Understanding the Effects of University Students' Interaction on Online Learning Continuance Intention

Understanding the Effects of University Students' Interaction on Online Learning Continuance Intention

Rui-Ting Huang (Chung Yuan Christian University, Taiwan) and Syh-Jong Jang (Chung Yuan Christian University, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0137-6.ch016
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Despite numerous studies focusing on the association between online learning interaction and satisfaction, few studies has investigated the relationship between learners’ perceived interaction and continuance intention. Although it has been found that learners’ age, gender, and prior experience could play a role in previous educational researches, further inquiries of demographic variables are still relatively rare in online learning studies. The primary purpose of this study was not only to investigate the key role of learners’ age, gender, and prior experience difference in online learning satisfaction and continuance intention but also to understand the effect of the perceived interaction on learners’ continuance intention. 122 online learning students from two universities in the southeastern United States participated in this study. An online survey was utilized to gather the data. The stepwise regression, one-way ANOVA, and Tukey’s Post Hoc Test were conducted to analyze the data. It was found that learners’ perceived usefulness, satisfaction, and learner-learner interaction had a positive effect on their continuance intention. Within four factors, the satisfaction appeared to have the most important influence on continuance intention. The results of one way ANOVA revealed that except for the prior-experience difference existing in the interaction between learners, no age, gender, or prior experience difference existed in the other online learning factors. The Tukey’s Post Hoc Test was performed to determine the differences between different prior-experience groups. It was demonstrated that the learners that had taken more than four online courses appeared to have a higher level of learner-learner interaction. In order to further enhance and maintain online learning effectiveness and efficiency, the institutions of higher education and online learning service providers should first focus on learners’ satisfaction with online learning programs. Moreover, learners’ perceived usefulness appears to have the second influential power toward their continuance intention. The continuous maintenance and upgrade in online learning technology would be one of the key components that could affect learners’ continuous participation in future online learning programs. Finally, the learner-learner interaction appears to have the least power toward online learners’ continuance intention. Nevertheless, the Tukey’s Post Hoc Test, revealing that the prior experience difference exists in learner-learner interaction, further suggests that learners with more online learning experience are very likely to have more interaction with online classmates than those with less online learning experience.
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Features Of Online Learning

The learning environment of the distance education is different from that of the traditional education. Moore and Kearsley (2004) stated that “Distance education is planned learning that normally occurs in a different place from teaching, requiring special techniques of special course design and instructional techniques, communication through various technologies, and special organizational and administrative arrangements” (p. 2). As for the learners, one of the key features of online learning is highly associated with the use of information and communication technology (Summers, Waigandt, & Whittaker, 2005; Zirkle, 2001). Because online learning is delivered via multimedia, learners’ acceptance toward the online learning technology and system plays a very important role in the success of online learning. Accordingly, learners’ perceived usefulness toward online learning technology will be worthy of further investigation and discussion in this study.

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