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An exploratory study of learner satisfaction in a Web-based FAQs interface for patient education DISSERTATION

, University of Toronto , Canada

University of Toronto . Awarded


Many studies of distance education use the construct “learner satisfaction” (LS) as a dependent variable. However, the dimensions and measures of LS are not well developed. The purpose of the research was to clarify the meaning and definition of LS.

Study participants consisted of 50 volunteer psoriasis patients from a dermatology clinic in a medical center in a large metropolitan city. Each participant used a web-based FAQ-menu to look at information presented in a multimedia format on the topic of Psoriasis. Following their use of the software, attitude questionnaires and interviews were used to determine: (a) words to describe “satisfaction” (i.e., LS analogs), and (b) factors associated with LS: information characteristics, learning environment (e.g. interface, media), learner characteristics, and learner expectations.

Results of the study revealed that information-related factors, and learner expectations, but not learner environment factors, were strongly related to LS. Both overall feelings and overall satisfaction were analogs to LS. Qualitative results from interviews indicated that both the affect related to coping with disease distress, as well as the information attributes, may be significant co-factors in LS. A taxonomy of LS was proposed.


McLoughlin, R.A. An exploratory study of learner satisfaction in a Web-based FAQs interface for patient education. Ph.D. thesis, University of Toronto. Retrieved January 18, 2018 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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