Online distance learning : Exploring the interaction between trust and performance.

SOUSA, Sonia. (2006). Online distance learning : Exploring the interaction between trust and performance. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The research reported in this thesis makes a contribution towards a comprehensive understanding of the online distance learning process. This research specifically addresses the effects of learners' trust in relation to particular trust factors in their academic performance when studying at a distance. An initial theoretical framework is outlined, which encompasses investigated areas such as distance education, online distance learning, trust, performance, as-sessment, online communities, co-operation and collaboration. Subsequently, a two stage empirical research process is described. Firstly, a survey is outlined to enable the construction of a set of trust factors characterising learners' beliefs in relation to online distance learning issues as well as to provide the student group profile. Secondly, a study which accounts for both a quantitative and qualitative data collec-tion is presented. Quantitative data was used to test an hypothesis which explored the relation between trust and performance under different conditions. Qualitative data was gathered to better understand and explain the results from the first stage. Results identified the importance of fostering trust in a distance learning community and in providing trustful online distance learning environments and reflects on the understanding of the concept of trust and possible implications for the online distance learning design and it pedagogy. Implications for online distance learners' needs and support are also identified.Results also confirmed the interaction between trust and performance although some results were unexpected. For instance, under certain conditions a negative correlation between trust and academic performance was identified. These results might, somehow, be related to Cape Verde's specific characteristics such as limited broadband access to the Internet and access to ICT facilities, serious water and electricity shortages, limited agricultural possibilities and shortage of higher education opportunities. Within this context, this work's major contributions are at the intersection of areas such as trust, online distance learning and learners' academic performance. Which offers an. increased understanding of the effects of learners' trust beliefs over their academic performance in online distance learning processes.An additional contribution was the development of an Information and Communication Technologies Online distance learning module for every initial year of the Universidade Jean Piaget de Cabo Verde undergraduate programme, thus contributing to reducing the existing gap between developed and developing countries.A complementary contribution is the identification of a number of consequent research questions which pave the way for future research work.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2006.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:22
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:22
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20386

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