3. Assessing the Effect of Pedagogical Interventions on Success Rates and Students’ Perceptions of Connectedness Online
Victoria Russell [+]
Valdosta State University
This chapter describes a grant project, the purpose of which was to increase students’ success rates, as measured by final course grades, in a third semester university-level online Spanish course. In order to meet this goal, two pedagogical interventions were implemented: online peer support groups and synchronous conversations with native speakers. In addition, four objectives for the project were set forth as follows: (1) increase student-student interaction, (2) increase student-content interaction, (3) reduce students’ foreign language anxiety, and (4) correct students’ false beliefs about language learning. The first two objectives were intended to increase learners’ perceptions of connectedness with each other and with the course content. The second two objectives were intended to decrease grades of Below Average (D), Failure (F) and Withdrawal (W), thereby increasing students’ chances of successfully completing the course. The chapter provides a review of the relevant literature related to the project, a full description of the two pedagogical interventions, the instruments that were used to measure the objectives of the project, and the results. The discussion includes suggestions for future research.