When Technology Does Not Support Learning: Conflicts Between Epistemological Beliefs and Technology Support in Virtual Learning Environments

When Technology Does Not Support Learning: Conflicts Between Epistemological Beliefs and Technology Support in Virtual Learning Environments

Steven Hornik (University of Central Florida, USA), Richard D. Johnson (University of South Florida, USA) and Yu Wu (University of Central Florida, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-676-6.ch020
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Abstract

Central to the design of successful virtual learning initiatives is the matching of technology to the needs of the training environment. The difficulty is that while the technology may be designed to complement and support the learning process, not all users of these systems find the technology supportive. Instead, some users’ conceptions of learning, or epistemological beliefs may be in conflict with their perceptions of what the technology supports. Using data from 307 individuals, this research study investigated the process and outcome losses that occur when friction exists between individuals’ epistemological beliefs and their perceptions of how the technology supports learning. Specifically, the results indicated that when there was friction between the technology support of learning and an individual’s epistemological beliefs, course communication, course satisfaction, and course performance were reduced. Implications for design of virtual learning environments and future research are discussed.

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