Staff and student perceptions of an online learning environment: Difference and development
AbstractAcademic staff play a fundamental role in the use of online learning by students. Yet, compared to studies reporting student perspectives on online learning, studies investigating the perspectives of academic staff are much more limited. Perhaps the least common investigations are those that compare the perceptions of academic staff and students using the same online learning environment (OLE). Much research indicates, at least initially, academic staff most value OLE systems as a mechanism for efficient delivery of learning materials to students. Following the mainstreaming of an OLE at Deakin University in 2004, the data from a large, repeated, representative and quantitative survey were analysed to investigate comparative staff and student evaluations of an OLE, and to explore the evidence for development in the use of an OLE by academic staff. Generally, students were found to give higher importance and satisfaction ratings to elements of the OLE than staff. Students were also more likely than staff to agree that the OLE enhanced their learning. A comparison of the mean ratings recorded for staff in 2004 and 2005 showed that both importance and satisfaction ratings of elements of the OLE were almost universally higher after a year of use of the OLE.
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