The purpose of this exploratory was to research and determine the level of significance synchronous chat activity (SCA) has on final grades in online for-profit education environments. SCA is a real-time communication tool designed to enhance student learning in online environments, employed alongside asynchronous activities such as discussion boards and university e-mail. In this study, the use of SCA was explored independent of asynchronous tools to measure the level of significance real-time interaction had on students' final grades in online environments. The findings of the study reflected an initial measurement of SCA in relation to students' final grades and the impact of these results on management decision making in for-profit online education environments. A statistical framework was developed to explore the relationship between students who attended SCA and final grades of A (4.0), B (3.0), and C (2.0) on a traditional 4.0 university scale. Students' grades for SCA throughout 8-week semesters were researched and compared to their final grades using a sampling from a large online institution. The sampling consisted of 158 students taking the same course in nine different classes offering the same curriculum over one semester. Detailed literature was gathered to provide comparisons and distinctions between online SCA technology tools for the study. The statistical methods for testing used were the frequency distribution and the chi-square test of independence for levels of significance with p-value. A common theoretical and practical argument emerged for the benefit of SCA technology in tandem with asynchronous technology in online education. The results of this study indicated no significance between SCA, measured independent of other asynchronous technology, and final grades. Results showed that students in online education environments did not excel in final grades from SCA participation exclusively. These findings could be used by management in for-profit institutions to develop programs placing appropriate significance on SCA in combination with other technologies.
|Subjects||Management; Educational technology; Information science|
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