Constructs Related to Community College Student Satisfaction in Blended Learning

Stephen Sorden, Ishmael Munene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper discusses the constructs of social presence, collaborative learning, computer-supported collaborative learning, and satisfaction in blended learning environments. It presents the results of a study that used the Collaborative Learning, Social Presence, and Satisfaction (CLSS) question-naire, which was conducted on one campus in a multi-campus community college system. The CLSS questionnaire measured the amount of perceived collaborative learning, perceived social presence, and reported satisfaction in a blended course. The sample of participants was drawn from students enrolled in one or more blended courses on one campus in a multi-campus, com-munity-college system in the southwestern United States. The study posed four questions, accompanied by four related hypotheses. Does perceived social presence in a blended, community-college course correlate with reported student satisfaction? Does perceived collaborative learning in a blended, community-college course correlate with re-ported student satisfaction? Does perceived social presence in a blended, community-college course correlate with perceived collaborative learning? How do age, gender, ethnicity, computer expertise, and number of distance courses previously taken correlate with perceived social pres-ence, perceived collaborative learning, and reported course satisfaction in a blended, community-college course? The data analysis consisted mainly of a descriptive analysis and correlational analysis using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (Pearson’s r). In addition, a Mann Whitney U test was run separately on the nominal variables for Caucasian and Latino ethnicity, which found a significant, higher perception of social presence for the Latino participants. The descriptive analysis showed that the sample roughly mirrored the general population of the college. The cor-relational analysis resulted in the rejection of the first three null hypotheses, while the fourth was retained. The study found a moderate, positive relationship between social presence and student satisfaction, and the constructs of per-ceived collaboration and student satisfaction appeared to be highly related. The study also confirmed that there appears to be a link between rising levels of perceived collaboration and rising levels of perceived social presence. With the exception of a relationship be-tween Latinos and higher self-reported perceptions of social presence, the study did not find a significant correlation between any of the demographic variables and the three constructs that were measured. While there is as yet no strong evidence, this may be the first study to suggest a higher relationship between Latinos/Hispanics and perceived social presence in blended learning. One major conclusion that can be drawn from this study is to confirm that there does indeed ap-pear to be a strong link between the amount of social presence and collaborative activities that a student perceives in a blended course and that student’s self-reported satisfaction in the course. This study suggests that blended learning featuring collaboration and social presence can help institutions create better programs and support services that may lead to more effective learning environments. The authors conclude with a discussion of the result implications for education and blended learning, and they make recommendations for future research. Keywords: collaboration, collaborative learning, social presence, student satisfaction, blended learning, hybrid course
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-270
JournalJournal of Information Technology Education: Research
Volume12
StatePublished - Nov 20 2013

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