Academic journal article Journal of Information Systems Education

The Role of Delivery Methods on the Perceived Learning Performance and Satisfaction of IT Students in Software Programming Courses

Academic journal article Journal of Information Systems Education

The Role of Delivery Methods on the Perceived Learning Performance and Satisfaction of IT Students in Software Programming Courses

Article excerpt

1. INTRODUCTION

Technology-mediated distance learning has become an important way to deliver courses in higher education. Many institutions of higher education have established distance learning programs. An Internet search indicates that many universities (such as Washington State University and Oklahoma State University) have offered their Information Technology or MIS (Management Information Systems) programs either online or through other distance learning formats. Many information technology courses, including software programming courses, have been delivered to students at a distance via a variety of delivery methods such as live video streaming and televised broadcasting. For example, a face-to-face course can be broadcast live to students at different satellite campus and can also be streamed for live video-based access on the Internet. These distance learning formats offer students the opportunity to earn degrees at a distance without having to come to the main university campus (Chong, He, & Wu, 2012).

As distance learning becomes more prevalent and higher education institutes continue to expand and diversify distance course delivery methods, more and more educators and organizations have become concerned with the quality of distance education (Abdous, 2010; Rovai & Downey, 2010; Yang, 2010). For example, AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) has recognized the growing importance of distance learning in business education and has formed a task force to develop guidelines to aid people who conduct reviews of quality and accreditation of distance learning programs (AACSB, 2007). It becomes critical to evaluate the effectiveness of these various distance course delivery methods in terms of students' learning performance and learning satisfaction (Abdous & Yoshimura, 2010). Educators who teach distance learning courses need to understand how different delivery methods affect students' learning when students are exposed to different delivery methods in a technology-enhanced learning environment.

The main purpose of this case study is to examine the predictive relationship between delivery method and various outcome variables (i.e., delivery method satisfaction, programming skill enhancement, and expected final grade) in computer programming courses using multiple delivery methods (i.e., face-to-face, video streaming, and satellite broadcasting) after controlling for the students' previous uses of the same delivery method and computer programming experience level. The same software programming courses were simultaneously delivered to IT students via three different delivery methods. In addition, students were free to choose any of the delivery methods, based on their location and interests. The research questions of this case study are listed as follows:

1. How, and to what extent, can the delivery method predict student delivery method satisfaction after controlling for the students' delivery method experience level?

2. How, and to what extent, can the delivery method predict student delivery method satisfaction after controlling for the students' computer programming experience level?

3. How, and to what extent, can the delivery method predict student programming skill enhancement after controlling for the students' delivery method experience level?

4. How, and to what extent, can the delivery method predict student programming skill enhancement after controlling for the students' computer programming experience level?

5. How, and to what extent, can the delivery method predict the students' expected final grade after controlling for the students' delivery method experience level?

6. How, and to what extent, can the delivery method predict the students' expected final grade after controlling for the students' computer programming experience level?

As far as the significance of the study is concerned, the results of this case study will provide distance learning instructors, practitioners, and administrators with data regarding how delivery methods are related to students' perceived learning performance and satisfaction. …

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