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This proposal for future research aims to analyse the effectiveness of e-learning in higher education by looking at students' academic achievement. It is vital to investigate this issue because many higher learning institutions spend a huge amount of money on perfecting their e-learning operations. The research design proposed in this study concentrates on three randomly selected groups of students undergoing different treatments in an elective course of English language. Questionnaires, simple experiments and structured interviews are used to gather data for analysis and discussion. It is expected that students who use almost 100% e-learning will excel in their academic performance and thus reaffirms the belief that e-learning brings lot of advantages.
The e-learning concept allows for more working people to further their studies as distance and time are no longer the barriers to education. There are four objectives of this tertiary e-learning in Malaysia. The first is to introduce new concept of learning at a higher level of education. Secondly, it introduces interactive and productive method of learning. The third objective is to ensure students study independently and lastly to allow for balanced education in Malaysia (UNITAR 30 May 2002). Learning model in e-learning includes independent study, on-line interaction, self-evaluation and graded assignments sent on-line.
Most researchers in e-learning discuss the positive effects of using e-learning because it improves students' commitment in the learning process (Rashty 2003:2). By this it means that students become active participants in the classrooms. Gan Siowck Lee (2001: 45) also agrees on this because she adds that students are becoming more responsible and spend extra time learning through e-learning. Other scholars like Schoenfeld-Tacher, McConnell and Graham (2001) conclude that e-learning enhances students' competitive spirits and nature in terms of oral interactions. Since students are getting a lot of resources, they find conversation to be easy.
This proposal intends to use pre/post tests, examination results, questionnaires and interview as the basis of data collection and measurement for the effectiveness of e-learning. These designs are chosen because they can give an indicator for the effectiveness of e-learning. Pre/post test results can give a surface value on the effectiveness of e-learning itself. Meanwhile, questionnaires and interviews can gauge students' awareness and belief on e-learning as a new tool of learning.
|Group 1||30% = 10 hours 48 minutes||70% = 25 hours 12 minutes|
|Group 2||70% = 25 hours 12 minutes||30% = 10 hours 48 minutes|
|Group 3||None||100% = 36 hours (12 weeks)|
Pre-test is given at the beginning of the 14 weeks or the treatment period. Then, treatments are given to Group 1 and 2. At the end of the treatment period, students are given the post test. Pre and post tests are the same questions. Final examination is conducted then, followed by distribution of questionnaires. After that, 30 students from the three groups will be randomly selected for the structured interview. Thus, data are collected from the results of pre/post test, final examination, questionnaires and also structured interviews.
The students in the three groups are all full time students and they are going to learn in an artificial environment. This simply means that the learning is not conducted during normal semesters; rather, it is going to be during the semester break. The semester break is between February until May and those who participate in this study are not volunteers as they will be considered to be taking 'a third semester elective' course. As such the students registered for the course will be completing one of the elective courses for their study programme. The activities are part of the teaching components. This elective course carries a "Pass/Fail" grade. Should the normal grades be used, i.e. A, B, C, D and E, then a question of ethics may arise. Ethics here refers to whether it is fair to treat only two groups of students with e-learning. If e-learning brings advantages to students, then the marks of the students in the control group will be affected.
Abu Daud Silong, Kamariah Abu Bakar, Daing Zaidah Ibrahim and Mohamed Amin Embi (2002). Students' perceptions on on-line learning in Malaysian universities. VirTEC Journal, 2(2), 51-60.
E-Courses Assumption University (2001). http://www.cai.au.edu/concept/index.html 14 October 2004
Gan Siowck Lee (2000). IT and Education in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Longman.
Gomez, G. (2001). Easing into e-learning. Sunday Star, 10 June, pp. 2-3
Jowati Juhary. (2003). Technology and teaching: Materials and infrastructure challenges. 3rd International Conference on Technology in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. College of Arts & Science, National-Louis University. Heidelberg, Germany, 14-16 July [published paper proceeding]
Ladyshewsky, R. K. (2004). Online learning versus face to face learning: What is the difference? In Seeking Educational Excellence: Proceedings of the 13th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 9-10 February 2004. Perth: Murdoch University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2004/ladyshewsky.html
Lim Thien Sang and Nelson Oly Ndubisi (2003). E-learning adoption: Initial concerns and excitements. ASAIHL Conference 2003. UMS Sabah: Centre for Corporate and International Relations. Sutera Harbour Resort Sabah, 28 Sep - 1 Oct [published paper proceeding]
Manochehri, N. and Young, J.I. (2003). The effects of web-based learning vs. traditional instructor-based learning on student knowledge and satisfaction based on student learning styles. 3rd International Conference on Technology in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. College of Arts & Science, National-Louis University. Heidelberg, Germany, 14-16 July [published paper proceeding]
OUM (Open University Malaysia) (2001). http://www.oum.edu.my/ [7 April 2004]
Rashty, D. (2003). Traditional learning vs. e-learning. http://www.addwise.com/articles/Traditional_Learning_vs_eLearning.pdf [1 May 2003]
Roloff, K. (2002). E-learning in developing countries: An opinion paper. Detecon International. [viewed 1 May 2003, not found 28 Nov 2004] http://www.congresslifelonglearning.de/
Schoefeld-Tacher, R., McConnell, S. and Graham, M. (2001). Do no harm - A comparison of the effects of on-line vs. traditional delivery media on a science course. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 10(3), 257-265.
UNITAR (Universiti Tun Abdul Razak) (1999). http://www.unitar.edu.my/ [30 May 2002]
|Author: Jowati binti Juhary|
Akademi Tentera Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
Kem Sungai Besi 57000, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Please cite as: Jowati Juhary (2004). A comparative study on the effectiveness of e-learning at a Malaysian university. In R. Atkinson, C. McBeath, D. Jonas-Dwyer & R. Phillips (Eds), Beyond the comfort zone: Proceedings of the 21st ASCILITE Conference (p. 475). Perth, 5-8 December. http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/perth04/procs/jowati-poster.html
© 2004 Jowati binti Juhary
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