Experiences and Opinions of Online Learners: What Fosters Successful Learning

Experiences and Opinions of Online Learners: What Fosters Successful Learning

Michael F. Beaudoin (University of New England, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-853-1.ch020
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Abstract

The International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction (IBSTPI) engaged in a research study in 2007-2009 to survey learners enrolled in online education and training. The project attempts to better understand how students engage in learning in online environments, and to identify the critical factors that affect their satisfaction and success. This data is intended to arrive at a set of competencies critical to online learners’ success to be disseminated for use by online learners, as well as providers. This chapter reports findings and analyses of a 58 question survey administered online that yielded 318 responses from American, Israeli, Mexican and Japanese cohorts. The study revealed that the majority of respondents rated their satisfaction and success with online learning as positive, and that these outcomes were largely due to self-motivation and time-management, rather than provider resources. The discussion addresses the impact of instructional resources, to ascertain if characteristics of the online environment are a dominant factor in influencing students’ attitudes, behaviors, and learning outcomes. Practical application of findings is considered by articulating a preliminary set of online learner competencies.

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