Performance in e-learning: online participation and student grades


Martin Graff, Department of Psychology and Education, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Glamorgan, UK. CF37 1DL. Tel: +44 (0) 1443 654071; fax: +44 (0) 1443 482138; email:


The beneficial effects of learners interacting in online programmes have been widely reported. Indeed, online discussion is argued to promote student-centred learning. It is therefore reasonable to suggest that the benefits of online discussion should translate into improved student performance. The current study examined the frequency of online interaction of 122 undergraduates and compared this with their grades at the end of the year. The findings revealed that greater online interaction did not lead to significantly higher performance for students achieving passing grades; however, students who failed in their courses tended to interact less frequently. Other factors that may be salient in online interactions are discussed.