Academic Departments and Student Attitudes Toward Different Dimensions of Web-Based Education
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In order to determine student attitudes toward various aspects of networkbased instruction, 234 individuals voluntarily participated in research to ascertain their tendencies that will likely facilitate, or interfere with, interacting and learning from this innovative technology. Participants were requested to respond anonymously to 60 items of a survey designed to assess their attitudes toward distinct facets of network-based instruction. Student responses to survey items were analyzed using a number of multivariate and univariate statistical techniques. Students sampled from distinct academic departments disclosed significantly different attitudes toward different dimensions of Web-based education: Computer Science and Executive Management Education exhibited the most agreeable attitudes, and Oceanography, Physics, and Operations Research the least agreeable attitudes, concerning expectations of, learning from, beliefs about, and design of network-based instruction and hypermedia. Systems Management and Electrical and Computer Engineering manifested attitudes toward these distinct facets of on-line learning between these polar positions. The findings partially supported the general hypothesis theoretically based upon psychological distances and social representations and schemata.
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