Online chats: A strategy to enhance learning in large classes
Online-supported teaching and learning is a technological innovation in education that integrates face-to-face teaching in plenary lectures, with an online component using a learning management system. This extends opportunities to students to interact with one another via online chats in the process of transacting their learning. There is a need to understand how South African students experience these technologies, where many students encounter them for the first time at higher education level. We are yet to understand variations in students’ experiences of online support and how it has influenced their learning. This article explores students’ experiences of learning using online chats in Business Management Education. The qualitative component of this mixed-methods research draws on the tenets of phenomenography. Fifteen participants from a Business Management Education class of 156 students enrolled in a Bachelor of Education programme were sampled using pheno-menographic approach. Qualitative data sources included personal reflective journals, focus group discussions and individual interviews, and questionnaires were circulated to the respondents. A quantitative component was subsequently implemented to validate the qualitative findings. Analysis of the data revealed that participants viewed online chats as learning contexts in qualitatively different ways.
Keywords: learning management system; online chats; online-supported teaching and learning
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