Trajectories of engagement: a repeated cross-sectional investigation of student perceptions of an online learning environment
AbstractEvaluations of online learning environments (OLEs) often present a snapshot of system use. It has been identified in the literature that extended evaluation is required to reveal statistically significant developments in the evolution of system use over time. The research presented here draws on student OLE evaluations surveys run over the period 20042011 and include nearly 6800 responses exploring students’ perceptions of importance of, and satisfaction with elements of their OLE. Across the survey period, satisfaction ratings with all OLE elements rose significantly, suggesting a positive student engagement with the OLE over time. The corresponding ratings of importance of OLE elements generally rose significantly, though a number of elements registered no significant difference in the first two years of the survey, suggesting that short period surveys may struggle to reveal statistically significant trends. OLE element use appeared to be closely linked to perceived value. The OLE elements with the highest mean importance and satisfaction ratings related to student access of online learning resources. Other detailed results are also reported. We demonstrate a method for, and one large-scale case study of, quantifying and visualising the trajectories of engagement that students have had with an institutional OLE over time.
Keywords: online learning environment; learning management system; repeated cross-sectional evaluation; student survey
(Published: 24 September 2012)
Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2012, 20: 17143 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v20i0.17143
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