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Read-Only Participants: A Case for Student Communication in online Classes Written by Lynette Nagle

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Module 2 Article Summary

The article "Read-Only Participants: A Case for Student Communication in Online

Classes" written by Lynette Nagle, Seugnet Blignaut, and Johannes Cronje talks about the many

reasons that students have succeeded or failed an online course. Nagel, who obtained a Ph.D in

Computer-Integrated Education, believes that in order for an online community to be successful

there should be an involvement between students and the facilitator. After completing a study

involving an 8-week elective course containing students in varied ages-as well as different

geographic locations-Nagel's hypothesis proved to be true. While direct interaction between

student and facilitator is not necessary in order to be successful in the course, it is important to

have some sort of interaction, even if it involves online discussions. In most virtual communities

having a voluntary discussion only yields results from the students that are doing well in the

course and feel connected to the online community. Requiring a minimum number of posts for

each discussion encourages students to log on and reduces the number of "read only

participations." A "read only participant" is a student that reads the entire discussion but does not

involve themselves. While "read only participants" are learning the information for themselves,

they are not contributing to the learning community in terms of putting their personal ideas into

the mix. Communication is not only a one-way street though; it is equally as important if not

more for the facilitator to offer feedback on discussion in order for the students to prosper.

Overall in the article "Read-Only Participants: A Case for Student Communication in Online

Classes" Nagle, Blignaut and Cronje emphasized the idea that the more participation and

involvement one has in a virtual community the more successful one will be, not only in the

course but, in life.

Reference

Nagel, L, Blignaut, A, & Cronje', J.C. (2009, March). Read-only participants: a case study for student communication

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