An Examination of Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of Technology Use in Online Learning
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Online learning, also known as e-Learning, allows individuals the flexibility to access interactive learning environments to gain knowledge, skills, and abilities for both personal and professional purposes. The use of technology within these environments has the potential to influence students’ perceptions of satisfaction, quality and learning. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine perceptions of undergraduate students majoring in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University regarding technology use to enhance interactions in online learning environments. Based on transactional distance theory, this study focused on the relationship between technology use, four types of interactions, and learners’ attitudes toward satisfaction with, perceived quality of, and perception of learning increases during an online learning experience. An online questionnaire was used for data collection and a total of 362 undergraduate students participated in the study. Descriptive analyses, exploratory factor analysis, logistical regression analyses, and independent-samples t-test analyses were utilized to analyze the data. Study participants tended to agree that using certain technologies in online courses could increase learner-to-learner interaction (i.e., collaborative documents, instant messaging, and social media), learner-to-instructor interaction (i.e., lecture, email, and online editing and feedback), learner-to-course content interaction (i.e., PowerPoint, online practice exercise, and collaborative documents), and learner-to-course technology interaction (i.e., search engines, file management systems, and online tutorials). Participants also tended to perceive greater satisfaction, quality, and learning increase within an online learning experience when instructors provided opportunities for all four types of interaction. The results showed that different types of technology may have different levels of influence on students in regards to enhancing interactions with other learners, with the instructor, with course content, and with course technology in online learning environments. Different types of interaction also may influence students’ attitudes toward their satisfaction with online learning experiences, the quality of online learning experiences, and increased learning in online learning environments. Based on the finding that using specific technologies in an online course may improve interactions, instructors should strive to provide these opportunities. These findings support previous research and support expanding the use of technology to enhance interactions.
Chang, Ruei-Ping (2017). An Examination of Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of Technology Use in Online Learning. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from