A comparison study of online course
design and pedagogical feature preferences between continuing education
students and instructors.
Hu, Charlene Xiaolin, Ph.D.,
University of Kansas, 2009
The study investigated the preferences
of instructors and students for design and pedagogy features of online
instruction at the post secondary level. Features were identified
through a comprehensive literature review combined with focus
groups/interviews with instructors and students. Each feature was
subjected to review by three subject matter experts to validate the
differentiation between design and pedagogy features and to ensure
clarification of the language used to describe each feature. Thirty two
design features and thirty one pedagogy features were identified. An
instrument containing the sixty three items, structured in a Likert
scale format, was developed. Respondents were asked to rate their
preference on a five-point scale, ranging from strongly agree to
strongly disagree, for each individual item. Participants included 35
instructors of online courses and 200 students experienced in completing
online courses at a Mid-western university. Demographic data on age,
gender, online teaching experience, years of Internet experience,
faculty rank, and discipline affiliation were collected on instructors.
For students, data on age, gender, degree level or professional
development enrollment, prior online courses completed, and Internet
experience were collected.
An independent-sample T-test was
conducted to determine if there was a significant difference between the
perceptions of instructors and students on the rating of individual
features. Comparisons were made on rank ordering by the two groups
across the total set of sixty-three features and within the design
features and the pedagogy features based on the T-test results.
A correlation coefficient of .95 was found on the design item rankings
between instructors and students. A correlation coefficient of .72 was
found on the pedagogy item rankings between instructors and students.
However, there was a significant difference, at the .05 level, between
the preferences of instructors and students on nineteen individual
features. Five of the features on which there was a significant
difference were design features and fourteen were pedagogy features.
Major findings included the low preferences both instructors and
students placed on social interaction features and features that are
applicable to accommodations for diverse learners such as students with