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A dynamic analysis of the interplay between asynchronous and synchronous communication in online learning: the impact of motivation

Giesbers, B.; Rienties, B.; Tempelaar, D. and Gijselaers, W. (2013). A dynamic analysis of the interplay between asynchronous and synchronous communication in online learning: the impact of motivation. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 30(1) pp. 30–50.

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With the increased affordances of synchronous communication tools, more opportunities for online learning to resemble face-to-face settings have recently become available. However, synchronous communication does not afford as much time for reflection as asynchronous communication. Therefore, a combination of synchronous and asynchronous communication in e-learning would seem desirable to optimally support learner engagement and the quality of student learning. It is still an open question though, how to best design online learning with a blend of synchronous and asynchronous communication opportunities over time. Few studies have investigated the relationship between learners' actual use of synchronous and asynchronous communication over time. Therefore, this study addressed that relationship in an online course (N = 110), taking into account student motivation, and employing a dynamic inter-temporal perspective. In line with our assumptions, we found some support for the expected association between autonomous motivation and engagement in asynchronous and synchronous communication, be it restricted primarily to the first course period. Also, positive relations between engagement in synchronous and asynchronous communication were found, with the strongest influence from using asynchronous to synchronous communication. This study adds to the knowledge base needed to develop guidelines on how synchronous communication can be combined with asynchronous learning.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISSN: 1365-2729
Keywords: academic motivation; computer-mediated communication; discussion forums; e-learning; web-videoconference
Academic Unit/School: Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI) > Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI)
Item ID: 41820
Depositing User: Bart Rienties
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2015 10:21
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2018 22:51
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