Online learning environments : same place; different demographic space?
Palmer, Stuart and Holt, Dale 2009, Online learning environments : same place; different demographic space?, in ASCILITE 2009 : Same places, different spaces : Proceedings of the 26th ASCILITE conference, [Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education], [Auckland, N.Z.], pp. 736-745.
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This paper presents a large scale, quantitative investigation of the impact of demographic differences on the student experience of using an online learning environment (OLE). Female respondents generally gave higher ratings than males, and gave significantly higher ratings in both importance and satisfaction to a group of OLE elements related to online interaction and community. Postgraduate respondents generally gave lower satisfaction ratings than undergraduate students, though significant differences were few. Results on the basis of mode of enrolment were mixed. The discovery of significant differences between demographic groups highlights the importance of up-to-date and on-going research-based surveys of student perceptions of the OLE. The finding that elements of the institutional OLE are not universally perceived the same way by all students groups also challenges the value of standard, one-size-fits-all institutional policies and templates relating to the use of the OLE.
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