Learning to Feel: Education, Affective Outcomes and the Use of Online Teaching and Learning

Dr. Martha Cleveland-Innes [martic@athabascau.ca]
Associate Professor
Athabasca University
Centre for Distance Education
1 University Drive
Athabasca, Alberta AB T9S 3A3
Dr. Mohamed Ally [mohameda@athabascau.ca]
Associate Professor
Athabasca University
1 University Drive
Athabasca, Alberta T9S 3A3


Research employing an experimental design pilot tested two delivery platforms, WebCT and ElluminateLive, for the generation of affective learning outcomes in the workplace. Ten different organizations across Western Canada asked their call centre/help desk staff to participate in an online course on customer service. One hundred and one participants were randomly assigned to two types of online learning management systems. Data comparing results of the two groups are inconclusive in relation to delivery outcomes, but indicate there is potential for soft skill development and affective gain using online delivery. Both groups performed well on tests of knowledge regarding appropriate affect in customer service environments. Soft skill assessment showed small gains from time one to time two for participants studying in both platforms. Differences between groups were seen in two observations. There was greater engagement and interaction among participants in the WebCT group. Additionally, the WebCT group yielded higher exam scores, but differences between exam means were not statistically significant.

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e-learning, distance learning, distance education, online learning, higher education, DE, blended learning, MOOCs, ICT, information and communication technology, collaborative learning, internet, interaction, learning management system, LMS,

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