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Variables influencing success of students in on-line courses Learning styles, computer anxiety and computer playfulness as related to student success in.

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Presentation on theme: "Variables influencing success of students in on-line courses Learning styles, computer anxiety and computer playfulness as related to student success in."— Presentation transcript:

1 Variables influencing success of students in on-line courses Learning styles, computer anxiety and computer playfulness as related to student success in on-line learning. Copyright Burke, 2004. This work is the intellectual property of the author. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non-commercial, educational appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the author. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the author.

2 IRB approval # M 398-2001 # M 399-2001 –Kathleen Burke PhD, RN –G. Elaine Patterson EdD, RN, BC

3 Research in Progress  This study aims to identify student variables that predict success in on-line learning

4 Historical Context  UMDNJ is a multi campus health sciences university. Campuses are located across all regions of the state.  Geographically, this arrangement easily lends itself to distance education and other types of alternative learning modalities.  The School of Nursing has 5 programs located on 5 campuses.

5  It is widely recognized that there is a severe nursing shortage within the United States, and as a result nurses who have returned to school are demanding flexible scheduling and alternatives to the traditional classroom.  The Joint Nursing Program initiated the movement of the curriculum to on-line learning three years age.

6  As our “adventure” progressed, we found that as faculty we were having fun, once we mastered some of the technological challenges, but…  Were the students learning?  New approaches to education demand that we not replicate old ways of teaching/learning but rather that we treat students as individuals.

7 Learning Style  The learning style inventory (Kolb, 1999 ) serves as a stimulus to assist the learner in interpreting and reflecting on preferred modes of learning. Knowing one's learning style helps one better understand how to: –Solve problems –Work in teams –Manage conflict –Make career choices –Negotiate personal and professional relationships

8 Computer Anxiety  Tendency of the individual to be uneasy, apprehensive or fearful about current use of computers.  Measured by the Computer Anxiety Scale (Maurer, 1983)

9 Computer Playfulness  Described as the degree of cognitive spontaneity shown by an individual in interaction with a computer (Webster & Martocchio, 1992)  Measured by the Adult Computer Playfulness Scale (Glynn & Webster, 1992)

10 Review of the literature  Since the early 1990’s the literature linking learning styles and new technological approaches has been steadily increasing.  Ross and Schultz (1999) suggest that should be integration between on-line learning and learning styles.

11  Computer Anxiety has been shown to influence adoption of technology. Low levels of computer anxiety have been suggested as a variable leading to willingness to use computers (Allen, 1998)  Computer playfulness relates to the imaginative and inventive use of computers. Individuals with such a cognitive style also have been found to more easily adopt technology (Allen, 1998)

12 This study….  While many studies discuss the significance of learning styles to course design and student satisfaction, there is little research looking at student outcomes in on-line learning in relation to the selected variables  In this study the specific traits of computer anxiety, and computer playfulness are related to learning styles and course grades.

13 Success in on-line learning  Success in on-line learning is being measured by individual course grades.  Additionally, the number of “hits” to the course site is being reviewed.

14 Sample  The sample being reported on today consists of: –127 undergraduate students RN’s returning for BSN Social work students Business majors All students are junior/senior status

15 Findings  As expected the students in the three majors differed in their learning styles –Nurses were predominantly classified as convergers, individuals who have strengths in problem definition, problem solving, and decision making. According to the literature (Kolb, 1999) these skills are important for effectiveness in technology careers. This differs from past research which listed nurses as divergers (Kolb, 1999). This learning style implies that they observe rather than take action and are highly sensitive.

16  This data is interesting in light our initial sample of nurses (2000), which found nurses to be predominantly assimilators.  With the changing expectation of nurses as managers of technology…….

17 –Social work students were classified as assimilators, individuals with strengths in planning and defining problems. –The business majors were also classified as assimilators Assimilators are focused on abstract ideas and less on people.

18 Findings (cont’d)  The majors also differed in the scores on –Computer anxiety with the Social work students having the lowest anxiety (51) followed by the nurses (53) and the business majors having the highest (57). –Computer playfulness with the business majors exhibiting the highest score (80) followed by the social work students (74), and with the nurses having the lowest computer playfulness (72).

19  No significant correlations between learning style and grade were found, but there was a significant correlation between the reflective observation score and the number of “hits” made by the nursing students (r =.556, p..011). Students with this orientation learn by listening and watching. They carefully observe before making a judgment (Kolb, 1999). These reflective observers are spending much more time reading and reviewing the content of others before posting their own comments.

20  There was a significant relationship between computer playfulness and final grades in nurses (r =.539, p.014 N = 88) indicating that nurses with a higher playfulness score had higher grades than other students. There was no significant relationship between computer playfulness and final grades for all majors combined.

21  Computer playfulness was also significantly correlated with major, with business majors demonstrating higher levels of computer playfulness (.221, p.013)

22 So, where do we go from here?  We need to carefully study those variables that assist students in succeeding in an on- line environment.  We may also need to redefine “success” in an on-line learning environment as opposed to a traditional one.  The teaching/learning orientation of the faculty also needs o be included in future research on on-line learning

23 The biggest obstacle to innovation is thinking that it can be Done the old way…often technique lags behind technology (Stevenson, B)

24 References  Allen, J.W. (1998). The relationship between microcomputer playfulness and end-user intention to adopt information technology. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, GA: Georgia State University.  Glynn, M.A. & Webster, J. “The Adult Playfulness Scale: An Initial Assessment”, Psychological Reports, 1992, 71, pp83-103.  Kolb. D.A. (1999). Learning Styles Inventory: Technical Manual. Boston, MA: McBer  Maurer, M. (1983). Development and validation of a measure of computer anxiety. Unpublished Masters’ Thesis, IO: Iowa State University.  Ross,J.L., & Schulz, R.A. (Fall, 1999). Using the World Wide Web to Accommodate Diverse Learning Styles. College Teaching  Webster, J & Martocchio, J.J. Microcomputer Playfulness: Development of a Measure with Workplace Implications. MIS Quarterly, June, pp 201.

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