpose of this discussion, distance education is defined as creating a learning environment that facilitates structured learning without the traditional practice of face-to-face interaction in an on-campus environment. This means that the practice of rural teachers who traveled between settlements to educate students in their homes meets the spirit of the definition. However, in today’s world, distance education usually implies some sort of technological support through the Internet, email or videoconferencing.

As distance education becomes more viable for undergraduate education, the education industry should understand into what learning environment it is trying to assimilate. The practice of traditional education is changing quickly also. One pedagogical model receiving significant attention is called Learning Centered Education (LCE). This concept “places learning and learners at the core of the educational process” (Bilimoria & Wheeler, 1995). Essentially, a learning partnership is created whereby the teacher identifies what needs to be learned and the students help identify the means by which their own learning occurs. The concept works because it realizes that there are obligations on both sides of this partnership; the teacher facilitates and the student participates.

In summary, distance education is not a new concept. However, the unprecedented growth in technology and pedagogical changes in education power its growth. Internet, email, videoconferencing, etc., are enabling distance education to take a firm hold technically. The evolving model of Learning Centered Education provides one pedagogical perspective from which to view distance education.

BACKGROUND ON LEARNING

One of the fundamental concerns remaining in learning is when it is that learning actually occurs. John Locke (Chaplin & Krawiec, 1960) believed that humans start with a blank slate—tabula rasa—and that we, as human beings write our experiences on that slate throughout life. These experiences are what we have learned. Early researchers in the field of psychology picked up on this notion and tried to measure learning quantitatively: How much was being added to the tabula rasa. Ebbinhaus (1913) conducted several experiments from which he derived a famous retention curve to show how well individuals learned nonsense syllables over time. Gulliksen (1934) and Hull (1943) created formulas to measure learning by differences in what has been attained (learned) and what is left to attain (learn). Carr (1931) took a less quantitative approach and organized learning into several classes of general laws. One such class was that learning is an adaptive activity and individuals learn by going through a series of activities and noting the responses from their environment. These activities and corresponding responses become learned as they are retained over time, in memory.

More recently, researchers (Papert, 1980; Bandura, 1977; Hills & Francis, 1999) argue that “real learning” requires a social context. Seymour Papert (1980) makes his case in his book, Mindstorms, as he relates teaching computer programming logic to children. Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1977) emphasizes the interaction of people both with other people and with the environment. The level of social presence, the perceived “consciousness of another person in an interaction,” (Tu, 2000) is described as the main driver in learning. Hill and Francis (1999) conducted their research with respect to computer-based training (CBT). Somewhat paradoxically, their findings showed that CBT environments were more successful when they included more social context

Much like CBT, which is generally “a solitary experience which takes place away from the real job,” the distance environment will be required to take into account the social aspects of learning. Hogan and Kwiatkowski (1998) report on the social aspects of teaching in large groups in the United Kingdom. Their argument includes the premise that technology can handle the activity of teaching to large groups, but that the emotional aspects of this teaching method have been ignored. Similar concerns are raised in Australia, where technology has been supporting distance teaching for many years. Hearn and Scott (1998) argue that before adopting technology for distance teaching, technology must acknowledge the social context of learning.

The issues around implementing distance education are not just conceptual. There are stakeholders with very pragmatic needs. The students want to obtain skills for better jobs, and employers want to obtain graduates with better skills. Can distance education serve these needs? In a research study comparing recruiter and student perceptions of key skills necessary for employment and career advancement, several of the top skills required social interaction (Martz & Landof, 2000). Teamwork, project management and leadership skills ranked in the top five characteristics desired by recruiters. The fact that these skills require significant interaction with others to be successful means that they are “socially driven.” If true, this means that learning development may suffer in the distance education environment.

One such problem is environment-driven. Haythornthwaite et al., (2000) coin a term, “fade back,” to describe students & do not participate in the distance class. They point out that the “fading back” is accomplished easier in distance learning environments where the number of social cues is reduced. These cues include text without voice, voice without body language, class attendance without seating arrangements, students signing in without attending (Haythornthwaite et al., 2000). This implies that in similar classes, with similar levels of student interests, the likelihood of students “fading back” is greater in distance learning classes than in face-to-face classes.

