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Online learning: Student perceptions of variables that impact learning performance

Darlene Williams, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Over the past decade there has been an increasing amount of emphasis in higher education to restructure the learning environment in a way that is more learner-centered and encourages students to take a more active role in their learning. Furthermore, university professors are being encouraged to incorporate instructional strategies to support a learner-centered approach through the use of innovative technologies that promote active engagement through Internet applications. With the rapid growth in the number of online courses and student enrollments it is necessary to study the potential impact on student performance. In an effort to explore this concept further, this study examined student perceptions of variables that impact their learning performance in online learning. In addition, a qualitative study of research provided a base of knowledge from which assumptions and suggestions could be formulated. ^ This study presented a set of four positions. The propositions were: (1) By focusing on the promotion and integration of satisfactory faculty-student interaction in online courses students institutions will realize an increase in student satisfaction. (2) Providing learner preparation assistance to students that promotes the development of time management skills will enable students to be more successful in online courses. (3) Incorporating asynchronous and synchronous forms of communication in online courses will lead to a greater sense of community. (4) Providing activities that promote a sense of community does not ensure that students will make a connection with the university. Students often initiate contact for resources based on their individual personal or academic needs. ^ The results of this study may assist online course developers and instructors in the design, development, and implementation of online teaching and learning techniques. In addition, support personnel who assist with the development of coursework, as well as support services and professional development may benefit in a way that helps them to develop strategies to meet students’ needs. ^

Subject Area

Education, Technology of|Education, Curriculum and Instruction|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Williams, Darlene, "Online learning: Student perceptions of variables that impact learning performance" (2007). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3271914.