Perceptions and Experiences of E-Learning among On-Campus Students

Perceptions and Experiences of E-Learning among On-Campus Students

Michelle M. Kazmer (Florida State University, USA), Amelia N. Gibson (Florida State University, USA) and Kathleen Shannon (Florida State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3688-0.ch004
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This chapter explores the experiences of on-campus graduate students in Library and Information Studies (LIS) who take online classes using the relevant literature and analyzing data from an exploratory study to begin to answer the overarching research question: What are the factors influencing the perceptions and affective experiences of on-campus graduate students who take courses taught via Web-based instruction? Specific subareas of the existing research literature addressing student perceptions of online learning and hybrid and blended learning provide direction and frame the discussion. Empirical evidence is provided via qualitative data from a study comprising face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with 20 on-campus students at the Florida State University School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), all of whom must take online courses to complete the Master’s degree at SLIS.
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The perceptions and experiences of on-campus LIS students who are required to take online classes are essential to extending research in online learning in LIS. Up to this point, most work has examined online distance learners in online LIS courses or programs, or on-campus learners in face-to-face classes, and has frequently compared the two. Less studied is the experience of on-campus students taking online classes. Being aware of the factors at play for these students is increasingly important as more LIS programs introduce online instruction locally or through consortia such as WISE (Web-based Information Science Education). More students who anticipate a completely face-to-face curriculum in graduate school will be required to take some classes online. Some will do so because of institutional policy, others by delivery situations (such as those at the SLIS) in which it is not possible to complete the degree by taking only on-campus classes. Similarly, many students nationwide are required to use e-learning technologies in their on-campus classes. Adding the approach of this chapter to research methods in LIS online learning will help us improve LIS education by understanding the issues involved when we require on-campus students to take online classes, and be better attuned to the experiences of these students in order to improve their satisfaction.

We present the major factors identified in this data analysis, putting them in the context of the literature and theory about e-learning in LIS (including hybrid, blended, and mobile forms) and the affective experiences of students in face-to-face and technology-mediated settings. This examination draws on two specific sub-areas of interest: students' experiences with teaching and learning that involve combinations of online and face-to-face components (such as hybrid and blended learning), and students' perceptions of e-learning technologies even (or especially) when they are used in non-remote settings. The chapter concludes with implications for research and practice in librarianship.

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