Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Factors affecting perceptions of online education quality and effectiveness in Brazil
by Reifschneider, Marina B., Ph.D., TUI University, 2009, 284; 3377886
Abstract (Summary)

This study assessed perception of online education quality and effectiveness of 1332 students, 52 faculty members, and 23 administrators at a private non-profit university in Brazil. Learning Environment theories (Bertrand, 2003) help integrate the plethora of approaches to studies in the field. Predictors were recognition of worth of online education (new construct), enjoyment of the online experience, different barriers, and demographics. A cross-sectional design was employed. Linear and ordinal multiple regressions, also split by e-courses taken/not taken, were conducted.

Bivariate statistics indicated differences in means in age between all groups (F = 116.86, p < .000), in worth compared to face-to-face education (F = 7.61, p = .001), prerequisite skills barrier (F = 3.98, p = .019), and motivation barrier (F = 5.87, p = .003) between faculty and students, and between e-courses taken and all variables, except pre-skills barrier.

Linear regressions indicated that student predictors of quality were age (B = -.091, p = .014), life science (B = 2.088, p = .000), motivation barrier (B = -.126, p = .020), and bachelors' degree (B = 1.965, p = .001); the first three also for e-courses taken. Regressions were not significant for faculty. For learning effectiveness predictors were age (B = -.010, p = .010), worth compared (B = .022, p = .002), motivation barrier (B = -.019, p = .000), and enjoyment (B = .164, p = .000); the later and gender for e-courses not taken. Predictors for e-course taken were age, life science, worth compared, motivation barrier, and enjoyment. Variables explained circa 40% of variance. Regression for teaching effectiveness was not significant.

Ordinal regressions for perception of learning effectiveness also indicated age (Exp(B) = .95, p = .003), worth compared (Exp(B) = 1.10, p = .003), and learning enjoyment (Exp(B) = 2.16, p = .000), plus life science (Exp(B) = .61, p = .041) as predictors. For e-courses not taken, in addition to enjoyment and gender, there were social and pre-skills barriers. For e-courses taken, besides predictors in linear regressions, there were science and technology and time barrier. Ordinal regression for teaching effectiveness was significant but not individual variables.

Hopefully this new insight into perception of online quality and effectiveness will contribute to the furthering of e-learning in Brazil, which is only now being considered as a valid option from education authorities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Li, Wenling
School: TUI University
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational technology, Higher education
Keywords: Barriers, Brazil, Distance education, E-learning, Online, Online education, Perception, Quality and effectiveness
Publication Number: 3377886
ISBN: 978-1-109-38650-9
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