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What Do Learners Like? Ratings of Off-the-Shelf Web-Based Training Courses
Article

, Brattle Systems, Inc., United States ; , Kent State University, United States ; , Arizona State University, United States ; , Brattle Systems, Inc., United States

International Journal on E-Learning Volume 2, Number 1, ISSN 1537-2456 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA

Abstract

Although the field of web-based training (WBT) has grown rapidly in the last few years, there has been little systematic research on what works best and why. This study measured learners' reactions to six WBT courses on Microsoft Access. Learners reported large and consistent differences among the products. Short multiple-choice tests suggested that people learned most from the course they liked best, and least from the course they rated lowest. Analyses of variance revealed statistically significant differences between the courses on seven of the eight subjective factors measured, and on the objective test. The largest difference between the courses was found on ratings of entertainment, and entertainment was also significantly correlated with test scores. The two top-rated courses relied heavily on graphics; the two lowest-rated were text-based. Learners also said that they preferred courses that were clearly written and easy to use. Interestingly, published ratings of the same courses by experts showed exactly the opposite pattern. The courses which participants liked best and learned most from were rated lowest by the subject matter experts. The best of the courses studied here, in both participant ratings and participant learning, was also the least expensive, second best was second in price, and the worst was the most expensive. Based on these results, e-learning developers would be wise to assure that every project includes some measurement of learner reaction, and should attempt to develop e-learning courses that are entertaining and engaging.

Citation

Hassett, J., Ingram, A., Hassett, M. & Marino, E. (2003). What Do Learners Like? Ratings of Off-the-Shelf Web-Based Training Courses. International Journal on E-Learning, 2(1), 50-60. Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved April 23, 2019 from .

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    Gareth Morgan & Jean Adams, Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada

    Journal of Interactive Learning Research Vol. 20, No. 2 (April 2009) pp. 129–155

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