Community for a University Online Statistics Course: A Quantitative Quasi-Experimental Study

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Since the advent of the internet, more professors and administrators from colleges and universities have been putting more classes online. These educators have been able to serve more students at a relatively lower cost. Educators have expressed concerns in online classes due to a lack of community. The study reveals gaps in the literature, which are assessing a sense of community for an online statistics class while assessing the sense of community within a mixture of different ages and genders in an online class. The theories of sense of community and servant leadership were the framework for the research. Research questions in the study reflect a concern about whether statistically significant differences exist in the sense of community in an online statistics class between different age groups and genders. The purpose of the quantitative quasi-experiment was to determine the possible differences between the levels of age and gender for the sense of community. The population was comprised of students taking an online statistics class at a university in Idaho, where a sample of 465 students was surveyed concerning the sense of community. All students taking the online statistics class were eligible to take a survey assessing the sense of community. A two-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was conducted to assess the sense of community between age groups, genders, and age/gender groups. No statistically significant differences in the mean differences in the sense of community between age groups, genders, and age/gender groups surfaced. Educators seeking to improve the sense of community in either statistics classes and/or online classes might benefit from the research.
Sense of Community Index (SCI-2)