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Encouraging people to embrace feedback-seeking in online learning: An investigation of informational and relational drivers

Manli Wu (University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China) (City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong)
Xiaojuan Xu (School of Management, Anhui University, Hefei, China)
Lele Kang (Nanjing University, Nanjing, China)
J. Leon Zhao (City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong)
Liang Liang (University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 26 February 2019

Issue publication date: 2 September 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impacts of perceived informational value and perceived relational value on feedback-seeking intention in online communities of inquiry (OCoIs). To develop an integrated theoretical framework, the antecedents of perceived informational value and perceived relational value are also investigated.

Design/methodology/approach

This study builds on the relational communication theory (RCT) and the social psychology perspective to develop an integrated research model regarding feedback-seeking. Hypotheses were empirically tested using data collected from 262 subjects who are members of OCoIs.

Findings

The results indicate that feedback-seeking intention is positively affected by perceived informational and relational value of feedback-seeking. Furthermore, perceived informational value partially mediates the effects of feedback-seeking self-efficacy and learning goal orientation on feedback-seeking intention; perceived relational value partially mediates the effects of social influence and social risk on feedback-seeking intention.

Practical implications

The results suggest that practitioners can promote feedback-seeking by enhancing learners’ informational and relational dependencies on OCoIs. To achieve effective online learning, practitioners should consider learners’ characteristics to provide personalized learning interventions.

Originality/value

This study advances RCT and the social psychology perspective to develop an integrated model for understanding feedback-seeking. The empirical results complement information-related explanations of feedback-seeking by finding that a relationship-related explanation is more important for promoting feedback-seeking in OCoIs. The proposed model also indicates that tolerance for ambiguity serves as a moderator in the relationship between perceived informational value and its antecedents.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The work described in this paper was fully supported by the following grants: Jiangsu Social Science Foundation (16TQC002) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC 71704078).

Citation

Wu, M., Xu, X., Kang, L., Zhao, J.L. and Liang, L. (2019), "Encouraging people to embrace feedback-seeking in online learning: An investigation of informational and relational drivers", Internet Research, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 749-771. https://doi.org/10.1108/IntR-04-2017-0162

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited