Out of the 844 students, 179 did not participate in the feedback process, and consequently, there is no related data for them to compute their perceived satisfaction and their reported engagement level. As can be seen from the tables below, the majority of students reported being moderately satisfied (44.7%). On the reported engagement level, 32.2% reported being moderately engaged as compared to 29.4% and 17.2 % who reported high and low engagement, respectively. Those that were missing have further been classified as ‘Not Reported’ for the and were excluded from further analysis.
The coding for the perceived satisfaction and reported engagement was done as per the themes in table 2. For each theme, the students’ feeling for each code was rated on a scale [0,1,2] and the rubric in Table 4. A value of 0 relates to a reported low score of the feedback, 1 for an average rating, and 2 for high score feedback. A sum of the components is carried out to get the cumulative score for each set of themes under Engagement and Satisfaction. Given that Engagement had only four themes, the maximum possible score was eight while for satisfaction, the eight themes would cumulate to a maximum possible total of 16. The Skewness test (near to zero) and the Kurtosis value (-1, -0.9) for both variables reveals that the distribution can reasonably be assumed to follow a normal distribution.
The box plots in Figure 1 illustrate the distribution for the reported engagement and perceived satisfaction for this group concerning Gender and Discipline. In both plots, the median line for gender is lower for males.
The box plot in Figure 2 represents the distribution for the reported engagement and the perceived satisfaction of students of this cohort. The reported seems to be lower than the reported engagement levels.
RQ 1: Is there a significant difference between mean satisfaction levels and engagement level of students, within disciplines and from the gender perspective?
A one-way ANOVA was conducted to compare the mean satisfaction levels of students from different disciplines. Normality checks and Levene’s test were carried out, and the assumptions met. There was no significant difference in the perceived satisfaction of students across disciplines [F (4,660) = 0.098, p = 0.983]. Similarly, there were no significant differences between the reported engagement levels of student across disciplines. [F(4,660)=0.355, p = 0.840]. Furthermore, there were no significant differences concerning gender for both the perceived satisfaction and the reported engagement level of the students in this cohort as per the ANOVA table 7 below.
RQ 2: Is there a correlation between students’ satisfaction level and reported engagement level?
Correlation analysis was used to measure the degree association between the perceived satisfaction level and their reported engagement in the module. Since the reported engagement and the perceived satisfaction were inferred from the same feedback questionnaire, through different codes and themes, it is observed that there was a strong positive correlation between the two variables. The VIF values nearing to 1 suggested that collinearity was not a problem as per the table 8 below.
The scatter plot in Figure 3 illustrates the spread of values for the reported engagement and the perceived satisfaction of students.
From the figure, it can be deduced that the perceived satisfaction of a student in a module will depend on his or her reported engagement level. The more a student feels engaged in the course, he or she will be more satisfied. However, this deduction emanates from self-report instruments used by the student to report on his or her learning experiences.
RQ 3: Is there a correlation between students’ satisfaction level and their performances?
The scatter plot in Figure 4 illustrates the mark distribution for both the continuous learning activities and the final learning activity with respect to the satisfaction of the students.
Given that final performance marks and the reported satisfaction could be assumed to follow a normal distribution. In contrast, the continuous learning marks followed an asymmetric distribution, and two separate correlation tests were carried out. The Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated for the final performance and reported satisfaction and the Kendal Tau non-parametric test for the continuous assessment and the reported satisfaction. The correlations for both cumulative assessment and final mark with the reported satisfaction is significant (p <0.01) and this has been shown in tables 9 and 10 below.
RQ 3: How did students feel, concerning the delivery of the module, their learning outcomes and their overall experience?
Only 665 students provided their feedback in a narrative as per the questionnaire provided to them. The rationale of this qualitative part of the study was to examine the relationships between students’ perception of their learning experience towards this module and their performance levels. The overall performance in the final assessment demonstrated that high performers were 22.4% (n =149), average performers were 63.8% (n=424), and low performers were 13.8% (n=92) of the students. In terms of gender, 35.6% (n=237) of the students who provided their feedback were male, and 64.4% (n=428) were female. Feedback data gathered was then organized and coded. Overall, the total number of 2366 of codes were recorded. While high performers in the final assessment contributed an average of 3.9 total codes, average performers contributed an average of 3.5, and low performers contributed an average of 3.3 total codes. Table 11 contains a descriptive summary of each code.
