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Title: The quality factors which influence online learning and impact on the student experience
Author: Smith, Michael Macinnes
ISNI:       0000 0004 2720 7909
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2012
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This dissertation identifies six measures of quality and correlates their level of association against an indicator of quality and effectiveness, partly derived from a model tested by Peltier et ai, (2003). The dissertation researches on line student-learner attitudes from three universities in England, Scotland and Ireland. These cohorts were almost entirely off-campus distance learners, with a predominance of female, adult-returner students studying Higher Education degrees and modules. A mixed methods approach adopted a Likert-scale survey questionnaire, a series of focus group sessions and an open-ended online question on student perspectives, focused on the key indicators associated with the quality of student online experience. The methodological framework is explained in detail to provide a basis upon which follow-up research can be progressed. The research aims to identify the most pertinent quality factors important to the on line learning experience. The following factors were found to be directly correlated with quality in online education (strongest correlation first): tutor-student interactions; knowledge of delivery technologies; student- student interaction; leT access and skills; course design; and preparedness and readiness for online study. The sum of these measure's correlations with the quality of the online education experience accounts for 70.4% of variance in student perspectives. Other socio-demographic factors (e.g. age, gender, level of education, location, hours worked per week and study mode) were studied and the sum of these factor's correlations with the quality of the online education experience accounts for a further 10.5% of variance in student perspectives on this issue. Further research opportunities identified in this dissertation are connected with developing further knowledge on the relationship between quality, student satisfaction and retention in the on line education context.
Supervisor: Rennie, Frank ; Weller, Martin Sponsor: UHI Studentship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available