Real learning seems to have a significant social component. As distance education evolves, it must be able to recognize and incorporate this component. There are stakeholders with pragmatic requirements that must be addressed. Employers want employees with both technical skills and skills that are “socially driven.” Finally, into this mix an appropriate level of technology is added with the desire to remove the student from the physical confines of the classroom. This leads one to consider how technology and people interact.

HOW TECHNOLOGY AND PEOPLE INTERACT

As one thinks about distance education, it must be acknowledged that distance education incorporates many factors such as how individuals are motivated to learn and how individuals interact with technology. Looking at theories from each of these areas can help guide our investigation. First, there are a set of theories that have developed around the individuals and how individuals learn. These are labeled foundation theories because motivation to learn must exist before distance learning can be effective. Second, as technology has become more and more necessary to enable distance education, theories have been developed about how individuals and groups interact with technology. These theories are classified as technology interaction theories because they predict how individuals and groups interact with technology. These theories grow from the technology-oriented areas such as group support systems and collaborative work. Here researchers have been studying how people interact productively with technology. Commonalities across these foundation theories and technology interaction theories can help understand some of the issues faced by distance education.

Table 1: Technology Interaction and Foundation Theories

Technology Interaction

Media Richness Theory

Social Information Processing Theory

Adaptive Structuration Theory

Foundation Theories

Field Theory

Social Exchange Theory

Needs Theory

Foundation Theories

Foundation theories, such as Field Theory, Social Exchange Theory, and Needs Theory, try to explain the various behaviors exhibited by individuals in groups. Briefly, Field Theory (Lewin, 1951) looks at the group dynamics caused by how individuals behave to overcome barriers as they try to achieve a goal. Lewin relates learning to this motivation (Chaplin & Krawiec, 1960). In groups, the large number of possible interactions complicates this behavior. Social Exchange Theory describes behavior in terms of its rewards and costs. “Rewards are pleasurable outcomes associated with particular behaviors; costs include such things as mental effort, anxiety or even embarrassment (Beebe & Masterson, 1986). Viewed in this economic way, individuals will seek to establish relationships that accrue a net positive analysis. In addition, individuals will enact behaviors to continue those relationships with a positive value.

In 1943, Abraham Maslow presented a first, rough draft of his Need Hierarchy Theory. Subsequently, he and his fellow researchers tested and adapted the theory for organizational settings. Essentially, the theory proposes that human beings have a set of “staircased” needs that interact and “combine with [other] biological, cultural and situational factors to determine behavior” (Miner, 1980). Of interest to us in this discussion is the need in which Maslow includes the desire for a sense of affiliation and general belongingness—broadly termed the “love needs” (Miner, 1980). Along these same lines, Aldefer (1972) included these needs in his “three-staired” Existence-Relatedness-Growth (ERG) Theory as relatedness needs. Both theories propose that when these needs are not satisfied (and the needs below this level are), the behavior of an individual will try to satisfy these needs. For example, until the lower-level “security needs” are satisfied for an individual, that individual will act to satisfy these lower-level needs before acting to satisfy needs on a “higher” stair. The research results showed much more complexity than just discussed, but, in general, the conjectures from the theories have held.

One of the more practical areas that use this need hierarchy model is the job enrichment program. The “need for affiliation” has been found to be a key ingredient in helping with achievement motivation (McClelland, 1961; Shipley & Veroff, 1952) and has been related to job satisfaction (Miner, 1980). Complementing this idea is that of a reference group whereby individuals “express” their “need for affiliation.” Kelley (1951) identifies two such groups: comparative group, in which the individual compares and contrasts his or her stature—peer group—and reference group, to which the individual identifies with the general feelings. Students comparing their SAT test scores to others in the class represents a comparative group, while promoting the Sierra Club with a bumper sticker would constitute a reference group.

Technology Interaction Theories

One of the key areas that deals with technology and its impact on manual human-based processes is in the realm of group support systems (GSSs). Group Support Systems add a technology component to how groups work together (DeSanctis & Gallupe, 1985), much like distance education is adding a technology component to learning. GSS research has been a major contributor to the body of knowledge concerning group interactions and learning. In GSSs, manual methods for meetings and group work (Delbecq & Van de Ven, 1971; Linstone & Turoff, 1975; Saaty, 1980; Osborn, 1953) have been automated and the interaction of technology with people studied (Briggs et al., 1998; Fjermestad & Hiltz, 1999). As the researchers studied the impact of automating these processes, theories evolved. Essentially, face-to-face meeting environments are said to have many media to communicate information; these include verbal (e.g., tone of voice, volume) and nonverbal (e.g., body language, facial expressions). As technology is added to the process, it produces a lens that impacts the media by either a) restricting the flow of information, or b) missing some of the information completely. Tu (2000) refers to this as the “technological social presence.” Figure 1 provides a simple diagram for further discussion.

