WHAT TYPES OF ON-LINE TEACHING RESOURCES DO STUDENTS PREFER

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1 WHAT TYPES OF ON-LINE TEACHING RESOURCES DO STUDENTS PREFER James R. Lackey PhD. Head of Computing and Information Services Faculty Support Center Oklahoma State University This research indicates most students prefer low bandwidth on-line course materials over more resource intensive applications with the older students having a greater preference for the more resource intensive applications. In addition, 88.7% of the students expected their instructors to update the electronic course material at least every week. The purpose of this research was to determine what type of on-line educational resources our students wanted the university to provide. In addition, this research looked at relationships among age, classification, having had courses using on-line resources and the students opinions of the importance of instructors using these resources in their teaching. notices were sent to 248 students who were currently enrolled in courses using online educational resources. As with previous research, the students were directed to a URL and asked to fill out the survey. A total of 141 students from the seven different colleges at the university responded. The survey asked for the students age and classification (e.g., freshman, sophomore, and so on). Next the students were given a list of electronic course materials and asked if they had ever had a class that used that type of on-line resource (e.g., Have you ever had a class where the instructor put lecture notes on-line?). Then the students were asked to rank how important it was for the instructors to use this type of electronic resource. Finally, students were asked how often instructors should update their electronic course materials. The good news for IT managers is that the applications most popular with the students also require the least bandwidth. The students ranked having supplemental course materials online first with 93.6% of the students saying it was important or very important (table 1). How important is it for instructors to put supplemental course material (practice tests, sample problems, and so on) on-line? Table 1. Very Frequency Percent Percent Percent

2 On-line lecture notes came in second with 88.6% (table 2). How important is it for instructors to have lecture notes on-line? Table 2. Frequency Percent Percent Percent Over 50% of the students also felt it was important for instructors to use an on-line syllabus (table 3), links to other Internet sites (table 4), a home page (table 5), a class listserv (table 6), and on-line bulletin boards (table 7). How important is it for instructors to have an on-line syllabus? Table 3. Frequency Percent Percent Percent How important is it for instructors to provide links to other Internet sites? Table 4. Very Frequency Percent Percent Percent

3 How important is it for an instructors to have a home page? Table 5. Very Frequency Percent Percent Percent How important is it for instructors to use a class listserv? Table 6. Very Frequency Percent Percent Percent How important is it for instructors to use on-line bulletin boards? Table 7. Very Frequency Percent Percent Percent

4 Less than 50% of the students felt it was important for instructors to keep on-line office hours (table 8), have a video of their lectures on-line (table 9), or use class chat rooms (table 10). These patterns did not differ across the seven colleges represented on this research. How important is it for instructors to keep on-line office hours? Table 8. Very Frequency Percent Percent Percent How important is it for instructors to have a video of the lecture on-line? Table 9. Very Frequency Percent Percent Percent How important is it for instructors to use class chat rooms? Table 10. Very Frequency Percent Percent Percent Next, the student s age, classification, and previous experience with these types of online resources were used in a regression model to predict the student s perception that it was important for instructors to use these types of electronic course materials. Previous experience with a type of on-line resource was the only statistically significant predictor of the student s perceptions that it was important for instructors to put their supplemental course material, lecture notes, syllabi, links to other Internet sites, and instructor home pages on-line. In addition to

5 previous experience with on-line videos of lectures, the student s age also had a statistically significant positive relationship with the perception that on-line videos of lectures were important (table 11). Model Summary Model 1 2 Change Statistics Adjusted Std. Error of R Square R R Square R Square the Estimate Change F Change df1 df2 Sig. F Change.321 a b a. Predictors: (Constant), Have you ever had a course with an on-line video of the lectures? b. Predictors: (Constant), Have you ever had a course with an on-line video of the lectures?, Age Table 11. Dependent Variable: How important is it for instructors to have a video of the lecture on-line? Age was the only statistically significant predictor of student s perception that it was important for instructors to use class chat rooms (table 12) or that it was important for instructors to keep on-line office hours (table 13). However, changes in age only explained 4% and 2.8% of the changes in these variables. Model 1 Change Statistics Adjusted Std. Error of R Square R R Square R Square the Estimate Change F Change df1 df2 Sig. F Change.199 a a. Predictors: (Constant), Age Table 12. Dependent Variable: How important is it for instructors to use class chat rooms? Model 1 Change Statistics Adjusted Std. Error of R Square R R Square R Square the Estimate Change F Change df1 df2 Sig. F Change.167 a a. Predictors: (Constant), Age Table 13. Dependent Variable: How important is it for instructors to keep on-line office hours? The only type of on-line course material to have no statistically significant relationship with any of the predictor variables was the use of class listservs. The student s classification produced no statistically significant relationship with any of the criterion variables. However, this was due, in part, to a.68 correlation between age and classification. Finally, 9.2% of the students felt the instructors should update their electronic course material daily, 68.1% felt it should be done weekly, 11.3% felt it should be done monthly, and 11.3 % felt it should only be done at the beginning of the semester (table 14). Put another way, 77.7% of the students felt electronic course materials should be updated daily or weekly, while only 11.3% felt it was permissible for instructors to put their electronic course material up at the

6 beginning of the semester and then not update it until the beginning of the next semester. Neither age or classification produced any statistically significant relationships with these perceptions. How often should instructors update their electronic course materials? Table 14. Daily Weekly Monthly Beginning of the Semester Frequency Percent Percent Summary To summarize, most students surveyed in this research prefer some type of static on-line course material to more bandwidth intensive course material. Older students seem to have a greater need to feel they are interacting with a human (i.e., videos, chat rooms, on-line office hours) rather than a computer. Finally, if instructors plan to use electronic resources in their teaching, they should plan to interact with those electronic resources at least once per week. Copyright James R. Lackey PhD, This work is the intellectual property of the author. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non-commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the author. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the author.

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