who can do it

The following exercise is designed to give you more practice in synthesizing several sources into a paragraph.

UMUC’s Effective Writing Center has developed a tutorial on the concept of synthesizing sources.  In this conference exercise, we will be observing the tutorial and practicing the skills it teaches.

 To complete this conference exercise, please complete the following tasks:

  Watch the tutorial, reviewing it as necessary and taking notes on it:


  • Read through the following six excerpts of articles by several authors.  All six excerpts discuss students’ and/or instructors’ perceptions of online classes.
  • Write two paragraphs that synthesize the sources.   My suggestion is that you write one paragraph on student perceptions of online classes and a second paragraph on instructors’ perceptions of online courses.

The first sentence in your synthesis should be the following:

Various studies indicate that faculty and student have challenges with online learning, but possibly for different reasons.  

 The six excerpts are as follows:

Armstrong, D. A. (2011). Students’ Perceptions of Online Learning and Instructional Tools: A Qualitative Study of Undergraduate Students Use of Online Tools. Turkish Online Journal Of Educational Technology – TOJET, 10(3), 222-226.

Participants perceived online learning to be a convenient alternative to traditional classroom learning but indicated that convenience came with a price: in gaining independence, self-directed learning, they were losing direction from and communication with instructors. In some instances, this tradeoff was perceived to decrease the educational and academic value of the learning experience. For these participants, academic value was perceived to come from interaction and engagement from peers and faculty.  Participants indicated that without necessary direction from faculty online learning allows for an approach to learning that is more surface– or strategic–oriented than is the case in the traditional face–to–face classroom experience (p. 224).


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