Student eLearning Readiness: Three Years of Survey Results and Next Steps

Concurrent Session 1

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

This presentation will review the processes and results of ongoing surveys to measure student attitudes toward eLearning.  The surveys assess the needs and expectations of students regarding educational technology.  As part of the process to identify and bridge gaps in eLearning, researchers also conducted focus groups with students and faculty.


Thad Stott is an instructional technologist and multimedia specialist at TCS Education System (TCS). His focus is centered on the optimization and personalization of learning experiences for the students of the five universities and thirteen campuses within the TCS Ed System. Thad researches educational technologies and techniques and trains faculty and staff on how to effectively implement technology into the classroom, ultimately enhancing the learning experience for the students. Thad also manages the multimedia projects and initiatives for the Ed Tech and Instructional Design departments at TCS Ed System.

Additional Authors

Dr Sean Nufer is the Director of Teaching and Learning at TCS Education System, and an associate adjunct professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and Pacific Oaks College.

Extended Abstract

Since 2012, our institution has administered a bi-annual student survey to identify the aspects of online learning that students find to be the most useful in terms of classroom engagement and overall quality of instruction and learning.  These surveys help to understand preferences and opinions regarding eLearning and educational technology within the classroom in traditional, blended, and online programs.  The insights gleaned from the gathered survey responses have helped to establish a solid baseline of online learning attitudes which have contributed to our institutional efforts to improve our course instruction and delivery methods.

Through the administration of multiple surveys across several years and cohorts, we have been able to identify trends in how students adopt certain technologies and devices as well as assess their overall attitudes toward online learning and technology as educational assets.  As a follow-up to the student surveys, we have also conducted several asynchronous/virtual student focus groups in order to gain further insight and interpretation of the survey result data.  The data from the surveys and focus groups have been used to refine our institutional eLearning strategies and instructional technology road map.

It is our belief that by conducting primary research on the topic of student attitudes toward online learning and technology, we will be able to better address common issues regarding attrition rates, student satisfaction, achievement, learning, and student engagement. 

Participants of this session will benifit from the following outcomes:

  • Understand our process of acquiring quantitative and qualitative data on student attitudes regarding online learning
  • Compare and discuss the resulting eLearning attitudes data and trends acquired over five years of student surveys, focus groups, and research
  • Deliberate on industry movement and next steps in online learning and educational technology
  • Understand how to use student attitudes to drive institutional innovation
  • Apply or consider these findings for prospective research or eLearning initiatives within their own institutions