The impact of online discussion on capstone quality of STEM educators
Duncan, Audrey Elizabeth
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Due to the advent of online education and professional credentialing, this action research study investigates the impact of online discussion on capstone quality produced by twenty graduated students of the Montana State University MSSE program in Fall 2015. Individuals' online posts and capstones were assessed and analyzed for correlation. Student attitudes and factors influencing online discussion were also investigated via online surveys and personal interviews. Quantitative results show there is correlation between online discussion post quality and capstone quality. Common factors influencing online discussion behavior surround lack of a mobile D2L platform, ability to do topical searches, social network features, Internet connectivity and perception of low-quality conversation of peers. The knowledge gained in this project illuminates the path through which better online learning and discussion platforms may be crafted and utilized in K-12, post-secondary and professional institutions.