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Improving online learning: Student perceptions of useful and challenging characteristics

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Internet and Higher Education Volume 7, Number 1, ISSN 1096-7516 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Online courses and programs continue to grow in higher education settings. Students are increasingly demanding online access, and universities and colleges are working to meet the demands. Yet many questions remain re: the viability and veracity of online learning, particularly from the learner perspective. The purpose of this study was to gain insights into learners' perceptions of online learning. Seventy-six (76) graduate students were surveyed to identify helpful components and perceived challenges based on their online learning experiences. Results of the study indicated that most learners agreed that course design, learner motivation, time management, and comfortableness with online technologies impact the success of an online learning experience. Participants indicated that technical problems, a perceived lack of sense of community, time constraints, and the difficulty in understanding the objectives of the online courses as challenges. Suggestions for addressing the challenges are provided.


Song, L., Singleton, E.S., Hill, J.R. & Koh, M.H. (2004). Improving online learning: Student perceptions of useful and challenging characteristics. Internet and Higher Education, 7(1), 59-70. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved May 28, 2023 from .

This record was imported from Internet and Higher Education on January 29, 2019. Internet and Higher Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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