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Read Only Participants Article Summary

The biggest problem facing online education is non-completion and quality. According to research, although many individuals have enrolled for online courses, success rates and retention in such programs and courses is admittedly poor while compared with a traditional setting. Research indicates that participation through online is important in ensuring a successful completion of a course. In order to ensure students continue with online courses, a facilitator is needed. Additionally, better cognitive results are evident when students participate through forming a virtual student’s community.

According to different authors, there are wide ranges of issues surrounding online education. According to Klemm (1998), classroom-based method of learning seldom, help students to participate in online discussions. When facilitated in a good manner, online discussions tend to be more inclusive as opposed to classroom discussion by involving introverted learners and facilitating high quality interaction. High interactivity levels and deep cognitive form of learning can be facilitated through online discussions considering students can prepare considerate contributions. In most cases, students who focus on collaborative interactions and knowledge building are average performers given that challenging online activities promote understanding.


Collaborative learning enables students to acquire skills of critical thinking and deep learning (Nagel et al, 2009. p. 38). However, it is possible that most students fail to take part in online learning due to procrastination, lack of technological knowledge and isolation. Of great importance is that, students participate actively in an online conference whenever the facilitator acts as a guide providing encouragement, feedback, and extensive critique. Effective learning requires a facilitator with integrated teaching, cognitive, and social presence.

There are numerous findings concerning online learning. Firstly, students who perform poorly usually open fewer pages while learning than successful learners do. The success of online learning depends largely on interacting with good technology. Some problems such as electricity cuts, poor infrastructure, and unreliable connectivity led to some students dropping out. Motivation could be the reasons why some learners would not give up. Through cooperative team assignments, students are encouraged to participate online. While working as teams, failure to share responsibility brought more problems. Additionally, non-English speaking learners find it difficult to take part in quick chats. Finally, it is extremely difficult for unconnected students to make valuable contributions to online learning, and no amount of coaching would improve their learning experience.

 It is with no doubt that active participation in discussions, and integration to community learning leads to course completion. Poor online participation and visibility involves absenteeism, poor visibility owing to high costs and poor connectivity saves to a few who manage to log in and benefit maximally among others. Successful course completion was evident in those students who interacted or contributed in class. Quality contributions of high standards as opposed to quantity enact trust in mature students. Concerning online community, learners portray cognitive feedback and moderate discussions, paving way for full participation, while non-participating learners relinquish feedback and coaching (Nagel et al, 2009. p. 51). In order to shun read-only activities, grading individual contribution, and fostering communication among others should be enhanced.