Table 11 Summary and definition of codes
Definition of code
IT Skills acquired
Statement related to different technical and IT skills and competencies acquired during the course
Developed learner autonomy
Statement emphasizing on self-discipline, learning independence, including how freedom of learning was achieved
Acquired positive achievement
Statement on knowledge, motivation, skills and competency acquired in a meaningful way that positively impacts students’ experiences
Had a negative feeling about the course
Statement related to frustration, negative experience, disappointment, dissatisfaction and general difficulties encountered
Built an overall positive perception
Statement related to the overall satisfaction, learning effectiveness and positive experience and perception of the student
Developed creative/practical skills
Statement about creativity and innovation including examples of creative-thinking and connecting ideas to develop practical coursework
Encountered technical difficulty
Statement related to issues arising as a result of digital anxiety, connectivity and technical problems
Developed critical thinking/reflective ability
Statement related to reasoning abilities and skills developed in analyzing and evaluating information by reflecting
Developed learning strategies -
(planning, management, knowledge, understanding)
Statement about developing active initiatives to manage learning responsibilities and to enhance personal development
Statement about interactions and communication between students, including online support, discussion in forums
Mixed feeling and experience
A statement where the student has neither a positive nor negative perception of the course but is somewhat unsure about the learning experience
Table 12 explains how each level of students in the final assessment reported their feedback under the different codes devised. Hence, the coded statements were compared with the students’ performances from each level (High, Average, Low). For example, out of 208 codes categorized as ‘IT skills acquired’, 25% were reported by high performers in the final assessment. In contrast, 62.02% were reported by average performers, and low performers reported 12.98%.
Table 13 explains how each level of students in the cumulative assessment activities reported their feedback under the different codes devised. The coded statements were compared with the students’ performances in Activities 1 to 8 from each level (High, Average, Low). For example, out of a total of 130 codes categorized as ‘Developed learner autonomy’, 76.15% of the codes were reported by high performers in the cumulative assessment. In contrast, 23.08% were reported by average performers, and low performers reported 0.77%.
Table 14 explains how students from each discipline reported their feedback under the different codes devised. The coded statements were compared within disciplines. For example, out of a total of 192 codes categorized as ‘had a negative feeling about the course’, both Engineering and Science disciplines reported 28.13% of the codes. In contrast, 23.44% were reported by Law and Management, Humanities reported 16.67%, and Agriculture disciplines reported 3.65%.
The pie chart in Figure 5 illustrates the code distributions with respect to the % of occurrences in the feedback.
20.4% of reported codes demonstrated that students had built an overall positive perception from the module, and 18.9% were related to having attained positive achievement. Most of the themes, (except ‘negative feelings about the course’, ‘mixed feeling and experiences’ and ‘encountered technical difficulty’) would contribute to give a positive indication of perceived satisfaction in the course.
