The Effects of Psychological Sense of Community in Online and Face-to-Face Academic Courses

Erika Pigliapoco, A. Bogliolo (2008) International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET), Vol. 3, No. 4

Lower student performance and higher dropout rates suffered by on-line courses in comparison with their face-to-face counterparts are often traced back to lower levels of the Psychological Sense of Community (PSoC) caused by the lack of physical interactions among students who learn at a distance. The aim of this work is to understand to what extent the development of PSoC is related with teaching methods and to what extent it affects the learning process. The outcomes of the analysis show that similar levels of PSoC and satisfaction are achieved within the two populations and that the differences observed in terms of performance and retention are mainly explained by the different composition of the corresponding cohorts.


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