Investigation of the relationships among online community college students' characteristics and instructional delivery model preferences
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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between age, gender, program of study, and number of online courses previously taken and instructional delivery preferences related to students’ control of their own learning, interaction, social presence, learning environment, and online self-efficacy. A web-based online survey was used to measure these five online preferences. Three hundred-eighty-two online students in a large community college completed all the questions on the online survey. Preference measures were calculated by using the mean score of all the survey items aligned to each online student instructional delivery preference, which were used as dependent variables in five multiple regressions with age, gender, field of study, and previous experience as the independent variables. Results suggested a statistically significant relationship between online students with previous online experience and individual learning preferences, social presence preferences, environmental preferences, and online self-efficacy. In addition, the researcher found a significant relationship between program of study and online students’ individual preferences, interactive learning preferences, social presence preferences, and environmental preferences. Online students in health programs tend to have higher scores in individual preferences, while math and science, engineering and computer science online students tend to have lower scores in interactive learning preferences, social presence preferences, and environmental preferences compared to humanities, social science, and education online students. Age and gender were found to be associated onlyto social presence preferences. For each preference, the amount of variance accounted by age, gender, field of study, and previous experience was small. It ranged from 3.8% to 12.9%.