“…The experience, skills and knowledge that I have acquired in this module will no doubt be of great help to me in the future. I am already applying some of the things I have learned here in my studies, for example, concept mapping. I learned from the you-tubing activity that I can actually create simple animations to convey information in a more interesting manner... There is so much more to learn about educational technologies, but so far this module has been a very enriching experience …”
(Student B4157, female, Science discipline, High performer category in Cumulative Assessment, Final Assessment = 6.5, Cumulative Assessment = 8.7)
“…This is one of the modules I have mostly appreciated during my 1st year in the university… During the course, I have been able to learn numerous things … However, this has not just been a module, it has been a self-development course as far as I am concerned; Through this coursework, I have gained the experience needed to efficiently and effectively use technology, multimedia tools and employ modern ICT in education. As an end note, I would like to congratulate the members of the department for their excellent support, guidance and having offered us such a pleasant module to work on…”
(Student B7772, male, Engineering discipline, Average performer category in Final Assessment, Final Assessment = 6, Cumulative Assessment = 8.125)
“…This module helps in widening our knowledge. It helps in making practical use of new assets that was once unused and unknown. E.g. the cartoon maker, multimedia assignments. Also, it is an interactive module where different people share their views. In this way students widen their knowledge as well as share their knowledge… Personally, I really learn a lot from this module. I got to explore my own hidden talents and discover new applications. I think this module will be a real help in the future…”
(Student ID B2842, female, Science discipline, Low performer category in Final Assessment, Final Assessment = 4, Cumulative Assessment = 7.9)
8.8% of the 2366 codes related to the different ICT-related skills that students acquired in the module. While many of these related to the use of social media, forums as well as software and not excluding computer-mediated communication the code was named “IT skills acquired”.
“…my idea of this module was plainly that I will get to learn new IT software… There are too many benefits I obtained from this module. I have also been able to use the software, apply IT to education, and it is fun as well as fruitful…”
(Student B2480, female, Law & Management discipline, High performer category in Final Assessment, Final Assessment = 8, Cumulative Assessment = 8.225)
“…I think that this module has increased my creativity level, and my technology knowledge is broader than before. Also, through constantly editing my work on Microsoft word, this has improved my writing… To be able to work out the units, I have done some research on Google and gone through the given materials thoroughly…”
(Student B6609, female, Engineering discipline, High performer category in Cumulative Assessment, Final Assessment = 7, Cumulative Assessment = 7.8125)
The above comment highlights how ICT skills such as repeated use of word processing software which seems a simple process could result in improved writing skills, and that Google search was also a skill that was valued by students. In contrast, in the comment below, it was evident that for other students, the development of advanced digital skills was valued and welcome.
“…I have also developed the skills to create and manage educational technologies materials including websites and cartoon software. Through this coursework, I have gained the experience needed to efficiently and effectively use technology, multimedia tools and employ modern ICT in education…”
(Student B7772, male, Engineering discipline, Average performer category in Final Assessment, Final Assessment = 6, Cumulative Assessment = 8.125)
“…Actually, it helped me in using and managing technological processes… this was an interesting module which helped me to improve my learning skill technologically…”
(Student B4126, female, Science discipline, Average performer category in Cumulative Assessment, Final Assessment = 6.5, Cumulative Assessment = 6.3125)
“…this module was a challenge to me, but I ended up enjoying the different activities offered. It helped in improving my IT skills…”
(Student A2406, female, Humanities discipline, Low performer category in Cumulative Assessment, Final Assessment = 7, Cumulative Assessment = 4.8625)
Students in their feedback further reported critical thinking, creativity and practical skills as well as learner autonomy. While 8.1% were reported as ‘Developed creative/practical skills’, 2.9% were recorded as ‘Developed critical thinking/reflective ability’ and 5.5% as ‘Developed learner autonomy’ of the total codes. Critical thinking, creativity and acquisition of practical skills were the core competencies to be developed for this module.
“…this module has been an aid to me in developing the skill of being able to criticize a piece of my own work or others; to be analytical about every simple details, to be able to make a constructive opinion. As benefit, I have also much appreciated the fact that all the basic knowledge/information for the different tasks were always already provided…”
(Student B9533, female, Science discipline, High performer category in both Final and Cumulative Assessment, Final Assessment = 7.5, Cumulative Assessment = 7.4)
“…With the various activities proposed, I came to learn to analyze things with a more critical eye and as far as I could, provide constructive criticism on several aspects which stood out to me. This not only helped me in this particular module but in my other classes as well with quite a few topics overlapping and which gave me an edge and a number of different viewpoints on these…”
(Student C0295, female, Law & Management discipline, Low performer category in Final Assessment, Final Assessment = 5, Cumulative Assessment = 7.5625)
The fact that learners were in an online module, practically on their own with minimum tutor interaction, required them to take charge of their learning process. Students reported how they had to solve problems on their own, including the planning of the time to work on the module to meet deadlines and to make sufficient effort to acquire the minimum required competencies and to ensure successful completion of the module.
