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Enhancing Student Engagement in Online Classes- Summary of ‘Read-Only Participants’ by Nagel, Blignaut, and Cronje

Enhancing Student Engagement in Online Classes- Summary of ‘Read-Only Participants’ by Nagel, Blignaut, and Cronje

The article posits that collaborative learning in online spaces is essential for students to complete courses successfully. According to the data provided, enrollment rates for online studies decline progressively and at an alarming rate because of the non-interaction of some learners in online discussions, as they prefer peripheral learning. These students may choose to act in this way because they are naturally introverted or feel isolated in online classrooms, but the author asserts that this is a dangerous stance to assume as it results in non-completion of education (Nagel et al., 2009). The article creates a formidable argument on the necessity of students contributing to online spaces that helps the reader create comprehensive solutions to the declining grandaunt rates experienced in e-colleges and universities.

The research problem addressed by researchers is the fact that today, instructors facilitating online learning are complaining about the lack of commitment in learners as compared to their peers who attend traditional in-person classroom sessions. Students who enroll in online schooling are increasingly ignorant of the fact that their participation in discussions with their e-peers builds their knowledge base and critical thinking skills. These learners, choosing to engage in passive learning intentionally, appear to be unaware that active interaction with colleagues in discussing assignments can enhance their problem-solving and creativity skills in the long run, which are critical for successful outcomes in the long run (Nagel et al., 2009). Further, the mentioned students do not care that if they fail to participate in discussion questions posted by their instructor, they do not reveal weaknesses whose remedy would help them complete their studies on time. Passive learning, therefore, is vehemently condemned in the article.

The article also emphasizes that collaborative learning in online spaces should be facilitated by instructors. These tutors’ presence in online classrooms should be heavily experienced by students to enhance their participation in discussions, an aspect that motivates even passive learners. The author emphasizes that instructors who teach students undertaking online classes should have essential skills, such as feedback management, guidance, and positive criticism (Nagel et al., 2009). These instructors should be willing to support students who exhibit weaknesses, such as misconceptions of critical classroom instructions or an introverted nature that inhibits them from participating fully in online discussions. It is the role of tutors to educate learners on the essentials of being interactive in online classrooms, such as community building, evading verbal pitfalls, and clarity of difficult concepts. The instructor should tell the read-only students that when they refuse to interact with their peers in online classrooms, they undermine their capacity to advance their expertise in the subject matters discussed.

Lastly, the author presents the outcome of research they conducted to prove that online discussions are essential for learners to complete their education successfully. The author asserts that students sampled from a Master’s class were tasked to complete assignments online and then discuss the challenges they experienced. The research questions addressed were, “Does online discussions affect learning outcomes? How do students perceive their attendance to online discussions and its impact on their class performance?” The study adopted a quantitative approach, as the data was analyzed using statistical tools. The findings of the research showed that these study subjects understood classroom concepts better when they discussed them online with peers and with the help of their peers (Nagel et al., 2009). Overall, the implication of the study is that online learning outcomes improve significantly when students collaborate and discuss classroom assignments instead of engaging in destructive passive modes of assimilating instructional material.


Nagel, L., Blignaut, A. S., & Cronjé, J. C. (2009). Read-only participants: A case for student communication in online classes. Interactive Learning Environments17(1), 37-51.


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Read “Read-Only Participants: A Case for Student Communication in Online Classes” by Nagel, Blignaut, and Cronje which is located in the Resource section of Topic 1.
After reading the Nagel, Blignaut, and Cronje article, write a 250-500-word summary of it.

Enhancing Student Engagement in Online Classes- Summary of 'Read-Only Participants' by Nagel, Blignaut, and Cronje

Enhancing Student Engagement in Online Classes- Summary of ‘Read-Only Participants’ by Nagel, Blignaut, and Cronje

Refer to the guidelines for writing an effective summary presented in the Topic 2 Resource as a guide.
Be sure to include a discussion of the research problem, questions, method, findings, and implications discussed by the authors.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite.

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