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Perceived value and usefulness of online graduate
 

Perceived value and usefulness of online graduate

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A brief presentation describing a survey performed to better understand the factors that students use in determining whether to take a graduate program online.

A brief presentation describing a survey performed to better understand the factors that students use in determining whether to take a graduate program online.

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  • Much research exists in ease of use and technology acceptance (Chiu, et. al., 2005; Compeau & Higgins, 1995; Davis, Bagozzi, and Warshaw, 1989; Doll, Hendrickson, Deng, 1998; Venkatesh & Davis, 2000), but little research as been aimed at factors that influence decision making towards online universities degrees. Drennan, Kennedy, and Pisarski (2005) indentify 2 key factors affecting student attitudes toward flexible online learning in management education: a) positive perceptions of technology in terms of ease of access and use of online flexible learning material and (b) autonomous and innovative learning styles. References:Chiu, C. M., Hsu, M. H., Sun, S. Y., Lin, T. C. & Sun, P. C. (2005). Usability, quality, value and E-learning continuance decisions. Computers & Education, 45, 4, 399–416.Compeau, D. R. & Higgins, C. A. (1995). Computer self-efficacy: development of a measure and initial test. MIS Quarterly, 19, 2, 189–211.82 British Journal of Educational Technology Vol 39 No 1 2008 © 2007 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2007 British Educational Communications and Technology Agency.Davis, F. D., Bagozzi, R. P. & Warshaw, P. R. (1989). User acceptance of computer technology: a comparison of two theoretical models. Management Science, 35, 982–1002.Doll,W. J., Hendrickson, A. & Deng, X. (1998). Using Davis’s perceived usefulness and ease-of-use instruments for decision making: a confirmatory andmulti-group invariance analysis. Decision Science, 29, 4, 839–869.Drennan, J., J. Kennedy, et al. (2005). "Factors Affecting Student Attitudes toward Flexible Online Learning in Management Education." The Journal of Educational Research 98(6): 331-338.Venkatesh, V. & Davis, F. D. (2000). A theoretical extension of the technology acceptance model:four longitudinal field studies. Management Science, 46, 2, 186–204.
  • The survey tested
  • The National Center for Education Statistics reports that ‘Enrollment in degree-granting institutions increased by 14 percent between 1987 and 1997. Between 1997 and 2007, enrollment increased at a faster rate (26 percent), from 14.5 million to 18.2 million.’During the fall term of 2008, it is reported that more than 4.6 million students took at least one online course, representing a 17% increase in online course enrollment since fall of 2007 (Allen & Seaman, 2009). This flood in online enrollment has rapidly changed the dynamics of higher education and has implications of affecting the traditional educational model. E-learning has become the norm in delivery of course content, providing a cost savings in many situations (Kruse, 2002).Institutions of higher learning utilize e-learning systems for a variety of reasons: reduced cost for delivery, increased retention, delivery in a consistent manner, capture and communication of expert knowledge, and a proof of overall completion of key content areas (Kruse, 2002). Kruse (2002) goes on to explain that learners have many individual advantages in using e-learning: availability, self-pacing, and interactivity. Implications: How do we make our online programs more attractive to potential students?How do we retain our current students?AnswersMaintain a positive reputation.If students cannot come to us, we go to them!Provide instruction in a variety of formats to enhance the learning experience of kinesthetic, audible and visual learners.Provide flexibility in delivery methods of courses and degrees (F2F, Hybrid/Enhanced, online deliveries)References:Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2009). Learning on Demand: Online Education in the United States, 2009: BABSON Surevey Research Group.Kruse, K. (2002). Beginner Basics: The benefits and drawbacks of e-learning. Retrieved February 19, 2011 from http://labsel.pesarosviluppo.it/docindexer/Uploads%5C213-Beginner%20Basics.doc

Perceived value and usefulness of online graduate Perceived value and usefulness of online graduate Presentation Transcript