“…Educational technology has indeed increased my knowledge as well as improved my learning skills. It indeed motivated me in my learning process as one can learn at his own pace and at any time within the day. It helped me to assume my responsibility as a student and to submit assignments within the given delay time…”
(Student B1497, female, Engineering discipline, High performer category in Cumulative Assessment, Final Assessment = 6, Cumulative Assessment = 8.475)
“…I am now definitely a fanboy of the e-learning system. The reasons are flexibility; work at your own pace, at your own time and in your own way!”
(Student B0167, male, Science discipline, High performer category in Final Assessment, Final Assessment = 8.5, Cumulative Assessment = 6.9375)
“…One benefit from this module was that I was able to do all the work at my own pace and feel free to do it whenever I had time. There was no constant pressure, there was a deadline to be respected, and I only had to manage my time to submit my work, and it was done without any pressure…”
(Student B1779, female, Humanities discipline, Average performer category in Cumulative Assessment, Final Assessment = 7, Cumulative Assessment = 7.0375)
“…Taking on the role of leader for group work get to you to mature a lot and be more responsible, but it takes a lot of hard work… I never thought I would know so much one day…developing self-discipline…”
(Student A2640, female, Law & Management discipline, Low performer category in Cumulative Assessment, Final Assessment = 7, Cumulative Assessment = 4.7625)
As it can be seen by the above comments, depending on learner preferences, self-paced independent learning is often welcome by students, and the need to assume responsibilities is an interesting value proposition that can result in more autonomy and commitment of the learner. The other aspect, which was prevailing among the codes obtained, was “Learning Strategies – Personal development” with 6.1% and ‘Social interaction/communication’ which was 14.4% of the codes. Learners reported how they tackled the different learning activities, and how they overcame any barrier and interacted with other learners and tutors through the forum discussion for support.
“…This module has taught me many things, especially in terms of time management and developing a pedagogical approach to my work. This is something I never really paid attention to before working on Educational Technologies assignments. For once I could put myself in my teachers and lecturers’ places and comprehend the different approaches they have to take when explaining a certain topic!”
(Student B2456, female, Agriculture discipline, High performer category in Cumulative Assessment, Final Assessment = 7, Cumulative Assessment = 7.375)
“…the module helps us in our personal development as well as introduces us to what is necessary in education if ever, we are interested in the teaching field…”
(Student ID A4709, female, Science discipline, High performer category in Final Assessment, Final Assessment = 7.5, Cumulative Assessment = 7.5625)
“…This module has given me great experience…learnt strategies before doing any journals like I have done the outlines first in order to avoid messing the ideas and go out of subject…”
(Student ID B8920, female, Humanities discipline, Low performer category in both Final and Cumulative Assessment, Final Assessment = 2.567, Cumulative Assessment = 4.0625)
“…Each weekend, I dedicated 4 hours to do the homework… I planned my work on Saturdays and carried it out on Sundays. I gained better planning and better time management skills…”
(Student A4901, female, Law & Management discipline, Average performer category in Cumulative Assessment, Final Assessment = 5, Cumulative Assessment = 6.125)
The students described techniques that helped them to learn and achieve the outcomes. As can be seen, by the above comment, a feeling of fun was apparent given that students had to learn in different ways such as inquiry-based learning which gave them a degree of flexibility and variety of learning processes. E.g. there were consequential learning outcomes, which resulted in a particular competency about dealing with, different image formats. Furthermore, as could be seen in many comments, students understood the concept of “just-in-time” learning where they could acquire specific skills through research on Google. They could even view tutorials on YouTube at the time of execution of a particular task related to an assignment (e.g. conversion to ZIP format before uploading an assignment on the platform).
