1.1 STUDY BACKGROUND
Distance learning, also known as e-learning, is a formalized teaching and learning system that is intended to be carried out remotely via electronic communication. Because distance learning is less expensive to support and is not limited by geography, it provides opportunities in situations where traditional education is ineffective. Employees and students with scheduling or distance issues can benefit from distance education because it is more flexible in terms of time and can be delivered virtually anywhere (Wikipedia, 2015).
According to studies, distance learning can be as effective as traditional learning and even more satisfying to students when the methods used are appropriate for the teaching tasks, there is student-teacher interaction, and teachers provide students with appropriate and timely feedback.
In the last ten years, distance education has grown in popularity. Universities and corporations are interested in participating in this “re-invented” form of education. Between 1997 and 1998, the total enrollment in courses delivered via various forms of distance education was estimated to be 1.6 million students.
Higher education has grown into a thriving industry, with annual revenues of 225 billion dollars in 1999. This new learning environment appears to be benefiting universities, corporations, and governments. Given that more people are pursuing a second degree after earning a baccalaureate, and that more full-time employees are seeking to advance their careers by taking training courses, it is critical to investigate student satisfaction with the learning environment as the market grows.
Student satisfaction is a key indicator of the quality of educational experiences (Moore & Kearsley, 1996; Yukselturk & Yildirim, 2008). Because new technologies have changed the way students interact with instructors and classmates, it is worthwhile to investigate student satisfaction in distance learning settings (Kaminski, Switzer, & Gloeckner, 2009).
The quality of interaction in distance learning settings may be heavily influenced by the technology tools used during learning (Parsad & Lewis, 2008). Students’ satisfaction during distance learning instruction may suffer as a result of a lack of confidence in using information and communication technology (ICT).
Distance learning, as opposed to face-to-face instruction, requires learners to take on more responsibility (Moore & Kearsley, 1996). Distance learners who are unable to effectively regulate their learning are unlikely to be satisfied (Artino, 2007; Puzziferro, 2008).
However, learning environment studies remain positivistic in nature, with the use of instruments to measure learners’ perceptions and then imposing guidelines for the development of the learning environment, despite the authors’ suggestions for various support elements (Walker, 2002, Jegede, Fraser & Fisher, 1998)
The term “distance learning environment” refers to a networked environment in which learning activities take place while the instructor and learner are separated by location and/or time. The researcher will look into how satisfied students are with their learning environment in distance learning.
1.2 THE PROBLEM’S STATEMENT
The reasons why some students lose interest in a class have recently been at the forefront of debate. Given the risk of introducing quality deficiencies when implementing these new technologies in distance learning programs, it is critical to monitor and report actual outcomes of their use. This study looks at the outcomes of using technologies in distance learning from the students’ point of view in terms of satisfaction.
Previous research has looked into the factors that contribute to student satisfaction. However, the characteristics examined in each of these studies were limited. Previous research has concentrated on one or two aspects of satisfaction, whereas the literature indicates that there are a plethora of variables influencing satisfaction and additional variables associated with satisfaction in the distance learning environment.
Because the Internet and ICT technology are used in the course structure of distance learning, additional issues may arise, such as students’ perceptions of the technology as assisting or impeding the learning process. The researcher will, however, determine the determinants of student satisfaction in a distance learning environment and their level of satisfaction with such an environment.
1.3 THE STUDY’S OBJECTIVES
The following are the study’s objectives:
To determine the level of student satisfaction with the learning environment in Nigerian distance learning universities.
To investigate the factors that influence student satisfaction in a distance learning environment.
To investigate the factors that contribute to student satisfaction in a distance learning university.
1.4 QUESTIONS FOR RESEARCH
How satisfied are students with the learning environment in Nigerian distance learning universities?
What factors influence student satisfaction in a distance learning environment?
What factors can improve student satisfaction in a distance learning university?
HO: Students at a distance learning university in Nigeria are dissatisfied with the learning environment.
HA: Students are pleased with the learning environment at Nigeria’s distance learning university.
1.6 THE STUDY’S SIGNIFICANCE
The following are the study’s implications:
This study will be useful for policymakers in the education sector in understanding the challenges faced by students in distance learning universities. This will also prepare students to deal with any challenges that arise as a result of the distance between the lecturer and the students.
This research will also serve as a resource for other scholars and researchers interested in conducting additional research in this field, and if applied, it will go so far as to provide new explanations for the topic.
1.7 STUDY SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS
The scope of this study on student satisfaction with learning environment in distance learning universities in Nigeria will include all situations related to the learning environment encountered by students at distance learning universities in Nigeria, which will be evaluated based on the students’ level of satisfaction.
Financial constraint- Inadequate funding tends to impede the researcher’s efficiency in locating relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as in the data collection process (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will conduct this study alongside other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
1.8 TERMS AND CONDITIONS
A student is a person who is enrolled in a university or other institution of higher learning.
The diverse physical locations, contexts, and cultures in which students learn are referred to as the learning environment.
Because students can learn in a variety of settings, including outside of school and in the outdoors, the term is frequently used as a more accurate or preferred alternative to classroom, which has more limited and traditional connotations—a room with rows of desks and a chalkboard, for example.
Satisfaction is defined as the fulfillment of one’s wishes, expectations, or needs, as well as the pleasure derived from this.
Make (someone or something) far away or remote in location or nature.
A. R. Artino (2007). Online military training: Understanding students’ satisfaction, perceived learning, and choice using a social cognitive view of motivation and self-regulation. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 191-202.
O. Jegede, B. J. Fraser, and D. L. Fisher (1998). The Development, Validation, and Application of the Distance and Open Learning Environment Scale The paper was presented at the 69th Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, which was held in San Diego, California.
K. Kaminski, J. Switzer, and G. Gloeckner (2009). Workforce readiness: An examination of university students’ knowledge of information technology. 228-233 in Computers & Education, 53(2).
Moore, M. G., and G. Kearsley (1996). A Systems Approach to Distance Education Wadsworth, New York.
B. Parsad and L. Lewis (2008). Distance education at postsecondary degree-granting institutions: 2006-07. Obtainable at http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009044.pdf.
M. Puzziferro (2008). Self-efficacy and self-regulated learning in online college courses as predictors of final grade and satisfaction 72-89 in the American Journal of Distance Education.
S. Walker (2002). Measuring the psychosocial environment of distance education.
http://www.eaglenest.com/swalker/publications/TCC 2002/ Retrieved 22 January 2003 from http://www.eaglenest.com/swalker/publications/TCC 2002/ Wikipedia (2015): www.wikipedia.com
E. Yukselturk and Z. Yildirim (2008). Examine interaction, online support, course structure, and flexibility as factors that contribute to student satisfaction in an online certificate program. 51-65 in Educational Technology & Society.