Student Readiness for Online Learning – A case study in rural Bolivia
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ISSN der Zeitschrift
Workshop Gemeinschaften in Neuen Medien (GeNeMe) 2017
The present paper describes the research of the students’ online learning readiness in a rural university in Bolivia. In particular, it examines through a quantitative research the influences of some variables on the students’ attitudes toward online learning. These variables were established based on theoretical fundaments and selected and confirmed through a qualitative research based in semi-structured interviews with lecturers and directors of the university’s rural centers. This study also provides a way to predict the membership of a student in two groups: “Those who would participate in an online course” and “those who would not participate in an online course” depending on the influencing variables (technology access, technology skills, self-directed learning and online interaction). This analysis also reveals the most important factors to be considered by the university before introducing online courses. The results have shown that the perceived Internet access strongly affected the participation or the lack of participation of students in an online course. Moreover, the student’s attitude toward online learning is influenced mainly by the perception of the quality of his Internet access, by the perception about his capability to interact online (with other students, lecturers and content) and by the individual’s perception about his own computer skills. This study also provides a simple model to analyze the students’ online learning readiness based on their self-assessment.