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Four online professors of graduate level business courses at a prestigious university were engaged in a heated discussion about how the quality, length, and depth of faculty members’ posts to students impacted student satisfaction, achievement of course objectives, and persistence. Each believed their respective approaches produced the best outcomes.

Professor Jones did not interact a great deal with her students. When she did, she often used short responses—usually 1-2 lines of text. She believed graduate students were relatively self-directed and could engage and interact without much involvement by her. The number of student postings to the discussion board was about average. Students seemed neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with the instructor and the course, and their achievement of learning outcomes was not significantly different than students taking the course on campus.

Professor Smith believed that students did not need high levels of faculty participation; however, he did believe the quality and length of his responses were crucial to their development. He provided profoundly insightful responses that typically ran 5-10 lines of text and often contained information that supplemented the discussion, but he didn’t respond to every student’s post in that manner. He did use 1-2 line responses to provide one to one feedback for the majority of his students. The number of student posts was not very high, but students seemed to be satisfied with him as an instructor and the achievement of the learning outcomes for the course was average.

Professor Davis rarely made insightful comments to his students, and his posting activity was considered below average in terms of quantity and quality. The posts he made also tended to be informative in nature and the 1-2 lines of text he delivered were primarily designed to show students he had read their responses. His students had fewer posts than students enrolled in Professor Jones’ and Smith’s courses, and had achieved the course learning outcomes, but not more significant than those of Professor Jones.

Professor Taylor generated nearly 500 posts to her recent class of 25 students. It was clear she put more effort into her class than the other three faculty members. She often used informative postings, as well as questions to students. Although most of her posts were not insightful, and usually 2-4 lines of text, they often contained typos, grammatical errors, and incomplete sentences. Her class of 25 students generated more than 2500 posts—more than any of the other three professors. Her students’ achievement of learning outcomes was essentially the same as Professor Smith’s students, but they rated Dr. Taylor as an outstanding instructor.

Rank order the instructors in terms of their effectiveness from 1 to 4 and justify your rankings based on the content in this unit and any additional research you reviewed.

Post your response to the initial question in the discussion thread and reply to two of your colleagues. If outside sources are used, cite them in correct APA format.

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