Click to collapse
Figure 1: Technology Lens

Social Information Processing Theory (SIP) (Chidambaram, 1996; Walther, 1992) and Adaptive Structuration Theory (AST) (Poole & DeSanctis, 1990), suggest that the technology—the lens—is a limiting factor or constraint for communication. Each theory, in its own way, discusses how the senders of the cues adapt to the lens. SIP suggests that, over time, the sender will be able to get all the cues through; it simply takes more time. The senders choose to use their limited channel to process the task-oriented communications first, and then, if time permits, the theory predicts that the more social communications would follow. AST proposes a different tactic with the same end; that the senders figure out alternative ways to send the cues based upon what is “allowed” through the lens. The term used for this action is “appropriation” and “refers to the manner in which structures are adapted by a group for its own use …” (Gopal et al., 1993). A good example here is how a sender of email may use emoticons (e.g., :)—sarcastic smile, ;)—wink , :o—exclamation of surprise) to communicate more emotion about the subject to receiver. These theories, SIP and AST, tend to predict that the channel works over a period of time.

Media Richness Theory (Daft & Lengel, 1986) suggests that the inherent characteristics of the technology filter out cues and ultimately these cues do not make it through the lens to provide information to the receiver; in the case of group support systems, to the group process. The richness of the media— the size of the lens—directly impacts the effectiveness of the technology in the situation. The capacity of the channel to provide communication defines the richness of the channel. A face-to-face meeting offers a “richer media” than does a posted letter. Social Presence Theory (Short et al., 1976) argues that since the lens limits the amount of cues that may make it through, most cues will be action or task-oriented. In other words, the lens hampers the cues that provide for the receivers to “observe” any social cues. This means that the ability to observe or understand the other person in the communication is minimized.

Leidner and Jarvenpaa (1995) identify several learning models and propose how the current practices of using information technology works with each. One of the drivers for their work is a concern that information technology may be speeding up ineffective methods of teaching. In their analysis, they create a matrix showing the different technologies being used and to which learning model, each technology fits best. For Leidner and Jarvenpaa (1995), distance learning fit best with the “Objectivist” learning model. They defined this model with the basic premise of “learning is the uncritical absorption of objective knowledge,” and the goals of “transfer of knowledge” and “recall of knowledge.” The model that has the goal of “promoting socialization,” including “group skills [such as] communication, listening, and participation” is termed “Collaborativism.” The best technology fit for this learning model was “asynchronous communication across distances” such as email or asynchronous groupware. In essence, they are proposing that different modes of information technology represent different lenses.

CURRENT RESEARCH AND CONJECTURES

The debate still rages as to the effectiveness of distance education. The complex environment contains issues around how students learn, what motivates students to learn, how to make the learning environment better, how to make the environment worthwhile for all the stakeholders and how technology impacts the learning environment. Several researchers and educators are studying how distance education classes create a sense of community (Haythornthwaite et al., 2000; Dede, 1996). The study of these complex issues and interactions falls into the broad field of Social Informatics (Kling, 2000), which is defined as the study of the interaction of information technologies with an institutional and cultural perspective.

Studies are forthcoming. A review of over 400 studies compared distance to traditional classroom instruction with complex and conflicting results (Russell, 2001). On the positive side, faculty at eCollege.com reported that their students learned equally effectively online as they did on campus (TeleEducation NB, 2001). GSS studies are identifying and reconfirming the important characteristics in developing a sense of community, such as satisfaction (Chidambaram & Bostrom, 1997); trust (Aranda et al., 1998); cohesiveness (Chidambaram, 1996); and participation (Nunamaker et al., 1991). However, distance learning environments may be creating some additional concerns such as higher rates of student anxiety and frustration (Hora & Kling, forthcoming) and these environments may inherit the GSS characteristic of less consensus in decision making (Daft & Lengel, 1986; Briggs et al., 1998).

