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Cassidy, SF (2016)
Publisher: Sciedu Press
Languages: English
Types: Article

Classified by OpenAIRE into

Virtual learning environments (VLE) have become a standard feature of most courses in higher education, offering the potential to facilitate and improve teaching and learning. Whilst there is an implicit assumption that VLEs benefit student learning, much of the evidence originates from direct questioning of students about their satisfaction with the VLE itself. In order to establish the impact of VLEs on student satisfaction with teaching and learning in higher education, the present study gathered data from a sample of 128 undergraduate students using self-report module evaluation questionnaires (MEQs) completed before and after VLEs were introduced. MEQs were completed in relation one core (Research Methods) and one elected (Health Psychology) module. Results for the core module showed a marked increase in the percentage of students responding as extremely or very satisfied following the introduction of the VLE compared to the pre VLE period. There was also a fall in the percentage of students responding as neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. No clear or consistent change in student satisfaction was evident for the elected module. Improved communication and greater variety of teaching methods were reported by students post VLE for both the core and the elected module. Findings provide some support for the notion that VLEs mediate increased student satisfaction with teaching and learning in higher education, but that their impact may vary according to the course and the perceived utility of the VLE, pre-existing student satisfaction and the effectiveness with which VLEs are blended with traditional approaches to meet student expectations.
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