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Online learners’ experiences and views towards online courses: A case study of the University of the South Pacific

Narayan, Neelam and Singh, Sunil K. (2020) Online learners’ experiences and views towards online courses: A case study of the University of the South Pacific. Directions: Journal of Educational Studies, 34 (1). pp. 29-41. ISSN 1011-5846

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    In higher education, demand for online courses has risen over the years, and higher education institutes (HEIs) are investing heavily in the development and delivery of online courses. As a regional university, the University of the South Pacific (USP) is no exception and has made an incremental shift from face‐to‐face and print methods to blended and fully online methods in course delivery. At USP, significant attention has been given to developing an online learning environment using the Moodle platform, upskilling academics and supporting employees to offer good experience to the learners regardless of their location. An area that needs research, however, is the study experiences of online learners. Are they getting what they expected from online learning? Are online courses intended to satisfy the styles and preferences of their learning? This study tries to answer these two questions by collecting online learners ' opinions and experiences at USP. Data were collected from 75 learners registered in 3 online courses using a questionnaire. Positive student experiences of online learning included greater flexibility, timely feedback and greater opportunities for interaction with academic and peers. Challenges identified included poor internet connectivity and lack of familiarity with the online learning management system and tools for first time online learners. Students highly rated the use of multimedia, online learning materials and online assessments as positive contributors to their learning in online courses. Most of the learners were satisfied with online course design and delivery and reported positive learning experience for the three online courses at USP. However, 20 percent of the learners were not satisfied with their online learning experience. Some aspects such as course navigation and feedback system could be improved and training of first time online learners could further improve student learning experience.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Online learning, Higher education, Student preferences
    Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
    Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Education
    Depositing User: Sunil Singh
    Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2020 15:27
    Last Modified: 13 Jan 2021 15:05

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