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The Influence of Social Presence on Students’ Satisfaction toward Online CourseStudents’ satisfaction plays a vital role in ensuring effective online learning. This study investigated the association between social presence and students’ satisfaction toward online discussions in Learning Management System (LMS) platform conducted at a private university in Malaysia. Both correlation and two-step hierarchical linear regression were performed to analyze the online survey data. The instruments used to measure the summated scores of social presence and satisfaction were Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework and satisfaction scale, respectively. The results revealed that the correlation between both variables was significantly positive. Students who declared relatively high level of satisfaction were more likely to report high level of interaction with their peers in online conversation and high level of social presence. Essentially, social presence seemed to contribute the most in predicting the level of course satisfaction amongst the students.
Book Review of Teaching and Learning with Technology: Pushing boundaries and breaking down wallsBook review of Teaching and Learning with Technology: Pushing boundaries and breaking down walls, edited by Som Naidu and Sharishna Narayan and published in 2020 by The University of the South Pacific Press.
Tutoring support as a predictor of student retention in distance learning: The case of a University in GhanaThe tutor’s role in enhancing student retention in distance learning is paramount. This study aims to predict retention and not actual retention by investigating how tutoring support predicts student retention in distance learning at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. Moore Transactional Distance Theory underpinned the theoretical framework of this study. The correlational research design was adopted for the study. The multistage sampling technique was used to sample 727 student participants from a sampling frame of 8731 out of which 625 was used for the analysis. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings of the study revealed that the respondents had a positive perception towards tutoring support offered at the University. However, at an alpha level of .05 tutoring support made a non-significant contribution to prediction (p = .11). The findings further, revealed that a unit increase in tutoring support will improve student retention by 1.42 times. Implications of the study were also discussed.
Evaluation and Improvement of students’ satisfaction in Online learning during COVID-19With the closure of educational institutions due to COVID-19, the biggest challenge with the universities and the instructors was engaging students in virtual learning. This research aimed at supporting university students in Islamabad (Pakistan) for online learning through a collaborative approach. The university started online learning during COVID-19 and had no earlier experience of such mode of learning. The first phase was identifying the problems faced by students during online learning and seeking their suggestions for overcoming them. The next step was working on the students’ opinions with a team of instructors to modify existing instructional practices during online instruction. We measured students’ satisfaction level pre and post-modification to evaluate students’ adoption of online learning. The data for both the phases were collected through a Google Form. The post-modification data revealed students’ greater satisfaction in online learning. The findings offer useful insight related to students’ adoption of online learning and making it a more meaningful, organized, and productive medium for future learning.
Exploring the impacts of distance higher education on adult learners' lives and reclaiming lifelong learning as a human development processThis article intends to launch discussion and reflection on two main themes: lifelong learning and digital literacy in nowadays societies. In looking for the intersections between these concepts to connote them with a more humanistic and holistic perspective, we explore the potentials of distance learning in the lives of adult learners. The empirical basis for this exploration is a survey applied to 706 (143 respondents) graduates in the education of the Portuguese Open University to know their future projects and the impact of this degree in the various dimensions of their personal, social and professional lives. The conclusions of this analysis point to recognition, by the respondents, of the positive impacts that distance higher education has in their personal and social lives. However, these impacts are not as visible in professional terms since the answers show little significant professional progressions. In this sense, the article concludes that it is important to rethink the founding ideas of the concept of lifelong learning from a humanistic perspective and to approach it with a holistic and transversal conception of what is now defined as digital literacy. Distance education, for adult learners, is a scenario that not only strengthens the personal, social and professional development of individuals, but also the development of competencies applied not only to the digital world but also to each person’s daily activities.