Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instr and Curr Leadership


Instructional Design and Tech

Committee Chair

Deborah Lowther

Committee Member

Lee Allen

Committee Member

Trey Martindale

Committee Member

Carmen Weaver


This research examined the experiences and attitudes of community college students toward using collaboration in online courses, as guided by four research questions: 1) What do community college students report as their experiences with collaboration in online courses regarding types and frequency of collaboration tools used? 2) What is the level of community college student agreement with how collaboration in online courses is helpful? 3) What is the level of community college student agreement with what inhibits collaboration in online courses? and 4) What are community college student attitudes toward collaboration in online courses? Data were collected with a quantitative survey completed by 73 community college students who were enrolled in at least one online course the previous semester.Findings revealed self-reported collaboration experiences in online courses primarily involved participation in discussion boards and email communications. Results showed that most students agreed collaboration helped increase achievement and build social skills for a successful career, and that most participants disagreed with factors that may inhibit collaboration in online courses. When examining participant attitudes toward collaboration in online courses, findings yielded the following outcomes: "best things" about working together in online courses were gaining a better understanding of course content and feeling a sense of community; "worst things" were low participation of other students, insufficient communication, poorly organized collaborative activities, and lack of community. When asked if they would like more collaboration opportunities in online courses, most participants replied "no," citing a desire to work alone; while those who wanted additional opportunity indicated a desire for community and better understanding of content. Furthermore, when asked what they would change about collaboration activities in online courses, most participants indicated that they would change nothing. The findings of this research have implications for those who develop online courses and/or professional development for higher education faculty who teach online courses with regard to implementing effective collaborative strategies that can help students and instructors work together to achieve learning, improve retention, and better prepare students for the future.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.