A description of the experiences, perceptions, and attitudes of professors and graduate students about teaching and learning in a Web-enhanced learning environment at a Southwest border institution
Teresa Madrid Lao, New Mexico State University, United States
New Mexico State University . Awarded
The purpose of this paper is to study the attitudes, perceptions, and experiences of six professors and seven graduate students in the College of Education at Research State University (RSU) about teaching and learning in a distance learning environment using a web-based course delivery. This research study uses a qualitative approach with in-depth, individual interview methodology. This study seeks to integrate these experiences into a qualitative description to gain an understanding and awareness of the online environment.
Many things are not understood about distance education despite its popularity and growth in institutions of higher education (IHEs). That is why it is important to recognize faculty and students' attitudes, perceptions, and experiences to help faculty design and prepare an online course, to provide educators with information about recruitment, to assist students so they can achieve meaningful and positive learning, and possibly, to establish a successful distance education program at RSU.
Four research questions were developed to examine the perceptions, attitudes, and experiences of professors and graduate students: (1) What factors do faculty perceive to be important attributes in web-based courses? (2) What factors do students perceive to be important attributes for learning in web-based courses? (3) What challenges did faculty and students perceive in web-based courses? (4) What conditions seem to facilitate teaching and learning in a web-based environment for faculty and students?
The researcher concluded that for effective facilitation and learning online, the important attributes necessary for successful online learning include the following: (1) organization and planning, (2) self-discipline, (3) caring and attentiveness to students' needs, (4) active participation and visibility, (5) collaboration and group work, (6) flexibility, and (7) maturity and commitment; (8) computer knowledge.
This researcher also concludes that several challenges such as frustration and misunderstandings are likely to occur if faculty and students do not have clear expectations of the class. Some of the challenges that faculty and students encountered in their online classes include the following: (1) information overload, (2) lack of time for professors to design and develop their courses, (3) more busy work, (4) lack of proper training to utilize the WebCT components fully, (5) impersonal nature of online communication, and (6) feedback required time for professors.
In addition, the researcher found that several conditions seem to facilitate teaching and learning online. Some of these conditions include the following: (1) right equipment, (2) prior technical background, (3) continuous training or workshop, (4) face-to-face meetings, (5) knowledge of learning theories and pedagogy, (6) passion and optimism to teach online, (7) reliable WebCT server, (8) immediate feedback, and (9) development of learning communities. It is important to recognize these conditions so faculty and students are better prepared to handle their online classes to maximize their teaching and learning experiences.
Lao, T.M. A description of the experiences, perceptions, and attitudes of professors and graduate students about teaching and learning in a Web-enhanced learning environment at a Southwest border institution. Ph.D. thesis, New Mexico State University. Retrieved June 10, 2023 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/123354/.
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