Use of online courses and tools in On-campus University Courses Essay Sample

8 August 2017

Executive Summary

The current research examines the attitude of pupils and teachers to the usage of the cyberspace and other cyberspace tools in on-campus classs. assessed student’s attitudes and rating of online classs and determined their consciousness of WebCT. 60 pupils from 3 major schools at the Winthrop University were surveyed utilizing a quantitative questionnaire. The cyberspace is widely used by the pupil population to help in class work but there is merely limited usage of this medium by teachers to ease direction in the schoolroom. Email is. nevertheless. more often used than any other medium for student-instructor communicating. Barely half of the pupils would be interested in an on-line class. Students rated the absence of a schoolroom. flexibleness. riddance of going demands and clip efficiency as grounds for involvement in on-line classs. They rated no specific ground. penchant for in the flesh classs and belief that onsite classs are better as hinderances to their desire to take online classs.

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They do non believe that online classs offer much existent benefit to them. Universities need to analyze the nature of email interactions between teachers and pupils and more effectual usage of the cyberspace as learning AIDSs is needed among teachers.


It appears that teachers in traditional face-to-face university classs do non do equal and effectual usage of the cyberspace and internet resources as instruction and larning AIDSs in the schoolroom. Compared to online classs. which are inherently internet-based acquisition sites. the traditional university schoolroom has non benefited from or taken much advantage of the internet resources offered by new and underdeveloped cyberspace engineerings. This research examines the usage of the cyberspace and other interne tools at Winthrop University. The research is guided by the undermentioned research inquiries:

Additional the undermentioned hypotheses arae tested:

Literature Review

Information and communicating engineering particularly the computing machine and the Internet. has influenced many Fieldss and facets of the society including the field of instruction. The acceptance of engineering into instruction has resulted in distance acquisition which is defined as a ‘planned teaching/learning experience that uses a broad spectrum of engineerings to make scholars at a distance and is designed to promote learner interaction and certification of learning’ ( Greenberg. 1998. p. 36 on Akkoyunlu & A ; Soylu. 2006 p. 44 ) . A popular type of distance acquisition is on-line larning which is ‘the usage of cyberspace to entree larning stuffs ; to interact with the content. teacher and other scholars. and to obtain support during the learning procedure. in order to get cognition ; to build personal significance ; and to turn from the larning experience’ ( Khan. 1997 on Akkoyunlu & A ; Soylu. 2006 p. 44 ) . Online acquisition has become popular particularly for working pupils. for those who have household and kids and for those who want to be enrolled in peculiar school but geographical distance restricts them. Online acquisition has become more prevailing for busy grownups as it non merely eliminates barriers of distance and clip but besides the autocratic function of the teacher.

The primary advantage of online acquisition is that it offers an chance to larn without the restrictions of clip or location. supplying flexibleness to larn at any given clip and topographic point ( Cincinnati. 2007 ) . This means that online acquisition plans are accessible 24/7 for anyone enrolled in the plan therefore it is really suiting even with busy individuals ; pupils can analyze whenever they have free clip. This type of acquisition is really advantageous to career oriented persons who wish to foster their instruction but do non hold adequate clip for traditional acquisition. Online acquisition besides offers uninterrupted perusal ; that is analyzing is non affected when pupils wanted to travel another topographic point or to alter a occupation. unlike in traditional acquisition where pupils have to reassign to the nearest school from place or work.

Furthermore. online larning eliminates unproductive clip. stuffs and resources ( Cicognani. 2000 ) that is common with traditional acquisition. Online larning eliminates travel clip from work or place to school. Learning stuffs and resources are available online ; the cyberspace is utilized to present quality talks that use picture. sound and multimedia as acquisition tools ( Harvard University. 2007 ) . Such learning AIDSs help do talks easier to be understood.

Online acquisition is normally preferred by older pupils and professionals because it eliminates the autocratic function of and force per unit areas from the teachers. Students can make their ain acquisition manners ; they become more autonomous and responsible for their ain acquisition ( Cincinnati. 2007 ) . Students do non hold to cover personally with their teachers every bit good as with the regulations and policy of the physical school therefore going more comfy with analyzing. Students can besides pass on with their teachers and even with fellow pupils via electronic mail or forum provided by on-line acquisition plans.

