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Title:Ask for help: Online help-seeking and engagement for college students traditionally underrepresented in STEM
Author(s):Williams-Dobosz, Destiny
Advisor(s):Perry, Michelle
Contributor(s):Bosch, Nigel; D'Angelo, Cynthia
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):help-seeking, STEM
Abstract:Help-seeking is a successful self-regulated learning strategy that is essential for student success. Still, students, especially those traditionally underrepresented in STEM (UR-STEM) and, in particular, chemistry (UR-Chem), may be reluctant to employ it. Students with longstanding under-representation in STEM and chemistry are non-males, first-generation college students, and AHN students (i.e., African American, Hispanic, Native American). Understanding UR-STEM students’ help-seeking in online courses is crucial for developing equitable learning environments where students can engage with a community of inquiry. This research explored help-seeking in an online college-level STEM course discussion forum in two separate investigations, utilizing different analytic techniques. The first investigation used social network analysis to examine various forum engagement measures concerning course improvement and UR-STEM status. Findings demonstrated that help-seeking was predictive of improvement, thus lending support for the utility of help-seeking for favorable learning outcomes. The second investigation explored the nature of help-seeking and help-giving in the discussion board with particular attention to UR-Chem students. Findings revealed that requests for help were equally responded to regardless of how explicitly students appealed for help. Furthermore, we found that UR-STEM students requested and responded to help similarly and received help at greater rates than their non-UR-Chem peers. Results suggest that online courses may mitigate barriers to help-seeking.
Issue Date:2021-04-15
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Destiny Williams-Dobosz
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05

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