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Aimiuwu, E., Bapna, S., & Ahmed, A. (2013). Effective Use of Technology to Improve Diverse Student Interaction in Online Courses for Workplace Success, Association of Business Information Systems Conference Proceedings, 37-61. 

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The aim of this empirical and quantitative research is to study how well online education prepares students for the 21st century workplace. Through the use of online survey, we investigated the significant link between workers with online education to their work success at the workplace. This study is derived from the fact that many employers are known to question the value of online education compared to classroom education. It is also know in research that many employers treat applicants with online education less favorably than applicants with classroom education because they feel that online education lacks adequate engagement and interaction between instructor and students, as well as among students. The issue of engagement and interaction is a cultural and controversial one among people, which creeps into our classes and affects the active learning environment negatively. This paper focuses on the elimination of online cultural biases in class as a strategy to make online learning as engaged and interactive as possible to 21st century employers. Since how we interact, engage, and perceive each other at both work and school is based on culture, the six strategies addressed in the paper to tackle online disengagement in classes are through the effective class facilitation based on (a) race (ethnicity), (b) culture, (c) gender, (d) age, (e) disability, and (f) online access.  


Key Findings:

  • The perception of online courses helping in diversity is significantly related to the perception of success in the workplace.

  • Successful instructors who can foster diversity are directly helping in the perception of success at the workplace.

  • Online education success for the workplace correlated with success in racial, cultural, disability, and online assess & use at the workplace.

  • Online education success for the workplace did not correlate with gender & age success at the workplace.

  • Online instructors should be aware that cultural diversity must be embraced and appreciated for effective and productive learning to take place actively.

  • The ability to facilitate diversity in the classroom will not just provide the mentors needed by diverse students for workplace success, but it will teach students to be engaged through discussions, small-groups, debate, or online interaction on the class discussion board.

  • Unfortunately, students will not benefit from active learning if the instructors are not motivated to embrace diversity by the institution.


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