Internet acquisition allows grownup scholars the flexibleness to find their ain procedure of larning without being imposed on by an teacher. Theories of grownup instruction have continuously emphasized the usage of appropriate schemes to run into the single demands of scholars. Some of the trademarks of grownup instruction. as highlighted by Lin. Cranton & A ; Bridglall ( 2005 ) are independency. autonomy and ownership of ain acquisition. While cyberspace larning plans normally facilitate interaction between scholars and instructor. the grownup scholars fundamentally have full control over their ain instruction. finishing assignments and take parting in on-line treatments on their ain enterprise. Internet larning shifts the focal point from the teacher and places the scholar at the centre of larning experiences. In this manner grownup scholars benefit well from cyberspace acquisition.

In recent old ages a figure of universities have been offering online and distance instruction chances. To ease students’ entree to university-specific information such as class stuff. teachers and other pupils. these universities have created practical campuses. which are highly reliant on the cyberspace and internet resources for functionality. Blackboard and WebCT are a few package companies that design. deliver. and maintain on-line classs. They specialize in capablenesss such as bulletin boards. confabs. electronic mail. and listservs which are indispensable to online classs.

However. like the online schoolroom. the cyberspace can be a utile tool in the traditional schoolroom to heighten pupil acquisition. Harmonizing to Pettijohn ( 2000 ) . the cyberspace can lend significantly to bettering the schoolroom experience. The cyberspace contains a wealth of information resources which are non restricted by clip or infinite ( Salend. Duhaney. Anderson & A ; Gottschalk. 2004 ) and. in any instance. it has been reported that university pupils depend rather to a great extent on the cyberspace. utilizing it rather often. therefore teachers should happen ways of integrating the cyberspace into their classs ( Hiemstra & A ; Poley. 2007 ) .

Since the coming and rapid proliferation of the cyberspace and cyberspace tools. research workers have been trying to analyse the comparative effectivity of the traditional internet-absent or internet-limited university schoolroom against a practical schoolroom which embraces the capablenesss offered by the cyberspace. Many establishments. such as Troy University and Winthrop University. hold provided the option of online/distance instruction options to interested pupils. in response to pupil scheduling adjustments. the altering nature of the Fieldss in instruction. and increase usage of cyberspace engineering. These universities have realized that. in order to take advantage of the new practical market-place for university instruction. their classs and plans must reflect and conform to the newest tendencies and the desires of the new consumer base.

This research assesses how good traditional university classs are aligned and maintaining up with altering engineering. Assessment of universities and the quality of the plans that they offer needs to be an on-going procedure which will take to and inform alterations and betterments. Thus the findings of this survey will be rather relevant to university decision makers. teachers. pupils and other stakeholders in instruction in assisting to supply a platform for bettering pupil convenience. public presentation. enlisting and answerability at universities.

Previous research has contemplated similar issues. analyzing instructors’ usage of one or other internet resources in specified classs. Duran. Kelly and Keaten ( 2005 ) reported on a survey analyzing the usage of electronic mail between teachers and their pupils. The researchers’ end was to happen out the overall frequence of student/instructor e-mail interactions. the frequence of teacher initiated e-mail interactions. the grounds for pupil originating interaction with teachers. the grounds for teachers originating interaction with pupils and the perceptual experiences of teachers with respects to the usage of this medium for pass oning with pupils.

259 teachers from two universities completed questionnaires which. on analysis. revealed that pupils communicated rather often with teachers via electronic mail but teachers were less frequent in their communicating and induction of e-mail contact. The bulk of interactions nevertheless. teachers reported. were for the intent of bespeaking deadline extensions on assignments and therefore the true potency of these interactions has non yet been realized. The teachers believed that electronic mail was replacing face-to-face interaction with pupils and perceived e-mail contact with pupils negatively as they had really small separation between place and work because electronic mails were non clip or quantity-restricted.

A similar survey obtained the position of the pupils with respects to how they perceive that teachers are using the cyberspace. In this survey. Wang ( 2007 ) sought to find the extent to which teachers utilized five specific cyberspace tools: electronic mail. bulletin boards. confabs. listservs. and the World Wide Web. A sum of 624 pupils from a public university in the Pacific Rim of the United States were involved in the study. The questionnaire involved pupils evaluation the usage of each cyberspace tool in classs within the instruction. concern. and humanistic disciplines and scientific disciplines colleges of the university. The research workers found a really limited usage of the cyberspace by teachers in their schoolrooms. Additionally teachers were more willing to direct pupils to these internet resources for independent usage instead than try to ease students’ use of the cyberspace or integrate it into the schoolroom.

