Satisfaction with Online Learning: Does Students’ Computer Competence Matter?

By Maria Isabel Cristino Pena and Alexander Seeshing Yeung.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Educational institutions are increasingly providing students with opportunities of online learning options. On the part of the learners, one of the greatest challenges is their competence in and affect towards using the computer. The present study surveyed students who attended a beginner’s course in Spanish in a blended learning environment. Spanish was taught partly in a face-to-face and partly in an online mode (N = 36). The students responded to survey items on two components of their self-concept about using the computer: (a) competence—how well they can use the computer, and (b) affect—how much they like using the computer. They also responded to items about their satisfaction with two modes of delivery: (a) face-to-face learning on campus, and (b) online learning activities off campus. Correlation analysis found that although students’ competence and affect regarding use of computer were positively correlated (r = .64), they were clearly distinct from each other. The correlation between satisfaction with face-to-face and satisfaction with online delivery was negative (r = -.30), indicating that some students who favoured face-to-face learning tended to dislike online delivery, and vice versa. Repeated-measures analysis of variance found that the students had a stronger sense of competence (M = 3.83) in using the computer than their affect towards computers (M = 3.08), and a higher satisfaction with the face-to-face mode (M = 4.23) than the online mode (M = 3.04). In other words, whereas most students were competent with the computer, some did not like using it for language learning, and between the two modes of delivery, the students tended to be more satisfied with the face-to-face mode. These results suggest that to optimise the success of a blended learning approach to language learning and teaching, there is a need for enhancing the students’ self-concepts in using computers but also to maintain a balance between the face-to-face and online modes of delivery.

Keywords: Blended Learning, Online Learning, e-Learning, Computer Self-Concept, Computer Competence, Student Satisfaction, Spanish Beginners, Online vs Face-to-Face

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp.97-108. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 653.817KB).

Maria Isabel Cristino Pena

Lecturer, School of Humanities and Languages, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Maria Isabel Pena is a Lecturer in Spanish Language and Culture and Teacher Education. Her Spanish language teaching experience includes primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Her research interests include: e-Learning, blended learning, the use of technology for language learning and teaching, language acquisition, bilingualism, language teaching methodology, Spanish language and culture and the Spanish-speaking Community in Australia.

Alexander Seeshing Yeung

Associate Professor, College of Arts, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Dr. Alexander Yeung is associate professor in the College of Arts at the University of Western Sydney His research is closely related to the areas of self-development, school motivation and learning facilitation. His major expertise includes: self-concept, motivation, language learning, measurement and evaluation, cognition and instruction, and research methodology.

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