Perception of classroom dynamics by adults in online classes at two-year technical colleges
Sethna, Noshirwan Taimuras
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This study examined three student characteristics and two online classroom characteristics and their effect on students’ perception of classroom dynamics for a large population of adult students. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of age, gender, race, number of students in the online class, and course type on perception of classroom dynamics by adult students enrolled in online classes offered by technical colleges in Georgia. This exploratory study used a 27-question survey instrument that was adapted from an existing survey instrument (Classroom Dynamics Questionnaire). The participants were 1,589 adult students enrolled in online classes offered by two-year technical colleges in Georgia. Data were analyzed using quantitative methods in SPSS to determine whether age, gender, ethnicity, course type, and number of students enrolled in the online classes were significant predictors of student perceptions of interpersonal classroom dynamics. The participants aged in range from 17 to 69. A significant majority of the participants were White and female. The 27 two-year technical colleges that provided the student data offered face-to-face as well as online classes. Bivariate analyses were conducted on the data collected in order to determine the extent of observed variance in four dimensions of classroom dynamics, namely, teacher respect for students, confidence in teacher’s ability, learner cohesion, and learner voice in the online classroom. Analyses revealed results that concurred with results from similar studies that were conducted in the recent past. It was found that demographics variables of age, gender, race, number of students enrolled in the online class, and course type (or subject), had no predictive power in online students’ classroom perceptions. These variables were modest predictors of student perception of classroom dynamics.