Given these old findings it was hypothesized that teachers are non doing extended usage of internet resources in their schoolrooms and therefore that both teachers and pupils may comprehend that cyberspace usage as a teaching-learning assistance is merely relevant to online and distance instruction classs.

Research Design

The research was conducted at Winthrop University. a mid-sized public university. I am professionally connected to the establishment and I live in Rock Hill. SC. where the University is located therefore the handiness and convenience makes it the most appropriate survey site. Besides. Winthrop is ideal because it has used WebCT since 1999 and on February 28. 2006 it merged with Blackboard ( hypertext transfer protocol: //www. chalkboard. com/webct ) to offer over three 100 classs. including wholly on-line classs. addendums to traditional classs. and classs that are presently being developed.

This study took the signifier of a questionnaire. The points on the questionnaire ( See Appendix A ) attempted to find. first of all. pupil consciousness of online classs and tools ( cognition ) ; the different cyberspace tools that are being used by teachers and pupils ( action ) and assesses the effectivity of their usage ( evaluate ) . Therefore. I administered anAttitudetype of questionnaire. Because of the entree I have at the university. ( electronic mail. database. etc ) . fixing and administrating the questionnaire had minimum costs to me.

The questionnaires were administered entirely to pupils and excluded teachers. While it would hold been ideal to obtain the input of teachers. I was cognizant of the restrictions that would originate in enrolling equal Numberss of module to finish the questionnaires. I recruited a sum of 60 respondents drawn about every bit from the three major modules of the university. Students who were prosecuting surveies in classs that are IT based were excluded from the survey because such classs presuppose the incorporation of information engineering including the cyberspace and therefore went travel counter to the intents of the research. The respondents were indiscriminately selected based on their willingness to finish the questionnaires. This size is equal based on the population of the three Fieldss.


A sum of 60 respondents were obtained from across three major modules of the university – Arts/Science represented 23. 33 % of the sample ( n=14 ) . Business was 33. 33 % ( n=20 ) and Education was 43. 33 % ( n=26 ) . The original purpose was to enroll an equal proportion of pupils from each module. nevertheless the distribution of respondents within the three modules is representative of the population distribution of the university where the module of Education has the largest contingent of pupils. A larger proportion of females ( 61. 66 % ; n=37 ) than males ( 38. 33 % ; n = 23 ) completed the study. These figures were farther broken down into 21. 66 % Graduates ( n = 13 ) . 31. 66 % Seniors ( n = 19 ) . 18. 33 % Juniors ( n = 11 ) . 13. 33 % Sophomores ( n = 8 ) and 15 % Freshmen ( n = 9 ) .

To measure the attitude of pupils and teachers towards the usage of the cyberspace and other online tools in on-campus university classs pupils were asked to rank the frequence of their personal usage of the cyberspace. the frequence of the usage of the cyberspace to help with coursework. the frequence with which teachers utilized the cyberspace as an extra assistance and the proportion of instructor-student communicating that is conducted utilizing cyberspace tools. 58. 33 % ( n = 35 ) of pupils utilize the cyberspace everyday. 20 % ( n=12 ) utilize the cyberspace at least twice per hebdomad. 16. 66 % ( n = 10 ) use it one time per hebdomad and the staying 5 % ( n = 3 ) use the cyberspace merely one time every two hebdomads.

53. 33 % ( n = 32 ) of pupils reported that they ever used the cyberspace to help with their class work. 40 % ( n = 24 ) use the cyberspace frequently for this intent. 3. 33 % each ( n = 2 ) used the cyberspace seldom or merely sometimes for helping with class work. With regard to instructor’s incorporation of the cyberspace into on-line classs 33. 33 % ( n = 20 ) of pupils reported that teachers merely used the cyberspace sometimes. 18. 33 % ( n = 11 ) . say that teachers use the cyberspace frequently. 16. 66 % ( n = 10 ) study that teachers use the cyberspace ever. this same figure say that this is done merely seldom and 15 % ( n = 9 ) province that teachers ne’er use the cyberspace as a instruction or extra assistance. ( Please see Appendix 1 – Table 1 for Chi-square analyses for these classs of responses ) .

