A Simulation, Persistence, Engagement and Feedback Impact Performance in a Computer Networking Course

  • Richard Fulton Troy University
  • Diane Fulton Clayton State University


Information and Communication Technology tools are being rapidly adopted in the online learning environment for their learning effectiveness based upon theories of higher-order skill learning styles, problem-based learning, engagement, frequent feedback and persistence (element in motivation). In this study, 133 students used the tools of an online computer simulation, online discussion forum, and frequent quizzing in a networking computer science course. Students who persisted (at least 10 hours spent in the lab) and successfully developed higher order skills in the simulation (lab scores), fully engaged in the online discussion forum (discussion grades) and received frequent positive feedback (mean quizzes score) were examined for their results on the performance measures in the course (midterm exam, final exam, final grade). Significant results were found in the t-test, correlation and regression analysis between persistence (time spent in lab) and skill achievement in the computer lab simulation (lab scores). In addition, simulation skill achievement, discussion board engagement, and frequent feedback through quizzing impacted certain specific exams and overall performance, in general.