From these perspectives, distance learning must address both the technical content and the social aspects of the individuals. Even if the class is started and taught as an “objectivist” view, students will ultimately include the social aspects of the “collaborativism” view. This seems to be the case in a study wherein distance students performed better than their on-campus counterparts (Black, 1997). The researcher conducting the study attributed the findings to the online students compensating for not having time in class to talk.

Going even further, one can view the “need for affiliation” as a social need that helps with learning. This proposal is best aligned with the Social Information Processing Theory where Chidambaram (1996) describes one underlying premise of the theory this way: “Implicit in the SIP perspective is the idea that users of computer media are driven by these needs [affiliation motive—the need to like and to be liked by others] just as much as those in non-computer settings.”

With Figure 1 in mind again, one would assume that the group process created by the technology lens in a distance class would be less “media rich” than that created by the traditional classroom. In addition, the “need for affiliation” between the individuals in two classes should be the same. Combining these two assumptions, one would expect to see more behavior geared to creating or attaining social cues in the distance learning class than in the face-to-face class.

This chapter describes one study performed to look at the above issue in more detail. The study used an MBA-level, introductory Information Systems course to compare traditional on-campus students with students taking the same class in a distance learning environment. The initial hypotheses centered on the need for affiliation; the prediction was that students in distance classes (DIST) would show more “need for affiliation” than students in on-campus classes (ONC). The following outcomes were expected:
H1: DIST will have higher levels of satisfaction with groups and group work than ONC
H2: DIST will have higher levels of group cohesiveness than ONC
H3: DIST will have more participation in groups than ONC.

THE RESEARCH STUDY

A questionnaire with 42 items was given to both groups. The questions asked about demographics, perception of technology and perception of group work. Short answer and seven-point Likert questions were used (1 = Strongly Agree … 7 = Strongly Disagree). An example of the questionnaire is provided in Appendix A. The questionnaire was provided to both MBA classes. As previously mentioned one class was conducted totally by distance (DIST) while, the other was on-campus (ONC). A total of 42 students responded: 25 from the on-campus class and 17 from the distance class.

The analysis of the data is exploratory in nature and as such is subject to several limitations. First, the questionnaire was developed to measure a broad set of characteristics that interact in many ways. A factor analysis will help decompose these characteristics for revising the questionnaire. Second, the two classes were separated in time; they were taught in subsequent semesters and while the learning goals were the same, the exposure to topics varied. Finally, the low number of responses demands a more conservative statistical analysis that may not find subtle differences. The items with statistically significant results are provided in Table 2 below.

Table 2: Distance vs. on-campus characteristics

Item Description (referenced by question number)

On-campus Average

Distance Average

Sig(1)

6. How many hours do you spend each week on your MBA work?

10.10

14.25

.005

8. What is your current GPA?

3.54

3.72

.000

11. On average, how many hours did you spend with your group each week?

1.82

3.05

.008

12. On average, how many meetings did your group hold each week?

1.35

0.75

.026

13. On average, what percentage of your meetings was spent on socializing?

20.60

4.61

.001

14. On average, what percentage of your meetings was spent on the project task?

79.00

84.00

.028

24. There was too much socialization in my group

5.92

6.61

.005

27. I was satisfied with this course

2.72

3.56

.074

29. I was disappointed in how the course worked out

5.44

4.61

.094

31. Everyone in my group did their fair share of work

2.50

3.66

.061

Not Statistically Significant

30.The level of interaction in my group was low

4.72

4.83

.699

32.I participated in this group more than I usually do in other groups

4.56

4.39

.639

41.I felt that I was really part of my group

2.00

2.61

.406

42.I would be willing to work in the same group again

2.60

3.0

.422

(1)- Results of Mann-Whitney test (p. <.100)

As discussed, the results of the prior research in this area are mixed. H1 and H2 were not supported, and H3 was only partially supported. The ONC group reported meeting more times per week than the DIST group (Q12), and more of the ONC time in meetings was spent on socialization than task (Q13). This is contrary to the expectations in terms of the need for affiliation.

However, the DIST group reported spending more time in meetings (Q11) and a greater percentage of that time on task than ONC group (Q14). So while DIST group held fewer meetings than the ONC group, they spent more time in each meeting than the ONC group. In addition, they spent more time on task than the ONC group. It is interesting to note that the DIST groups strongly disagreed that there was too much socialization in the group (Q24).

