Creating a sense of community in online classes contributes to student retention and to their overall satisfaction with the course itself. This study aimed to develop a scale of sense of community of students attending online university courses. A series of ordinal exploratory factor analyses were conducted on data obtained from 839 students enrolled in Italian universities. Using an item analysis method, we were able to select the 36 most valid items from an original set of 60 items we had previously defined. These items are distributed across three related factors measuring membership, influence, and fulfillment of needs. This factorial structure replicates the McMillan and Chavis’s model of sense of community, upon the basis of which this scale was developed. The three factors presented good ordinal alpha and adequate convergent/divergent validity coefficients. The scale represents an efficient tool for the design, monitoring, and evaluation of online courses.

Development of a scale of Sense-of-Community in university online courses

Giulia Balboni
;
2018

Abstract

Creating a sense of community in online classes contributes to student retention and to their overall satisfaction with the course itself. This study aimed to develop a scale of sense of community of students attending online university courses. A series of ordinal exploratory factor analyses were conducted on data obtained from 839 students enrolled in Italian universities. Using an item analysis method, we were able to select the 36 most valid items from an original set of 60 items we had previously defined. These items are distributed across three related factors measuring membership, influence, and fulfillment of needs. This factorial structure replicates the McMillan and Chavis’s model of sense of community, upon the basis of which this scale was developed. The three factors presented good ordinal alpha and adequate convergent/divergent validity coefficients. The scale represents an efficient tool for the design, monitoring, and evaluation of online courses.
2018
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1433093
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