Appana takes a look at a vast area of research into the adoption and acceptance of eLearning, and succinctly notes the most important factors affecting key stakeholders in the process. This substantially inline-referenced article serves as an excellent primer for novice eLearning researchers, and provides many avenues for further exploration of the subject.
Subhashni Appana. “A Review of Benefits and Limitations of Online Learning in the Context of the Student, the Instructor, and the Tenured Faculty“. International Journal on ELearning. 7.1 (2008): 5-22.
A common problem cited in eLearning research is the increased feedback burden on teachers, created by the perceived one-to-one relationship that online instruction provides. This article assesses, through a mediated survey/study, whether different types and natures of feedback delivery result in greater student success and satisfaction. The study does indeed confirm a positive link between personalised (versus collective) feedback and student performance. Overall satisfaction was found to be linked more to the overall course design than to the mode of feedback employed. The study provides a useful basis for online teachers to reflect on the different types, modes, frequencies and speed of feedback they should employ in their work.
Tara Gallien, Jody Oomen-Early. “Personalized Versus Collective Instructor Feedback in the Online Courseroom: Does Type of Feedback Affect Student Satisfaction, Academic Performance and Perceived Connectedness With the Instructor?” International Journal on ELearning. 7.3 (2008): 463-476.
This article was driven by a large student survey conducted across over 40 universities in the United States. Providing a useful set of assessment criteria, it polled opinions on a number of characteristics which suggest that online learning has the potential to surpass or supplant face-to-face delivery in the near future. Discussion on the limitations of current systems informs possible improvements in general eLearning design and deployment.
Karl L Wuensch, Shahnaz Aziz, Erol Ozan, Masao Kishore, M H N Tabrizi. “Pedagogical Characteristics of Online and Face-to-Face Classes“. International Journal on ELearning. 7.3 (2008): 523-532.
A refreshing look at what the major stakeholders in the education game desire, with a particular focus on end-user needs: so often neglected in the education debate. An analysis is conducted on current learning systems, and opinions given (through surveys and personal reflection) on the makeup of future learning systems. There is a particular focus on high-participation web 2.0-type applications, together with a broad discussion of future ideas. The article is a very useful contribution to the overall debate on what is wrong with eLearning at the moment, and how best to solve these problems in the future.
Ali Jafari, Patricia McGee, Colleen Carmean. “Managing Courses, Defining Learning: What Faculty, Students, and Administrators Want.” Educause Review. D. Teddy Diggs. July 2006.
A fascinating read into a practical application and evaluation of eLearning in China. Through an online survey, the authors seek to discover how students at Xi’an Jiao Tong University react to eLearning as a delivery method, whether computer literacy is a prerequisite for acceptance and successful use of eLearning tools, and to assess the usefulness of content management systems as a teaching aid. Describing in detail the methodology, sample and results, the article comes to several conclusions, including that students did not show any level of relative improvement in knowledge acquisition in an eLearning versus face-to-face context.
James N K Liu, Xiangqian Cheng. “An Evaluation of the Learning of Undergraduates Using ELearning in a Tertiary Institution in China“. International Journal on ELearning. 7.3 (2008): 427-447.