Online Learners – What’s Important?

This will be cross-posted at my e-Learning blog. I have been analyzing some of the data (again) from the 2008 PSOL survey. This is the fourth year that we have used this Noel-Levitz survey at Lake Superior College. The embedded slides explain a bit more about the survey, including the four sets of data that are compared for online student ratings of both importance and satisfaction.

[slideshare id=834231&doc=2008psoldatacharts-1228861953635614-9&w=425]

(NOTE: visit SlideShare to use the full screen option.)

There are 26 items that are included in all PSOL submissions. You can add other items but only the first 26 can be compared across other populations since these are the only items answered by all students. In order of descending importance, here are the top eleven items for LSC students on the 2008 PSOL (survey item number is indicated at beginning of each line).

1. (20) The quality of online instruction is excellent.
2. (25) Faculty are responsive to student needs.
3. (11) Student assignments are clearly defined in the syllabus.
4. (18) Registration for online courses is convenient.
5. (07) Program requirements are clear and reasonable.
6. (06) Tuition paid is a worthwhile investment.
7. (12) There are sufficient offerings within my program of study.
8. (23) Billing and payment procedures are convenient for me.
9. (04) Faculty provide timely feedback about student progress.
10. (03) Instructional materials are appropriate for program content.
11. (10) This institution responds quickly when I request information.

There are clearly other items that are very important to online learners but are not included in the 26 PSOL items. Please leave a comment if you have some ideas about what they might be. Thanks.

1 thought on “Online Learners – What’s Important?

  1. Unlike a traditional learning environment, online learning requires you to be accountable to yourself. Sure, you will have deadlines, but it is up to you to budget your time to meet them. You won’t be going to a class where the instructor is constantly reminding you of due dates. In fact, depending on your online instructor, you might not get reminded of due dates at all. The due dates might be in the course without any reminders.

    You can see how important it is for you to have time management skills!

    In online education, just like everything else, unexpected things will happen. Your Internet provider might go out of service. Your computer might stop working. Or, life might throw an unexpected curve ball your way. Most of these affect the traditional learning environment, but when they happen during an online course, the extra feelings of being remote and distant from your instructor and the school might add some anxiety.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *