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Attitude Change towards Online Education

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  1. Attitude Change towards Online Education Kristy A. Brandabur Attitude Formation and Change: W2012

  2. Attitude defined • Attitude change and the target audience • Review of literature • Attitude change activities vs. Attitude change theory • Attitude change program • Attitude assessment: Likert Scale • Validity and Reliability of assessment • Impact of change • References Contents

  3. Attitude, as defined by Maio and Haddock (2010), is “an overall evaluation of an object that is based on cognitive, affective, and behavioral information” (pg.4). Attitude defined

  4. The objective of the attitude formation and change project is to determine the negative attitudes of college students towards online education, and change those attitudes to a more positive approach to online learning. • Attitude towards online education will be reviewed through current literature. • An assessment of students attitude will be used to determine thoughts and feelings toward online education. • Attain proof that online education is a beneficial tool and alternate form of advanced education through a trial program. • Pre and post attitude assessments will provide concrete data on attitude change. Attitude change and the target audience

  5. The purpose of this project is to determine the negative attitudes of students towards online education, and change those attitudes to a more positive approach to online learning. • There has been a great deal of research focusing on student attitudes towards online education. In a study conducted by Dale and Spencer, the conclusion formed was that there are mixed feelings regarding online education. Dale and Spencer (2001) identify that “students observed that online courses were less personal and required more motivation on their part. The also like the flexibility of taking tests online at their convenience and the fact that less time was wasted on travel to class” (pgs. 30-34). This information is consistent with other reviews of literature. • Interestingly enough, after this study, they found that almost half of the students chose to take the class in a traditional setting, therefore confirming his research that there continues to be some dissonance towards online education. Review of Literature

  6. The purpose of this project is to determine the negative attitudes of students towards online education, and change those attitudes to a more positive approach to online learning. • In a study conducted by Maria Victoria Perez Cereijo, she based her findings on student attitudes and e-learning. Specifically, it covers not only the perceptions of students and online learning, but also looks to identify a “predictor that will determine students most likely to enjoy taking asynchronous courses online” (Cereijo,2006,pg.623). • Consistent with other research findings, the positive attitudes of most students dominate on the flexibility toward personal demands (work, family, etc.) and convenience, but the dominance in attitude still leaned towards the negative attitude; impersonal encounters with instructors as a leading component in the downfall of online learning. Cereijo (2006) also points out that the “changes in the fiber of our nation’s economic and social structure as well as new developments in technology have made DE over the Internet more appealing (pg. 623). • The article also examines the students “pre and post” attitude toward online courses, in comparison to traditional face-to-face course offerings. Review of Literature

  7. The purpose of this project is to determine the negative attitudes of students towards online education, and change those attitudes to a more positive approach to online learning. • Beard, Harper, and Riley examine the attitudes of online learners. The primary focus was on the attitudes and perceptions of online learning, but also how online education can make students better “thinkers” and give them the opportunity to fine tune skills, and discover their areas of strength and weakness when it comes to accomplishing success (Beard, Harper & Riley, 2004). • As in other articles, they discuss the main advantages of online education; privacy, availability, diminished inhibitions, and convenience. Also emphasized was the students “concern about the lack of instructor interaction (as did the instructor) and the inability to interact with other students”(Beard et al.,2004,pg.31) Of other concern to students was the lack of technological skills, privacy issues, and technology issues. These findings on technological issues were in addition to the general findings about impersonal instructor/peer inclusion. Review of Literature

  8. The purpose of this project is to determine the negative attitudes of students towards online education, and change those attitudes to a more positive approach to online learning. • Michael Miller and Mei-Yan Lu in their research establish how we have adapted online education towards a variety of cultures, and students who are not traditional college students (Miller, Yan Lu, 2003). The attitudes that prevail in the study replicate what we have seen in other works; flexibility, less travel time, course-by-course degrees, higher levels of success, but decrease in faculty/peer interaction. • Within the context of the study they recognized that students who take online courses have a better ability to recall information because of creativity and variation in instruction (Miller &Yan Lu, 2003) This is extremely important for the non-traditional type learner and should be used to persuade students as to the benefits of online education. Review of Literature

  9. The purpose of this project is to determine the negative attitudes of students towards online education, and change those attitudes to a more positive approach to online learning. • Another interesting approach to the research on attitudes towards online learners was conducted by Koroghlanian and Brinkerhoff (2008). Their approach looked at the specific attitudes of the group by assessing demographics. Their findings concluded that those with the highest positive attitude towards online education were older students, graduate students and females (Koroghlanian & Brinkerhoff, 2008). The study also included looking at the difference in attitudes among hybrid courses, face-to-face and online. • Most of the research they found was that negative attitudes were more likely to be caused by fear of technology, and lack of computer skill and knowledge. The statistical data is extensive; looking at computer skills responses by gender, advanced computer course experience, internet connection type, distance education experience (how many online classes they had previously taken), attitudes based on age, hours/week of computer use, and length of computer ownership (Koroghlanian & Brinkerhoff, 2008). Review of Literature

  10. The purpose of this project is to determine the negative attitudes of students towards online education, and change those attitudes to a more positive approach to online learning. • A pretest posttest assessment is the most forward thinking method to evaluate the attitudes of college students towards online learning. Knowles and Kerkman (2007) administered a questionnaire at the beginning of the class and then again at the end. Questionnaires focused on interest, self-management, and locus of control at the beginning of the course. At the end of the course the questionnaire focused on study process, which demonstrated a strong locus of control (Knowles & Kerkman, 2007). The study also found the typical findings of attitude towards online education; flexibility, self-management, student/instructor interaction, and low amount of student/student interaction. Findings showed (according to the questionnaires administered) that students’ attitudes increased from the beginning of the course. They found they interacted more with the instructor than originally thought, though they still felt there was not enough peer interaction and support. Another finding led them to understand that students were more internally motivated than originally thought (Knowles & Kerkman, 2007). • This methodology clearly defines that attitudes can change positively given the right motivation and instructor leadership. Review of Literature

