The effect of attitudes and self-efficacy on college student performance in online instruction.

Chang, Chiung-Sui, Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2000.

Abstract


With the rapid growth and increasing accessibility of the Internet, numerous universities are making online course available to students. Proficiency in using computer and telecommunication technology will to some degree influence how users benefit from online instruction courses. This study explores the effects of technology proficiency on self-efficacy, attitude, and performance of college students in an online course. The hypotheses argued that there would be differences in self-efficacy, attitudes, and performance with different level of technology proficiency.

A variety of qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect data including: Online Course Computer Technology Survey (OCTS), open-ended questionnaire, and follow-up phone interview. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), t-test, and a repeated measure analysis of variance were used for data analysis. The quantitative findings did not show significant differences in self-efficacy, attitudes, and performance with different level of technological proficiency. Qualitative findings did provide insights into factors that may impact the success useful in designing online instruction. The open-ended questions and phone interview were analyzed in order to learn about the participants' computer experience, technical problems with online course, attitudes and perception toward the online instruction. The major findings were addressed as following: (a) most students felt more comfortable using computer at home because of the flexibility of time, and place; (b) most students chose to print out the text option instead of the streaming media presentation for this study; (c) another concern of students was the lack of technical support; (d) most students were positive regarding the quality of the content of the online course; (e) the attitudes of students were very positive and supportive toward the online instruction. Student planning to engage in the technology-based online course must first ensure they have the requisite skills, access to the necessary computer hardware, and technical assistance to complete such a program of study. In future studies, researchers might consider using larger sample sizes, balanced gender demographics, and comparison with online courses that cover other content.