Students were asked to rate the proportion of clip they communicated with their teachers utilizing face-to-face. electronic mail. telephone or other media. Both e-mail and face-to-face were used the most often. at least half of the clip in student-instructor communicating. Table 1 indicates comparative responses of pupils based on the type of communicating and the frequence of these communications. 70 % and 21. 66 % of pupils reported utilizing electronic mail to pass on with teachers all or most of the clip severally. Similarly 60 % and 6. 66 % reported utilizing face-to-face communicating most or all of the clip severally.

Table 1- Proportionate usage of communicative signifiers in student-instructor interactions

In order to find the attitude towards online classs pupils were asked whether or non they had of all time taken an on-line class and if they would of all time be interested in taking one. 78. 33 % ( n=47 ) of pupils had ne’er taken an on-line class before but about half stated they would be interested in such a class ( 48. 33 % ; n=29 ) . In saying their grounds for wanting to take an on-line class pupils ranked that direction occurs outside a schoolroom ( n=28 ) and flexibleness ( n=27 ) as the top incentives. Ranked closely behind were no demand to go ( n=25 ) . efficient usage of clip ( n=21 ) and that they can pass whatever clip they wanted to larn ( n=19 ) .

In ranking the concerns that prevented them from being interested in on-line classs pupils gave no specific ground ( i. e. I’m merely non interested ) ( n=29 ) and the chief issue against on-line classs. Their penchant for in the flesh classs ( n=27 ) . belief that onsite classs are better in quality and content ( n=26 ) and their penchant for a schoolroom scene ( n=25 ) ranked following.

Students were asked to rate two statements on a graduated table strongly agree. agree. impersonal. disagree and strongly differ – ( I ) Exposure to online resources and engineerings provides knowledge that I see as being of value in my future calling and ( two ) Incorporating on-line stuff to complement category stuff is good. 50 % of the pupils strongly agreed with the first statement and 41. 66 % ( n=25 ) agreed. 36. 66 % ( n=22 ) and 30 % ( n=18 ) severally strongly agreed or agreed with the 2nd statement.

Merely 18. 33 % ( n=11 ) of pupils were non familiar with WebCt classs and tools. The others were at least slightly familiar ( 40 % ; n=24 ) or really familiar ( 41. 66 % ; n=25 ) . 43. 33 % ( n=26 ) believe that Winthrop does merely a just occupation of integrating internet use. Merely 20 % ( n=12 ) felt that the university was making a really good occupation.


The attitude of pupils towards cyberspace usage in on-campus classs is really positive with the huge bulk doing at least some usage of the cyberspace on a regular footing. non merely for personal terminals but to help with coursework. Contrary to the hypothesis cyberspace tools. specifically e-mail. are being used more often than traditional face-to-face or telephone communications. However. since the information was merely quantitative there is no suggestion as to the intents of these email communications. Research has suggested that e-mailing is normally used to bespeak deadline extensions on assignments instead than to ease meaningful instructor-student treatments on class stuff ( Duran. Kelly & A ; Keaten. 2005 ) . Furthermore research workers are non utilizing the cyberspace and cyberspace tools every bit often as learning AIDSs or to ease direction.

Students do non hold a really positive attitude towards online classs. Most pupils give no specific ground for non being interested in online classs and merely a little per centum have had exposure to these alternate acquisition media. They are. nevertheless. really cognizant of WebCT and believe that the university of Winthrop is making a applaudable occupation of integrating engineering into teacher. This positive reappraisal may be as a consequence of their deficiency of involvement in on-line classs.


Further research is needed to find the nature of the electronic mail interactions between teachers and pupils. Even though the research suggests that teachers are non integrating the cyberspace often pupils study that the bulk of their communications is via an cyberspace excessively – e-mailing. It would be utile to find the exact nature of the instructor-student treatments carried on at Winthrop university.

Since pupils rate the university good in footings of its incorporation of the cyberspace in on-campus classs. and since they are non really interested in on-line classs. the university could try to farther better the bing online tools it uses to do these more attractive and user-friendly.

It is believed that career-oriented persons would hold a different position on cyberspace usage. It would be good if farther research is conducted among persons who are presently set abouting online classs to understand the grounds for their involvement and how they evaluate their experience. Depending on the feedback from such a research this determination could either be used to promote more pupils to take advantage of these chances or to modify and better bing plans to do them more accessible to those who desire them the most.


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