Validation of the diagnostic tool for assessing Online Learner Readiness. Abstract
The purpose of this study was to test the factor structure, validity and reliability of the Online Learner Readiness Scale (OLRS) as a sufficient measure to test online learner readiness. It was predicted that the Online Learner Readiness Scale would produce a five factor structure; that the Online Learner Readiness Scale would relate to The Computer Technology Use Scale (CTUS), The Australian Personality Inventory (API) and The Self-Efficacy for Broad Academic Milestones (SEBAM) and that those who scored highly in their first year online subjects would also score highly on the Academic self-efficacy subscale. To do so, the OLRS was compared to 3 similar scales and tested for reliability and validity. Results found a four-factor structure and mostly negligible correlations. Overall, the reliability was supported however the current study was unable to validate the OLRS. In conclusion, online learner readiness is an extremely difficult concept to measure due to fundamental differences in theoretical models of learning styles and there is yet a sufficient tool to measure it. Validation of the diagnostic tool for assessing Online Learner Readiness.
Education and they way in which individuals learn has been studied since the establishment of Psychology as a discipline. Over the last decade, there has been an immense transition from traditional/ classroom based learning to online methods of study. Online learning, for the purpose of this study, has been defined as learning via Information and Communications Technology (Pillay, Irving, & Tones, 2007). Studies over the last decade have developed a general consensus suggesting that there is a fundamental difference between the qualities of classroom based and online based learning, with online learning being regarded as substandard (Bernard, Brauer, Abrami, & Surkes, 2004). Despite online learning being considered inferior to its classroom-based counterpart, enrollments for online education studies continue to increase each year. In 2008, enrollments for online learning increased between an estimated 11.3% and 12.9% (Dray, Lowenthal, Miszkiewicz, Ruiz‐Primo, & Marczynski, 2011). With this increase of online enrollments, high rates of attrition of classroom based students and an overall interest in seeing students succeed; many researchers have conducted various studies in order to better understand students’ readiness for online learning. Despite a widely accepted consensus that online learning is inferior, several researchers have begun to question whether the nature of education (online or face- to- face) is in fact a contributing factor to individual results. Many researchers have documented the need for further research investigating traits and characteristics such, as self-esteem, academic motivation and different personality types of students who are prepared to learn online. Previous research by Kerr, Rynearson, and Kerr (2006) established that certain characteristics students’ posses could lead to successful individual results. Results found by the development of the Test of Online Learning Success scale (TOOLS) demonstrated that student characteristics such as being self-directed, independent, personally responsible for learning; has self competence, proficient reading, writing and time management skills; and motivation to learn, do in fact contribute to the successfulness of online students results. Similarly, Bernard, Brauer, Abrami and Surkes (2004) and Smith, Murphy and Mahoney (2003) also found that “use of previous learning and experience, the setting of goals for learning, the evaluation and monitoring of learning, and the selection of learning strategies and learning resources” were prerequisite skills that contributed to improved individual results. However, a study by Komarraju, Karau, Schmeck and Avdic (2011) testing the relationship between personality,...
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