Student Decision Making in Technology Application

Student Decision Making in Technology Application

Ali Ahmed (University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, USA) and Abdulaziz Elfessi (University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-503-2.ch414


This study investigated factors that influence students’ decision-making processes in selecting a classroom or online course, student technology skills and experience, and concerns students have about Internet integration. Students completed a survey questionnaire and web-based pretests and posttests. A Likert scale instrument was completed by students in both a control group and an experimental group. Independent two-sample t-tests and an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), using the initial score as the covariate, were conducted. Level of significance (alpha) was set at .05 to achieve statistical significance for all analyses. Both groups in this study were full-time, on-campus students with access to the same technology resources. Findings reveal that students’ perceptions and experiences were quite similar.
Chapter Preview

Instructional Environment

Participation in Web-enhanced classrooms or online distance learning is influenced by student motivation, technology experience, learning styles, and learning expectations (Shovein et al., 2005). According to Shin and Chan (2004), education level, online learning experience, and Internet skills affect student participation in online learning.

Many institutions of higher education are using Web-based instruction for classroom and distance education (Falvo & Solloway, 2004). Various online course management systems have evolved within the last decade and have been widely adapted by educational institutions. Course management systems such as BlackboardTM, WebCTTM, and Desire2LearnTM have been used in classrooms to supplement learning and as an online distance education delivery medium. In a comparison study of two online course management systems, Storey, Phillips, Maczewski, and Wang (2002) revealed that ease of technology use and access to technology are important considerations when deciding whether to use technology. Buzzell, Chamberlain, and Pintauro (2002) stated that both Web-based and classroom learning are effective instructional environments.

Advocates of online learning mention the flexibility that online learning provides. Although online learning offers flexibility, it is not yet regarded by many educators as an appealing replacement of classroom learning; therefore, the significance of flexibility should not override other factors that affect learning such as student learning styles and technology skills. Atan, Rahman, and Idrus (2004) recognized the benefits of Web-based instruction such as increased opportunities for using different instructional strategies, use of multimedia, improved communication and interaction, and easy access to course materials; however, they also argued that the impact of a traditional course delivery system supercedes that of online learning.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: