Understanding Student Attitudes about Distance Education: The Importance of Excitement and Fear

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Authors: Esther Smidt, Jennifer Bunk, Rui Li, Ashley McAndrew & Matthew Florence, West Chester University, United States of America
Email: CSmidt@wcupa.edu
Published: March 2016
https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.4.1.05

Citation: Smidt, E., Bunk, J., Li, R., McAndrew, A., & Florence, M. (2016). Understanding Student Attitudes about Distance Education: The Importance of Excitement and Fear. IAFOR Journal of Education, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.4.1.05


Abstract

This quantitative study investigated student attitudes toward distance education at a midsized, mid-Atlantic state university in the United States. The research question was: Do feelings of excitement and fear moderate and/or mediate the relationship between online learning experiences and student opinions about the current state of online education, namely that institutions were pushing too much instruction online? Data was collected from students via an online survey. Findings suggested: (a) students with online experience who were fearful of this learning mode were the most likely to report that their institutions were pushing too much online learning, (b) regardless of online learning experience, students who were excited about this learning mode were less likely to think that their institutions were pushing too much online learning.

Keywords

student attitudes, distance education, excitement, fear