8.1% of the codes, however, mentioned some form of negative feeling and inadequate learning experience overall. These were mainly related to students not finding the pertinence of the module, lack of digital skills, or who had communication issues with peers and tutors. At the same time, another 6% of the codes highlighted technical difficulty experienced by students due to poor Internet connection or difficulty in solving technical issues including installation and configuration of software or uploading of their assignments.
“…I did encounter several difficulties. I would not understand how to use a program or as for the eXe software, I could not save my works…at times I had to do the activities again and again. It was tiring…”
(Student B2180, male, Engineering discipline, High performer category in Cumulative Assessment, Final Assessment = 6, Cumulative Assessment = 7.8)
“…it is difficult for me to complete it alone, I am not used to the different tool on the computer, sections has been more complicated, difficult to go throughout the steps without a basic knowledge of how to use the different functions on the screen of the computer…”
(Student B5681, female, Humanities discipline, Average performer category in Cumulative Assessment, Final Assessment = 6.3, Cumulative Assessment = 6.375)
“… less teacher-student interaction, less student-student interaction, in all there is a lack of communication, there were lack of feedback from our tutors about the learning activities being done. No result of how we were working…”
(Student B2107, male, Engineering discipline, Average performer category in Final Assessment, Final Assessment = 6, Cumulative Assessment = 6.6875)
“…Trouble with assignment…It was a disaster…I did the activities 1 to 4, 9 and 13 and even the feedback I am not sure what I did wrong because this site holds record of only 2 of my uploads…I think it is lacking in the communication department...I think that the forum is not effective…”
(Student B3527, female, Humanities discipline, Low performer category in Cumulative Assessment, Final Assessment = 6, Cumulative Assessment = 4.9875)
The codes representing a negative feeling and the occurrence of technical difficulties can provide interesting insights into either a range of pre-emptive or just-in-time measures that can be taken by course developers, tutors and administrators to provide timely support to the learners during the course itself. This may significantly improve the learning experience and overall perception of learners as if they are detected early, they can prevent dropouts, frustrations and poor performances from occurring. However, the positive side concerning the current module is that the codes representing negative feelings and technical difficulties represent 14.1% only of the total number of codes generated. Many of those who expressed that they had technical difficulties also highlighted what they did to overcome them. It is important to mention however, that in this module, the experience of technical difficulties and developing the necessary skills to deal with, then are part of the core learning outcomes, as many educators precisely abandon technology or show reluctance to embrace technology-enabled teaching precisely because of their lack of confidence in their own digital skills. Finally, 0.9% of total codes were reported as ‘Mixed feeling and experience’ where the students had neither a positive nor a negative experience in the course.
“…even if instructions were given, I used to find some activities really difficult…Overall it was a fun as well as difficult experience…” (Student A1261, female, Humanities discipline, High performer category in Cumulative Assessment, Final Assessment = 6.5, Cumulative Assessment = 7.175)
“I had difficulty to meet the deadlines as I was more stressed by my first-year core modules. I was also not very familiar with a lot of the computer directed tasks… I am quite satisfied with the work…”
(Student A2967, female, Humanities discipline, High performer category in Final Assessment, Final Assessment = 7.5, Cumulative Assessment = 6.9375)
“At the beginning of the module, I find quite interesting. Then, it was very tough… The storyboard was very interesting, yet I found quite problems on drawing the storyboard but fortunately, after many difficulties I succeeded in doing it…”
(Student B6023, female, Law & Management discipline, Average performer category in Final Assessment, Final Assessment = 7, Cumulative Assessment = 7.225)
“So, the only thing I can finally say is that educational technology’s module is neither so difficult nor easy…” (Student B3016, female, Humanities discipline, Low performer category in Final Assessment, Final Assessment = 5, Cumulative Assessment = 7.95)
In summary, while there are some cases where students still complained about the lack of tutor responses and interactions while other students commended the independence they were given and found tutors’ support to be more than adequate. It further emerged that the majority of the students irrespective of overall performances reported a high level of satisfaction. The level of satisfaction was, therefore, not directly related to the performances as it could be observed that high performers could also express mitigated feelings. In contrast, some low performers reported a positive sense of satisfaction.