Are Students Ready for Online Learning?

Are Students Ready for Online Learning?

Yu Peng Lin
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJABE.2018010101
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This article advances knowledge by trying to understand online courses from student behavior. This article analyzed student participation in 15 online courses during the years 2012–2015. The sample includes 106 students and their detailed log-on minutes and grades. The author applied a descriptive analysis, a one-way ANOVA, and a simple regression model. The empirical evidence suggests that student attention is substantially discounted in an online learning environment as evidenced by the much lower-than-expected log-on minutes. Students do not seem to treat online courses as equivalent to their traditional on-site counterparts. They tend to “review for assignments.” It is doubtful that students would achieve the same level of learning outcomes as in a conventional face-to-face instruction. The results help to understand how college instruction can best use the Internet.
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Literature Review

With the increasing usage of the Internet, distance or online learning has become more and more popular in recent years. Since its first introduction in 2008 and emerging as a popular mode of learning thereafter, Massive Open Online Courses (hereafter: MOOCs) are a recent and widely researched development in online learning. A MOOC is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. The intense publicity about MOOCs has led almost every university toward developing an Internet strategy. As a result, an increasing number of higher education institutions have started to offer online courses and online degrees.

While online courses/degrees are advocated by higher education institutions for the purpose of improving access for students in underserved communities in the U.S. and around the globe, there are a number of other benefits as well. For instance, consider that for the sponsoring institutions, online courses can help to enhance institutional visibility and prestige. For students, there is improved pedagogy and flexibility. Indeed, according to Cole, Shelley, and Swartz (2014), “Convenience” was the most cited reason for the favorable satisfaction of online instruction.

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