Some students may not need to participate to learn… WAIT? WHAT?!!



Recently, I read about a study titled Learning or Lurking? Tracking the ‘Invisible’ Online Student by Michael Beaudoin that found that while students who interact a lot in online classes perform well in the class, those students who interacted the least performed higher than the moderate interaction group.  This could leads to a conclusion that some students may actually perform well without participating.  Wait… what??  As I create discussion or video requirements for my online or blended classes, I’ve been doing it under the premise that I want to hear everyone’s voice and therefore set a minimum requirement.  I’ve been pleased to see the number and quality of posts in my online classes but the findings from this study make me wonder …  by enforcing participation requirements, am I really creating a learning environment that is welcoming for ALL learners?  What if every learner does not need to be highly interactive to learn (which is highly likely”? Certainly I intend on setting the “floor” somewhere (regarding participation requirements) and I am not going to adjust my teaching practice based on one study but it did made me think more carefully about what to require.



What do you think?  How do you go about setting your participation requirements for online courses?

One thought on “Some students may not need to participate to learn… WAIT? WHAT?!!

  1. Interesting findings. I agree that my impulse is to hear everyone, and make sure everyone participates. But that is not how everyone learns, and so the struggle between the teacher’s perceptions of a learner and the natural tendencies of the learner themselves often come into conflict, particularly if the class is for credit. The blended space may help shorten the distance for you.

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