It was anticipated that the technology would play a part in how much time was spent in meetings and how much of the meeting time was spent on socialization (Figure 1). It is possible that the technology was inhibiting the number of meetings for the DIST group. The DIST group reported using email, phones, and an asynchronous forum for communication. These technologies are not very rich in nature. So it may not be so surprising that the DIST group met less often (“..we’ve got the technology working, let’s keep going while we can…”) and had less socializing (“…who knows how much longer the technology will last—better not waste time socializing…”). The DIST group may have used email (at other times) to do their socializing. Examples of this might be sending short emails inquiring about weather or sporting events, inquiring about personal issues, or exchanging jokes. The DIST group may not have considered these emails to be part of a meeting. This scenario is diagrammed below (Figure 2).

Click to collapse
Figure 2: Social-Task activity overlap

The DIST students may have satisfied the need to socialize in other ways, and therefore did not need to do so while in their meetings. This would make sense if the technology they were using for their meetings was not very rich.

Very few satisfaction characteristics were significant. The ONC group disagreed more strongly that it was disappointed with how the course worked out (4.61 for DIST vs. 5.44 for ONC (Q29). At the same time, the DIST students (3.66 for DISTvs. 2.50 for ONC) did not agree as strongly as the ONC students that everyone in the group did their fair share (Q31). With regard to the technology measures, there was no significant difference between the two groups; however, the DIST students did feel that the technology helped them get their work done (2.11). It should be noted that the questionnaire did not explicitly ask them if the technology helped them socialize, or if it inhibited their efforts to socialize.

SUMMARY

In summary, as technology moves quickly to enable distance education and learning environments, one concern that has to be dealt with is how students best interact with the technology. In understanding this, one must first understand the process of learning and then the process by which people interact with technology. This paper has provided a brief review of some of the theories in these areas. Socialization and its impact on learning were prevalent themes throughout the reviews. This ultimately led to the proposal to study differences in socialization between an on-campus and distance education class.

The amount of socialization between distance and on-campus respondents showed significance in two areas. First, the on-campus respondents reported more socialization in their group meetings than did the distance education respondents. Second, the distance education respondents strongly disagreed that there was too much socialization, indicating a willingness for more socialization. While both groups were on the ‘agree’ side of the scale when asked if everyone in their group contributed equally, it needs to be noted that the DIST group agreed significantly less. However, more direct measures for differences in participation did not prove significant.

This study provides the basis for future research in several ways. First, there is some support from this preliminary data that socialization differences do exist between students in on-campus and distance education classes. Second, based on this research, the questionnaire can be refined so that it can better detect the differences. A factor analysis of this questionnaire identifies six factors within the data. In four of these factors, one of the statistically significant characteristics identified in this study provides the anchor. Finally, the identification and corresponding under- standing of the socialization needs associated with learning will help distance education better achieve its goal of providing a better learning environment.

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Bilimoria, D. and Wheeler, J. V. (1995). Learning-centered education: A guide to resources and implementation. Journal of Management Education, 19(3), 326-341.

Black, J. (1997). Available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,7147,00.html. Accessed January 12, 2000.

Briggs, R.O., Nunamaker, J. F., Jr. and Sprague, R. H., Jr. (1998). 1001 unanswered research questions in GSS. Journal of Management Information Systems, Winter, 14(3), 3-21.

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Chidambaram, L. (1996). Relational development in computer-supported groups. MIS Quarterly, June.

Daft, R. L. and R. H. Lengel. (1986). Organizational information requirements, media richness and structural design. Management Science, May, 32(5), 554-571.

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Hogan, D. and Kwiatkowksi, R. (1998). Emotional aspects of large group teaching. Human Relations, November, 51(11), 1403-1417.

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APPENDIX: RESEARCH QUESTIONNAIRE

We are looking at ways to improve the MBA program and this survey will help us do that. Please take a few minutes and answer this survey as it pertains to IS619. Some of the questions may seem redundant. The reason for this is to ensure the accuracy of your answers and to make sure this is a valid survey. As such, please read each question carefully and pay particular attention to the scale you are using to answer the question. All data will be kept confidential.

