Ethnicity, Gender, and Perceptions of Online Learning in Higher Educatio


Carol Y. Ashong
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education
Georgia State University
Atlanta, GA 30302 USA
carolashong@yahoo.com

Nannette E. Commander
Professor
Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education
Georgia State University
Atlanta, GA 30302 USA
ncommander@gsu.edu

Abstract

This paper reports on a quantitative study that investigated the impact of ethnicity and gender on perceptions of online learning. Specifically, the study examined African-American students’ perceptions of online learning as compared to those of their White-American counterparts. Participants completed a survey that investigated nine different elements of the online learning environment: Computer Usage, Teacher Support, Student Interaction and Collaboration, Personal Relevance, Authentic Learning, Student Autonomy, Equity, Enjoyment, and Asynchronicity. African-American and White students had overall positive views of online learning, but African-Americans reported significantly less positive views regarding the feature of asynchronicity. Females had more positive perceptions than males on Teacher Support, Student Interaction and Collaboration, Personal Relevance, Authentic Learning, and Student Autonomy. The findings of this study indicate that gender and ethnicity independently influence students’ perceptions of online learning.

Keywords: African-American students, gender, higher education, collaborative learning, prior online experience, student perceptions, Online Learning Environment Survey (OLES)

Source: jolt.merlot.org

As an online instructor this research underscores the need for UDL. Differentiation and a willingness to challenge your own point of view are invaluable. 

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