Gender Differences in Student Perception of the Role of Learning Management Systems Features on their Engagement in Online Courses

Concurrent Session 8

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

The rise of online learning presents challenges as well as opportunities for instructors and students. One of the challenges for online instructors is how to keep students engaged in the course. A Learning Management System (LMS) is used to address part of this challenge; however, this is dependent on how the instructor uses it. When delivering a course to students online, a learning management system can be used to manage the course, facilitate assignments and exams, provide feedback and grades, and communicate with students. This study will examine gender differences in student views on the role of a learning management system in their engagement in an online course. This study will examine students’ views on which features of an LMS were used by the course instructor, how those features played a role in engaging them and finally examine if there are gender differences in the student views.

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Presenters

Kizito is currently a Doctoral candidate in Instructional Design and Technology at Virginia Tech. He is interested in research in online learning and gender differences in online learning.

Extended Abstract

Most online and face-to-face courses are managed using a Learning Management System (LMS) which is chosen by the school in most cases. There are several Learning Management Systems that are currently available. These include; Canvas, Blackboard, Google classrooms, Desire to Learn, Moodle, Sakai, Chamilo, Totara, etc... The objectives of this research are to find out if learning management systems play a role in engaging students, to determine what features of a learning management system play a role in engaging the students and if gender differences exist between the male and female students' views on the role of a learning management system in their engagement. Despite the various empirical studies that have been conducted on student engagement in online courses, very few studies have addressed gender differences in student views on the role of learning management systems on their engagement and how features of a learning management system can be used to maximize student engagement. This research will be conducted to address this gap in the literature.

Researchers conducted an initial study using the ‘Student Perception of Engagement in an Online Course’ survey to measure student perception of engagement in an online course. One of the questions centered on student views of the role of a learning management system and if any features of a learning management system were engaging to them. Researchers found that more than 70% of the students believed a learning management system played a role in their engagement. As a result of these findings, the proposed study will further explore student perceptions of learning management systems and its role in their engagement in an online course.

A mixed-method approach will be used in this proposed study to determine (what features of an online course play a role in their engagement) if learning management systems play a role in student engagement and if gender differences in student views exist.