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Teacher communication preferred over peer interaction: Student satisfaction with different tools in a virtual learning environment

Felicity Small (School of Management and Marketing, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia)
David Dowell (School of Management and Business, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom)
Peter Simmons (Communication and Creative Industries, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia)

Journal of International Education in Business

ISSN: 2046-469X

Article publication date: 2 November 2012

1159

Abstract

Purpose

Teachers have access to a growing range of online tools to support course delivery, but which ones are valued by students? Expectations and satisfaction are important constructs in the delivery of a service product, and how these constructs operate in a service environment, such as education where the student can also take on the role of the customer is unknown. This study focuses on the student perspective of online tools. The aim of this paper is to measure students' expectations and perceived importance of, and satisfaction with, a range of tools available in a virtual learning environment.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative survey (n=396) was conducted and descriptive measures and statistical analysis were produced.

Findings

Results show that the tools that enable instructors to communicate with students and vice versa are more important to students and more satisfying to them than tools that enable students to interact with each other. Also, business students appear to be different from non‐business students, with respect to desired communications tools.

Practical implications

The findings help us to understand business students' communication preference, which in turn helps teachers to create an educationally meaningful learning environment.

Originality/value

This work connects an established model for online interactions with students' expectations and level of satisfaction with tools that are currently being used in the online education environment.

Keywords

Citation

Small, F., Dowell, D. and Simmons, P. (2012), "Teacher communication preferred over peer interaction: Student satisfaction with different tools in a virtual learning environment", Journal of International Education in Business, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 114-128. https://doi.org/10.1108/18363261211281735

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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