  • Perceived Value and Usefulness of Online GraduateDegree Programs
    Eric D. Brown
    Kevin Williams
  • Introduction
    We wanted to understand the perceived value of an online graduate degree in 2011.
    Has the ubiquity of the internet changed the societal outlook on online education?
    Much research exists in ease of use and technology acceptance (Chiu, et. al., 2005; Compeau & Higgins, 1995; Davis, Bagozzi, and Warshaw, 1989; Doll, Hendrickson, Deng, 1998; Venkatesh & Davis, 2000), but little research as been aimed at factors that influence decision making towards online universities degrees.
    Drennan, Kennedy, and Pisarski (2005) identify 2 key factors affecting student attitudes toward flexible online learning in management education: a) positive perceptions of technology in terms of ease of access and use of online flexible learning material and (b) autonomous and innovative learning styles.
    Anecdotal evidence in the past suggested that online degrees and programs were considered to be less valuable and less rigorous than traditional programs
    Our research attempts to understand the perceptions of current students working on a graduate degree via online learning
  • Survey
    Respondents were asked if they are currently or have previously taken coursework via an online graduate degree program.
    If they have completed or are currently enrolled in an online graduate degree program, they were presented with two sets of questions:
    The first set of Likert-scaled (strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree nor disagree, agree, and strongly agree) questions asked students a series of questions relating to how they feel about the online degree.
    The next question asked students to rank the factors (from least to most important) involved in the decision making process in selecting an online degree program.
  • Survey – Q1
    Those that answered “Yes” (i.e., current or past online graduate students), were asked to rate the following set of questions:
    Online graduate degrees are just as rigorous as traditional degrees.
    I would recommend pursuing an online graduate degree to my friends/colleagues.
    Online graduate degrees are just a valuable as traditional degrees.
    The reputation of the school was very important when I decided on my online graduate degree program.
    Flexibility was very important when I decided on my online graduate degree program.
    Accreditation was very important when I decided on my online graduate degree program.
  • Survey – Q1
    Respondents ranked their responses using:
    Strongly Disagree
    Disagree
    Neither agree nor disagree
    Agree
    Strongly Agree
  • Survey – Q2
    Those that answered “Yes” (i.e., current or past online graduate students), were asked to rank the following factors using a scale from 1 to 6 with 1 being the most important and 6 being the least important:
    Flexibility
    Reputation
    Expense
    Location
    Delivery Methods
    Accreditation
  • Survey Results – Q1
  • Survey Results – Q1
    47.4% Strongly Agree that online graduate degrees are just as rigorous as traditional degrees.
    56.1% Strongly Agree that they would recommend pursuing an online degree to their friends/colleagues
    50.9% Strongly Agree that online graduate degrees are just as valuable as traditional degrees
    47.4% Strongly Agree that the reputation of a school was very important in the selection process
    67.9% Strongly Agree that flexibility is very important when selecting an online graduate degree
    55.4% Strongly Agree that accreditation was important when selecting an online graduate degree
  • Survey Results – Q2
  • Survey Results – Q2
    Flexibility was ranked as the highest deciding factor when selecting an online programwith 39.6% of respondents ranking it the highest factor
    Location was ranked the least important by 30.0% of the respondents
    Respondents seemed indifferent to the expense of an online graduate degree with 70.3% ranking expense as either 2, 3 or 4 in the ranking scale
  • Discussion
    During the fall term of 2008, it was reported that more than 4.6 million students took at least one online course, representing a 17% increase in online course enrollment since fall of 2007 (Allen & Seaman, 2009).
    E-learning has become the norm in delivery of course content, providing a cost savings in many situations (Kruse, 2002).
  • Implications
    How do we make our online programs more attractive to potential students?
    How do we retain our current students?
    Some Answers
    Maintain a positive reputation.
    If students cannot come to us, we go to them!
    Provide instruction in a variety of formats to enhance the learning experience of kinesthetic, audible and visual learners.
    Provide flexibility in delivery methods of courses and degrees (F2F, Hybrid/Enhanced, online deliveries)
  • Roundtable Discussion
  • References
    Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2009). Learning on Demand: Online Education in the United States, 2009: BABSON Surevey Research Group.
    Kruse, K. (2002). Beginner Basics: The benefits and drawbacks of e-learning. Retrieved February 19, 2011 from http://labsel.pesarosviluppo.it/docindexer/Uploads%5C213-Beginner%20Basics.doc
    Chiu, C. M., Hsu, M. H., Sun, S. Y., Lin, T. C. & Sun, P. C. (2005). Usability, quality, value and E-learning continuance decisions. Computers & Education, 45, 4, 399–416.
    Compeau, D. R. & Higgins, C. A. (1995). Computer self-efficacy: development of a measure and initial test. MIS Quarterly, 19, 2, 189–211.
    Davis, F. D., Bagozzi, R. P. & Warshaw, P. R. (1989). User acceptance of computer technology: a comparison of two theoretical models. Management Science, 35, 982–1002.
    Doll,W. J., Hendrickson, A. & Deng, X. (1998). Using Davis’s perceived usefulness and ease-of-use instruments for decision making: a confirmatory andmulti-group invariance analysis. Decision Science, 29, 4, 839–869.
    Drennan, J., J. Kennedy, et al. (2005). "Factors Affecting Student Attitudes toward Flexible Online Learning in Management Education." The Journal of Educational Research 98(6): 331-338.
    Venkatesh, V. & Davis, F. D. (2000). A theoretical extension of the technology acceptance model: four longitudinal field studies. Management Science, 46, 2, 186–204.