The ease of use of email systems for example generally tend to relate to high satisfaction levels. According to the study, students find it extremely convenient to be able to contact instructors at any time according to their convenience and available time frame. This does away with the inconvenience of specific office hours or telephone availability. This satisfaction is however also related to the ability of the instructor to respond to email in a speedy fashion. In Enockson's study, for example, the instructor made an effort to consistently respond within 24 hours. Students also experienced the online system as particularly convenient, as physical barriers to communication were eliminated, and students were able to set their own hours for instruction and communication. The time and costs of commuting are also eliminated by the use of such a system. This is the basic advantage of a generally online system of instruction as opposed to the combination system.
According to Enockson's findings, no significantly negative findings resulted from the study in question. Students experienced an overwhelmingly positive level of satisfaction with the online environment, of which the advantages far outweighed any potential disadvantages. It must be emphasized here that the quality of the online materials combined with the immediacy of response to communication and inquiries resulted in a high level of satisfaction. It should also be recognized that such satisfaction is often also correlative with the particular subject matter, learning styles and expectations of different students. Findings such as those by Enockson would therefore benefit from further and more comprehensive future study.
There is little doubt that education today is experiencing a revolution. Technology in the classroom is unavoidable. The only differential is how and to what degree to implement these. From the literature review above, it is clear that different situations and different students require different types of setup when including technology in the classroom.
In terms of pedagogical framework, student performance is generally higher when Web-based learning is included at least in combination with the offline learning environment. The main reasons for this include the fact that students have the opportunity to experience direct contact with the practical applications of their study direction. Computer technology in the laboratory environment for example can help students become familiar with aspects of learning such as data analysis and research methodology.
Before replacing offline learning with an online environment, student attitudes and learning styles should be thoroughly investigated. An emphasis should also be placed upon gradually familiarizing students with computer technology in order to eliminate uncertainty and fear. Student attitude and satisfaction in terms of the pedagogical framework are also shown to be more positive with the inclusion of the online environment than offline.
In terms of interface design, students' performance, attitude and satisfaction levels are all overwhelmingly positive. The literature shows that students particularly appreciate an interface by which the instructor is readily available. Emphasis should be placed upon the way in which the instructor handles interaction and communication in order to ensure the success of such an interface. Furthermore, an initial attitude of fear and/or resentment may be experienced when the interface is not designed in an effective and user-friendly manner.
Evaluation relates both to the evaluation of students during and after the course, and to the evaluation of teachers and the materials presented in the online environment. In terms of student evaluation, it is reported that students perform well with test and assignment materials presented in the online environment. Indeed, some perform better with the online setup than in the face-to-face classroom setup. In terms of attitude and satisfaction, instructors also show a positive trend towards students who work with online material.
Students' evaluation of online course material has been shown to be overwhelmingly positive when such material is created in correlation with the course goals and outcomes, as well as with the quality of instruction and response. Students show an appreciation for the fact that inconveniences such as commuting and physical barriers are eliminated from the communication and learning process. Interaction is also enhanced by the online environment, in that this environment is conducive to a greater level of confidence.
In general, it appears that the literature suggests a generally positive trend in all the educational areas examined in the literature. Students are shown to benefit from including…