Perceptions of Business Education Students towards eLearning: An Empirical Study of North Karnataka region of India
Prof.Sudheer Dhume, KLS Institute of Management Education and Research, Affiliated to Karnatak University, Dharwad
Internet has made its entry in almost all the domains of human endeavor. Be it Commerce, Literature, or Astrology or be it Technology- we find that all the areas have got themselves dramatically transformed due to the impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in general, and Internet in particular.
Education is no exception to this phenomenon.
`Learning - Teaching - Evaluation' process is getting radically transformed - thanks to capabilities of Internet.
Internet as the media has got the potential of making educational process truly `Student centric'. This is the technology, which has the capability of nullifying the constraints of conventional educational delivery and evaluation system. This is the tool for making education available at any time, at any place. Besides, the learner can learn and get evaluated at any pace! Things those were unthinkable before the advent of Internet are very much possible today in this Digital Age.
MBA/BBA Courses offered in different B-Schools are meant for preparing the professionals with right knowledge, skills and attitudes for managing business entities.
Though the number of management graduates and postgraduates churned out every year is on increase - there is a great deal of concern with regards to quality. On one extreme we have premium brands, while the majority are at the other extreme -which come in substandard category.
One of the reasons for such a variation is lack of uniformity in quality of academic inputs at various B-schools.
Internet can be used to offer a high quality and uniform input for the students of different institutes, so that the quality of the students passing out can be enhanced.
In spite of its obvious advantages over the conventional mode of education, the speed with which the new technology is getting adopted and assimilated is rather slow.
eLearning in business education is still in the nascent stage of development in India. One of the factors for the slow pace of its adoption is the attitude of the students towards Internet as tool of education.
The present study aims at ascertaining the nature of perceptions and attitudes of the MBA students towards the Internet as an educational delivery and evaluation mechanism.
ii) Utility of the Research:
The findings of this research will be useful for the new generation educational planners, On Line Learning (OLL) Solution Providers and the agencies promoting On Line Learning, in planning and implementing their activities. It will be also useful for the researchers in the area of Educational Technology, by providing direction for further research.
iii) Research Background and Research Gap:
In the recent years there has been a spurt in the research work in the area of Internet Based Education.
Mitra and Steffensmeier (2000), concluded that networked learning institutions where in students have access to Computers could foster positive attitude towards use of Computer Aided Education.
Liu, Macmillan and Timmons (1998), perceived integrating of computers in to Learning System as a complex instructional system in which student learning is impacted by Students, Teachers, Administrative and Technical Staff, Computer Hardware/Software and Class setting.
According to Marzano and Pickering (1997), students' attitudes and perceptions will impact the learning they achieve. Study by Daley, Watkins, Williams and Courtnay (2001), support that assertion and extend that to On Line Environment.
However there exists a research gap with regards to nature of students' attitude towards using Internet for Management Education, especially in Indian context.
The present paper attempts to fill up that gap identified.
Objectives of the study-
The study aims at seeking the answers to following questions:
From six MBA institutes affiliated to Karnatak University 64 Students were chosen for the purpose of this research.
The total population being 640, a Sample of 10% numbering 64 was taken using Quota Sampling Technique.
b) Research Instrument-
Questionnaire with following sections were designed.
Section 1 Pertains to Demographic Data, seeking the details on Gender, Basic Degree, Specialization, etc.
Section II determines the competence level of the students with regards to ICT.
Section III determines the availability of necessary infrastructure and environment for eLearning with regards to Content Delivery, Interactions with the faculty and Evaluation Process.
Section IV ascertains the attitude of the students with regards to eLearning.
Section II through IV contain the statements followed by the boxes for indicating the ranking with regards to agreement with the statement (Likart Scale)
c) Statistical Tool for the Analysis-
The analysis is carried out using F Test and one-way ANOVA and F Test.
There were seven statements measuring students' Attitudes towards using of Internet for learning. For each statement the responses were coded as - 1 For Strongly Disagree to 5 For Strongly Agree.
Thus the scores of each student on seven statements range from 7 to 35.
Table No. 1- Frequency and Classification of the Attitudes.
Table No. 2- ANOVA Table- Attitude- Basic Degree
Table No. 3 ANOVA Table- Attitude- Specialization at MBA
b) Relationship between Students' basic knowledge of Computers/Internet and attitude towards eLearning/Using Internet for Education:
Seven statements measured students' basic knowledge of Computers and Internet. For each statement responses were coded 1 For Strongly Disagree to 7 For Strongly Agree.
Table No.4 gives the Frequencies and classification.
Correlation between Computer/Internet Knowledge and Attitude towards eLearning was established. On comparing Pearson's `r' Value (0.21034) with `P' Value (<0.05) it is evident that there is a positive but weak relationship between them.
Table No. 4-Frequencies and classification based on Computer/Internet Knowledge.
c) Relationship between Students' Perceptions of prevailing learning environment at their institute with their attitude towards use of On Line Learning:
Seven Point Statements measured students' Perceptions of prevailing Learning Environment. For each statement responses were coded 1 For Strongly Disagree to 7 for Strongly Agree.
Table No. 5 gives the Frequencies and the Classification.
The correlation between Perceptions of the students regarding prevailing learning environment and their Attitude towards eLearning was established.
On comparing Pearson's `r' Value (0.444084) with `P' Value (0.05) it indicates that there is positive but very weak relationship between them.
Table No. 5- Frequencies and the Classification based on Students' Perceptions of Learning Environment
The study revealed that generally the students of MBA Institutes of North Karnataka are inclined positively towards Internet as educational delivery tool. This perception was not Basic Degree or MBA Specialization specific.
There is weak but positive relationship between the students' basic knowledge of Computers/Internet and Attitude towards use of Internet for educational delivery.
It is also found that there is general perception of learning environment to be favorable with very small percentage of the sample finding it to be unfavorable for eLearning.
Overall scene at the North Karnataka is quite encouraging for the implementation of eLearning initiatives in Management Education.
Mitra, A., & Steffensmeier, T. (2000). Changes in student attitudes and student computer use in computer enriched environment. Journal on Research on Technology in Education.
Liu, X., Macmillan, R., Timmons V. (1998). Integrating computers in to the curriculum: How teachers may hinder students' use of computers. McGill Journal of Education.
Marzano, R.J. & Pickering, D.J. (1997). Dimensions of Learning (2nd ed.), Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision
Mitra, A., & Steffensmeier, T. (2000). Changes in student attitudes and student computer use in computer enriched environment. Journal on Research on Technology in Education, 32(3), 417-433.
Liu, X., Macmillan, R., Timmons V. (1998). Integrating computers in to the curriculum: How teachers may hinder students' use of computers. McGill Journal of Education, 33(1), 51-69.
Marzano, R.J. & Pickering, D.J. (1997). Dimensions of Learning (2nd ed.), Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision of Curriculum Development.