Experiences and Opinions of E-learners: What Works, What are the Challenges, and What Competencies Ensure Successful Online Learning
Michael Beaudoin, University of New England, United States ; Gila Kurtz, The Center for Academic Studies, Israel ; Sigal Eden, The Open University of Israel, Israel
IJELLO Volume 5, Number 1, ISSN 1552-2237 Publisher: Informing Science Institute
This paper reports findings of a survey of online learners from Western (mostly US), Israeli, Mexican, and Japanese cohorts. An instrument with 58 questions, including several open-ended items, allowing 318 respondents to tell their “stories” as online learners, was disseminated online in late 2008-early 2009. This research study attempts to better understand how students engage in online learning in terms of interacting with the medium and materials, with the instructor, and with one another. Also, with four distinct cohorts, representing four countries and cultures, there is some value in determining if there might be certain differences between these learner populations that are driven primarily by cultural orientation. The study revealed that the majority of re- spondents rated their satisfaction with their online learning to be positive. The findings further reveal that these cohorts produced a diverse list of positive/negative aspects influencing satisfaction/dissatisfaction, identified items critical to being a successful online learner, as well as challenges in their online learning environment. The majority indicated that success as online learners ultimately depended more on self-determination than on institutional support. Summary findings and analyses presented here provide evidence of some commonalities across groups and reveal experiences and opinions that can contribute to formulating a set of competencies useful to both online learners and providers.
Beaudoin, M., Kurtz, G. & Eden, S. (2009). Experiences and Opinions of E-learners: What Works, What are the Challenges, and What Competencies Ensure Successful Online Learning. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, 5(1), 275-289. Informing Science Institute.
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