Demographics:

  1. What is your gender? (circle one) male    female

  2. In which age group do you fall? (circle one) 21-25   26-30   31-35   36-40   41-45   46-50   50+

  3. How many semesters (including this one) have you been in the UCCS MBA program? ______

  4. How many MBA courses have you taken (including this semester)? ________ courses

  5. If you have a job, how many hours do you work each week? _______ hours/week

  6. How many hours do you spend each week on your MBA work? ______ hours/week

  7. If you have one, what is your area of emphasis? _______________

  8. What is your current GPA? _________

  9. Some classes require a major group project. How many of these major group project teams have you been on (all MBA classes, including this semester)? __________ teams

You may have had a group project in IS619. If so please answer questions 10—14 relating to your experience with your group. If you did not have a required group project, please continue with question 16.

  1. Did the instructor assign groups or did the students pick their own group?

    (circle one) instructor assigned student assigned

  2. On average, how many hours did you spend with your group each week? _______ hours/week

  3. On average, how many meetings did your group hold each week? _________ meetings/week

For the purpose of this survey, we break down the time spent in meetings as time spent on socializing, and time spent working on the assigned task. For questions 13 and 14 please indicate the percentage of time spent on socializing and the time spent on task. The two percentages should total 100%.

  1. On average, what percentage of your meetings was spent on socializing?

    ________ %

  2. On average, what percentage of your meetings was spent on the project task? ________ %

    Total 100%

  3. Not including the groups that were assigned to complete the group project requirements, did you form any group(s) with other students in the class? (indicate by placing an X in the appropriate line)

    ______ Yes, it had _______ members ______ No, I did not form any other groups

It can sometimes take some time before a student feels comfortable with the complexity encountered in a particular class. The following are some of the things included in our definition of feeling comfortable: believing you can meet the expectations outlined for the course; feeling you can ask a fellow student or the instructor for help; following the lectures and participating in the discussions.

  1. At what point during the course did you feel comfortable? (please circle one)

    first day     ¼ of the way through       ½ way through      ¾ of the way through       never felt comfortable

  2. At what point during the course did you first ask non-trivial questions of fellow students or the instructor (e.g. clarification or administrative questions about the syllabus would be considered trivial whereas content-oriented questions for fellow students or the instructor would be considered non-trivial)?

    first day       ¼ of the way through       ½ way through       ¾ of the way through       never asked questions

You can accomplish group work in a same-place environment (face-to-face) or at a distance (group members do not meet face-to-face). Questions 17—21 refer to the technology (i.e. email, telephone) you used to do group work at a distance. Referring to the scale (1 = strongly agree, 4 = neutral, 7 = strongly disagree), circle the appropriate response. If you always met face-to-face please skip ahead to question 22.

Strongly Agree

Neutral

Strongly Disagree

1

2

3

4

5

6 7

18. The technology we used for our group work was easy to use.

1

2

3

4

5

6 7

19. The technology we used for our group work helped us get our work done.

1

2

3

4

5

6 7

20. It did not take a lot of extra work to install the technology we used for our group work.

1

2

3

4

5

6 7

21. I will use this technology again for my next group project.

1

2

3

4

5

6 7

  1. What was the name of the technology(ies) that you used? (please list all technologies)

    ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________

Using your group experience in this course, please indicate your level of agreement with questions 22—39 below. Please refer to the scale ( 1 = strongly agree, 4 = neutral, 7 = strongly disagree ) and circle the appropriate response.

Strongly Agree

Neutral

Strongly Disagree

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

23. I do not think my work group experience was valuable for my education

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

24. There was too much socialization in my group

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

25. The grading of the group project was fair

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

26. The technology used in the class to support groups was too complex

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

27. I was satisfied with this course

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

28. I think this course served my needs

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

29. I was disappointed in how the course worked out

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

30. The level of interaction in my group was low

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

31. Everyone in my group did their fair share of work

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

32. I participated in this group more than I usually do in my other groups

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

33. Group work is just busy work in classes

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

34. Groups do not stay on task and waste time

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

35. Group work is not important to my career

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

36. I like working in groups in this program

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

37. The basic idea of working in groups is good

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

38. The importance of group work is overemphasized

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

39. The use of group work in the program is an advantage

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

40. Technology was helpful for our group work

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

41. I felt that I was really part of my group

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

42. I would be willing to work in the same group again

1

2

3

4

5

6

7