AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

An Analysis of Student Preparedness Factors that Aid in Satisfaction and Retention in Online Courses and Programs

by Kellie Christine McGilvray

Institution: University of Toledo
Department: Higher Education
Degree: PhD
Year: 2014
Keywords: Education; Higher Education; Online learning; higher education; satisfaction; preparation
Record ID: 2025262
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=toledo1396452179


This study investigated the satisfaction and preparation of students learning online. Online learning is continuing to grow with each passing academic year. There has been an increase not only in the number of students learning online but also an increase in the number of institutions offering online courses. With this solid growth stream, institutions need to be aware of the learning curve that comes along both with teaching and learning online. If students and instructors are adequately prepared for their online courses, student satisfaction increases and possibly becomes a deciding factor about whether to continue learning online and/or to continue with the institution. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether students felt prepared to take an online course and what resources they needed in order to feel prepared for learning online. The results of the study indicated that students were not fully prepared for the amount of time needed to complete weekly assignments and discussions. The student participants also suggested that the faculty become better prepared for teaching online. One statistically significant correlation indicated that there was a positive correlation between preparedness and the delivery method used by each institution. This means the students were satisfied with the mode of delivery of information whether it was asynchronous or synchronous and whether it was delivered through video lectures or learning management systems. This study provides a better understanding of ways to improve the dynamics of learning and teaching online.