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|Title:||Analysis of Successful Educational Activities on a Distributed Electronic Network|
|Author(s):||Stapleton, Clinton E.|
|Doctoral Committee Chair(s):||Levin, James A.|
|Department / Program:||Education|
|Degree Granting Institution:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|Subject(s):||Education, Adult and Continuing
Education, Educational Psychology
Education, Technology of
|Abstract:||The purpose of this study was to investigate what makes network-based projects successful. Important issues concerning success were addressed by examining the following questions: (a) what is a general description of successful network-based project, (b) what is the volume of network messages for project participants, and (c) what network stages and sequences exist for successful network-based projects?
A number of successful projects on the FrEdMail network (a grassroots school-based electronic network) were investigated to address these research questions. Nine hundred and twenty two project proposals posted on an electronic bulletin board on FrEdMail between January 1989 and June 1990 were examined and 43 were selected by using researcher designed criteria. Sixteen projects were judged as successful by participant self-evaluations of the projects and evaluation by editors of the "HILITES" bulletin board on FrEdMail, and these were selected by the researcher for intensive study. Messages and files exchanged on the network, diaries of network usage, and summaries were collected on the 16 projects. Telephone interviews were conducted to gain information that was not captured in the network messages or from materials used in the projects.
Each network project was described along the following dimensions: (a) purpose of the project, (b) origin and formulation of the project idea, (c) recruitment of participants, (d) reasons for participant's interest in the project, (e) refinement of the proposed idea, (f) organization of the project, (g) implementation of the project, (h) context and resources, (i) wrap-up of the project, (j) outcomes of the project, (k) problems of the project, (l) recommendations for improving the project, (m) reasons the project was successful, (n) sequence of network stages, and (o) volume of network messages.
Network messages were classified into the following network stages: (a) proposal, (b) refinement, (c) organization, (d) pursuit, (e) wrap-up, and (f) publication. The frequency of messages exchanged for each stage was tabulated and the sequence of network stages was graphed for all projects. The volume of network messages sent and received by activity participants (and bulletin boards, when applicable) was graphed for each project.
Results suggest that network and local roles played by participants of successful projects include: originator, adaptor, recruiter, coordinator, implementor, mediator, facilitator, developer, and author. The results also support the existence of network stages which follow a sequence with fluctuations between some stages. Recommendations are made for designing network interfaces, software tools, training, and projects that are sensitive to network audiences, network activity stages, network participant roles and interactions, and local participant roles, local site context and access opportunities, and local resources.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1992.
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2014-12-16|