Significance of the Study

This study will potentially benefit a number of different but overlapping communities. For example, instructional designers will more clearly understand the rationale and benefits of incorporating cooperative learning activities and study buddy experiences into their courses, faculty developers will be able to assist faculty who are transitioning to a blended or online model with recommendations for activities that can be implemented in a diverse set of circumstances, and students will be encouraged that the work of engaging with a peer will be beneficial in their studies and careers. Furthermore, the study may provide a foundation for those who wish to promote engagement and critical thinking in massive open online courses (MOOCs) as well as for universities considering the use of social networking software.