  11. Cognitive Dissonance Theory • Cognitive dissonance theory suggests that people feel an aversive tension or “dissonance” from having a set of two or more beliefs that do not seem to fit together. (Maio & Haddock, 2010) • Cognitive dissonance in online education shows a disconnect between what the student “perceives” online education will be like, and what online education actually requires. • Students negative attitudes keep them from experiencing online education. Attitude change activities vs. attitude change theory

  12. Attitude Change Activities • Behavioral exploration: participating in a “trial” online class will allow the student to examine the effects of their behaviors on attitude objects. • Role playing: experiencing the course first hand without fear of awkwardness. • Self-perception: allows the learner to form conclusions as to why they felt negative towards online education in the first place. Attitude change activities vs. attitude change theory

  13. Explicit measure of attitude • Incoming college students will be given a questionnaire to identify their attitude towards online education prior to a “trial” online course conducted by Student Services. • The “trial” course/program will be conducted using Blackboard interactive classroom. • A post online questionnaire will be given to evaluate any changes in attitude that occurred over the duration of the “trial” course. Attitude Change Program

  14. Attitudes can be quantifiably measured – paving the way for the development of the discipline. (Maio and Haddock, 2010) • A questionnaire containing 25 questions based on belief statements will be administered to incoming college students. • A Likert scale will be used to calculate the attitude ratings based on the scale below. • strongly disagree • disagree • neither agree or disagree • agree • strongly agree • The Likert scale is a bipolar scale measuring both positive and negative responses to a statement. Attitude Assessment

  15. The Program • Students will participate an online “trial” program/course offered by Student Services, designed to allow them to experience an online course first hand without apprehension. • The “trial” program/course will include, but is not limited to, online instruction, cooperative learning, time management, socialization, peer/instructor interaction, online assessment tools, multimedia and technology. Attitude Change Program

  16. Explicit measures have been shown to exhibit high reliability (Maio and Haddock, 2005) • The questionnaire being administered will be constructed of 25 belief statements which will demonstrate reliability. • The questionnaire will be carefully constructed by a group of instructors that currently teach online education. • Explicit measures that contain more items tend to be more reliable, as long as the items are somewhat similar (Maio and Haddock, 2010). • The following the pre/post survey that will be used to determine reliability. • Questions were randomized to provide accurate feedback. Validity and Reliability of Assessment

  17. Screenshot of Attitude Assessment Survey

  18. The validity of a scale refers to the extent that it assesses the construct it is designed to measure (Maio and Haddock, 2010) • A Cronbach alpha will be performed to measures reliability. “It measures how well a set of variables or items measures a single, one-dimensional latent aspect of individuals. Generally, many quantities of interest in medicine, such as anxiety or degree of handicap, are impossible to measure explicitly. In such cases, we ask a series of questions and combine the answers into a single numerical value.”(,2012) Validity and Reliability of Assessment

  19. Reliability • Test-Retest Strategy • Internal Consistency • Validity • Construct Validity • Concurrent Validity Cronbach’s alpha is a measure of statistics that will measure the internal consistency or reliability of the survey both pre and post “trial” online course . The University of Cincinnati statistics department will run the Cronbach alpha in order to generate the impact of positive change that the “trial” online course had on students. Validity and Reliability

  20. Summary/Conclusion • There is a level of dissonance experienced by college students towards online education. • A “trial” online program/course will be available to incoming students through Student Services to eliminate the trepidation of e-learning. • Students will be presented a pre/post “trial” program/course assessment. • If the program appears to be successful, we will implement the program to incoming freshman students during orientation. Impact of Change

  21. Beard, Lawrence A; Harper, Cynthia; Riley, Gena. (2004).Online Versus On-Campus Instruction: Student Attitudes & Perceptions. TechTrends 48 (6) (Nov/Dec 2004): 29-31. • Dale, Larry R; Spencer, Jeanette (2001). Student Attitudes Toward Online Courses .Allied Academies International Conference. Academy of Educational Leadership. Proceedings 6. 2 (2001): 30-34. • Knowles, Evelyn. Kerkman, Dennis. (2007). An Investigation of Students’ Attitudes and Motivations Toward Online Learning. Insight (Parkville, Mo.)(1933-4850), 2(1), p.70. • Koroghlanian, Carol M., Brinkerhoff, Jonathan. (2008). Online Students' Technology Skills and Attitudes toward Online Instruction. Journal of educational technology systems (0047-2395), 36(2), p.219. • Maio, G.R., Haddock, G. (2010). The psychology of attitudes and attitude change. Los Angeles: SAGE. • Miller, Michael (2003). Serving Non-Traditional Students in E-Learning Environments: Building Successful Communities in the Virtual Campus. Educational media international(0952-3987), 40(1-2), p.163.DOI:10.1080/0952398032000092206 • Perez Cereijo, Maria Victoria (2006).Attitude as Predictor of Success in Online Training.International Journal on ELearning 5. 4: 623-639. • Steps of the Scientific Method. Retrieved 08 Mar. 2012 from Experiment Resources: • Streiner D.L., Norman G.R. (1989).Health Measurement Scales A Practical Guide to Their Development and Use. New York: Oxford University Press (pages 64-65). • Wuensch, Karl L. (October 4, 2005). What is a Likert Scale? and How Do You Pronounce Likert?'. East Carolina University.. Retrieved April 30, 2009.. References