| || || Alpana, Reema|
| || || Learners' and instructors' perception of and satisfaction with face-to-face science education : examining the need for an online approach at the University of the South Pacific|
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Science -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Social aspects -- Fiji, Distance education -- Social aspects -- Fiji, Open learning -- Social aspects -- Fiji
Call No.: Pac Q 183 .4 .F5 A47 2016
Copyright:10-20% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: Accessibility, approachability or in other words course instructional design has often been the key measures for learners’ and instructors’ to consider while evaluating a course. This research focuses on the need for providing satisfactory and accessible education at the University of the South Pacific’s member communities and beyond. The Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment’s (FSTE) School of Biological and Chemical Sciences (SBCS) was the target group, as this is one sector which during the time of this study mainly offered courses via face-to-face (f2f) mode, in particular its Biology and Chemistry courses. Hence, this study envisioned to investigate the learners’ and instructors’ perception and satisfaction with the current mode of instruction (f2f) as well as examine the need for an online learning environment. A pragmatist approach was used with a blend of the mixed method, under which a descriptive survey was used to identify the learner’s perception of and satisfaction whereas a case study was used to identify the instructors’ views as well as perception on the f2f mode on course delivery. Over 150 students participated in the survey while a few were also interviewed. Ten instructors of SBCS were also interviewed to gather their perspective of the issue. All quantitative data was analysed using the International Business Machines (IBM), and Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software, while all qualitative data was analysed thematically. The findings revealed that both learners and instructors were fairly satisfied with the f2f mode of instruction delivery. While many viewed e-Learning resources such as MOODLE (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) as a supplementary resource. Furthermore, it was also noted that learner’s demography particularly their residency had an impact on their expectation and satisfaction with the course. Likewise, another element of concern was the learner’s attitude towards the course. Similarly, many instructors also had negative mind-set about the online mode of instruction and contradicted to the need for e-Learning in their context, hence, viewing technology as a supplementary resource. v This research suggests that stakeholders work towards upgrading the resources as it is the major barrier in achieving 100% flexibility (in the mode of course delivery) and accessibility in the university’s courses. Additionally, students need to adapt to the technological upgrade in education, while instructors need to upgrade their teaching strategies and be willing to invest utilizing mechanisms in which flexibility and accessibility could be achieved, while providing quality education.