An 18-Month Study of Student Embracement and Use of a Learning Management System at an Urban, Research Institution
2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings
When freshman students are presented with not only a new experience called college, but also the responsibility of dealing with this eventhow does a learning management system aid them in this endeavor? Do they embrace the learning management system for use within their courses and program? How frequently do they use the learning management system and its tools with their courses? And does this embracement and usage change over time? This study examined both the embracement and usage patterns
... nd usage patterns of a group of freshman students with an online learning management system in the School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) through their first 18 months. A survey was administered twice, once following the first semester of the freshman year and once midway through the first semester of the sophomore year. The survey questions focused on evaluating the amount of engagement and usage of the learning management system. Several open-ended questions concentrated on learning what students found especially difficult in navigating the environment; how they perceive they will use the learning management system throughout their time at this institution; what they like most and least about the system; and finally, how their experience could be improved with the learning management system. Researchers were also curious if students were experienced in using any learning management system before their involvement at this particular institution to determine prior bias or embracement factors that might be present or might hinder their use of the system. Besides learning basic demographic and descriptive information about the student group, researchers gained perspective on the students' prior opportunity and their future desire for training on the learning management system. Details emerged on the frequency of use, tools used within the system, communication methods, and students' use of the system or other tools to manage their courses. These results were evaluated between surveys to understand variations that had occurred as the students progressed through their programs into their sophomore years. Final results demonstrated mixed responses from students: first with instructor usage of the learning management system within courses; and second, with the number of students who have taken online courses through this particular institution in the learning management system.