The conducted research was based on the constantly rising number of online education courses. Researchers were looking forward to understanding the reasons for students’ dropping out or unsuccessful completion of the online courses, as well as prediction of the ways for successful completion of the online courses. Scholars proved that online participation is an inseparable part of the online study process and explored the impact of students’ participation on the academic achievements, successful course completion and development of the community.
The research study was based on certain key points. Researchers evaluated the participation of the students in the online discussions or debates, involvement in the online community of learners, created by the students themselves, and avoiding of the communication by certain students, the so called read-only participants, or ROP. The ROP were studied especially thoroughly, by dividing them into groups of legitimate and inadvertent non-participants. The researchers also involved facilitators as an inseparable constituent of the online learning process (Nagel, et al., 2009). Research study was based on the cohort of students of diverse geographical locations, with a significant age range. The study participants created a community of their own, and the results of their study activities were researched by means of both qualitative and quantitative methodology. Results were evaluated based on the following criteria: use of technology by students, involvement in the discussions, quality participation (i.e. actual work, not lurking while online on the site), participation in group work.
Researchers proved that the overall involvement of the students in the online learning process, including active debating and brainstorming, help in the successful completion of the course. There is the number of exclusions, based on the individual peculiarities of the student. Scientists suggest the study course facilitators to monitor and control the activity of the students, including log in frequency, community contribution, and peer cooperation.
The authors should continue working on the selected area, examining larger target groups or studying the same one over the longer time period, monitoring the level of involvement of any group members in the community and participation in the required activities.
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