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Abstract

Graduate students in six online courses were asked to complete a questionnaire related to dimensions of engagement including participation and interaction, performance, studying, and relevance of material. Students were asked to indicate the importance of various online course features (e.g., online discussions) in enhancing their engagement in each dimension using a Likert scale. Twenty-six (29%) students completed the questionnaire. Students rated most course management system features as extremely important or very important. When the ratings for the four engagement areas were grouped by course site feature, the feature with the highest mean rating was “instructor feedback on assignments/assessments.” The feature with the lowest mean rating was “online chats with other students.” While the practices of the instructor in the courses studied may have influenced the students’ perceptions, it is clear that students especially value contact with the instructor.

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