Student Personality and Learning Outcomes in E-Learning: An Introduction to Empirical Research

Student Personality and Learning Outcomes in E-Learning: An Introduction to Empirical Research

Eyong B. Kim (University of Hartford, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-615-2.ch013


Web-based courses are a popular format in the e-learning environment. Among students enrolled in Web-based courses, some students learn a lot, while others do not. There are many possible reasons for the differences in learning outcomes (e.g., student’s learning style, satisfaction, motivation, etc.). In the last few decades, students’ personality has emerged as an important factor influencing the learning outcomes in a traditional classroom environment. Among different personality models, the Big-Five model of personality has been successfully applied to help understand the relationship between personality and learning outcomes. Because Web-based courses are becoming popular, the Big-Five model is applied to find out if students’ personality traits play an important role in a Web-based course learning outcomes.
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Previous Research On The Effectiveness Of Online Courses

Because online courses are a relatively new method of learning, the first question anyone may have is if online courses are as effective as the traditional classroom courses. The research results of the effectiveness of online courses are inconclusive. Proponents of online courses suggest that a technology-mediated learning environment such as online courses might achieve the following: a) improve students' achievement (Alavi, 1994; Hiltz 1995; Maki et al., 2000; Schutte, 1997; Wetzel, et al., 1994), b) improve the students’ evaluation of the learning experience (Alavi, 1994; Hiltz, 1995), c) be more effective in teaching some type of courses (Frailey, McNell, E., & Mould, 2000), d) help to increase teacher/student interaction (Cradler, 1997; Hiltz, 1995; Schutte, 1997), and e) make learning more student-centered (Cradler, 1997). For example, when undergraduate students learned basic information technology skills, students’ performance was no different whether they enrolled in a traditional classroom course or an online course (Piccoli, Ahmad, & Ives, 2001). Using a philosophy course for teachers at both the high school and the two-year college level, Pucel and Stertz, (2005) found that the student performance between the Web-based course and the traditional classroom course were mixed.

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