An Empirical Study On Attitudes Of Btech Students Education Essay

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ABSTRACT

The education today is getting modernized and the colleges are accepting the new trend of IT advancements. Therefore, the digitalization of education is taking place. The colleges are adopting the different technology to sustain in the competitive environment. Here the evolution of E- learning takes place. The methodology the colleges are adopting to make themselves digitalized is using e-libraries, computerization of their books that are available in their libraries, using LCD projectors to present the power point slides about the concern subject. All these activities are done to be present the college as technology friendly. But the question is what is the attitude of the student towards adopting these resources? Does their age or gender have any effect on their attitude towards adopting these resources? To answer these questions the study is done. The study was done on the B. Tech students from two different colleges. The questionnaire was distributed to 400 respondents and 327 respondents replied to the questions mentioned in the questionnaire. Random Sampling is used to choose the area of Lucknow from which colleges were selected and convenience sampling is used to collect the data from the students. Further, descriptive statistics is used to analyze the basic questions of the questionnaire. To test the hypothesis one- sample T- test is used and ANOVA is used to find out the effect of age and gender on attitude of the students.

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Keywords: E- Learning, Attitude, Positive Attitude, Negative Attitude

INTRODUCTION

The education in today's era is moving towards the new level of advancement, education today is not only providing the in depth knowledge about any subject but it is now seems to be a game of learning. Various companies had prepared different educational software catering the requirements of the syllabus of educational different bodies. But E- learning is not limited to these softwares in fact it is beyond that. There are different online libraries that provides the guidance on various disciplines and also provides various hands on cases that gives the in depth knowledge about the discipline. Some of the libraries are- EBSCO, Ulrich Periodicals, Cabell's Directory, Index Copernicus, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Docstoc, Scribd and many more. E-learning has become one of the powerful supporting tools which have diversified the traditional context of learning in colleges. On one hand, e-learning is not confined to geographical barriers. Students can engage in self-directed learning, and learning resources can be repeatedly used. On the other hand, e-learning provides flexible learning materials and consistent information. The learning content is easy to update. With the rapid development of technology, the Internet as a delivery platform has motivated colleges to invest their resources on developing online programs.

Researchers from various fields have been trying to evaluate the effectiveness of e-learning. However, some of them are focused on technology-based components of e-learning system and some are focused on human factor of e-learning system.

These individual assessment frameworks comply with the needs only partially. Students' e-learning system consists of many subsystems, such as personal factors, technical environment, and social environment.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

In this study the main objective is to analyze the student's attitudes towards e-learning in India. Also the effect of gender and age group was analyzed on the attitudes of students towards e-learning.

HYPOTHESES OF THE STUDY

The following null hypotheses were prepared for the study:

H0a The Students has negative attitudes towards e-learning.

H0b There is no effect of age group on the attitudes of students towards e- learning.

H0c There is no effect of gender on the attitudes of students towards e- learning.

LITERATURE REVIEW

E-Learning is basically a web-based system that makes information or knowledge available to users or learners and disregards time restrictions or geographic proximity. Although online learning has advantages over traditional face-to-face education (Piccoli et al., 2001), concerns include time, labor intensiveness, and material resources involved in running e-Learning environments. The costly high failure rate of e-Learning implementations discussed by Arbaugh and Duray (2002) deserves attention from management and system designers.

E-learning is the acquisition and use of knowledge distributed and facilitated primarily by electronic means. This form of learning currently depends on networks and computers, but will likely evolve into systems consisting of a variety of channels (e.g., wireless, satellite), and technologies (e.g., cellular phones, personal digital assistants) as they are developed and adopted. E-learning can take the form of courses as well as modules and smaller learning objects. E-learning may incorporate synchronous or asynchronous access and may be distributed geographically with varied limits of time (Wentling, Waight, Fleur, Wang, and Kanfer, 2000).

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Some of the definitions on e-learning are:

E-Learning is instruction that is delivered electronically, in part or wholly - via a Web browser, through the Internet or an intranet, or through multimedia platforms such as CD-ROM or DVD (Hall, 1997).

E-Learning is a structured, purposeful use of electronic system or computer in support of the learning process (Allen, 2003).

E-learning is training delivered on a computer (including CD-ROM, Internet, or intranet) that is designed to support individual learning or organizational performance goals (Clark and Mayer, 2003).

Web-based training [an alternate term for e-learning] is the integration of instructional practices and Internet capabilities to direct a learner toward a specified level of proficiency in a specified competency (Conrad, 2000).

Evolution to E-Learning

The E-learning models of today are analogous to the earlier distance learning approaches. The roots of E-learning can be, therefore, traced back to the correspondence course model of learning. One of the first correspondence programs in the U.S. was developed at Pennsylvania State University in 1892, where the main mission was to provide higher education access to remote and rural areas (Banas & Emory, 1998). In later years, the correspondence model was further developed into a more robust distance education program with the integration of technology. During its heyday in the 1920s and 1930s, school such as Penn State experimented with the use of radio to broadcast their correspondence course lessons nationally. To keep pace with the demand generated by the GI Bill in the 1950s, prestigious universities such as Columbia, Chicago, and Penn State launched several distance education programs.

In recent years, the knowledge based economy has exhibited a pervasive and ever increasing demand for innovative ways of providing education and this has led to dramatic changes in learning technology as well as organizations. As the new economy requires more and more people to acquire new knowledge and skills in an appropriate and effective manner, the advancement of computer and networking technologies are providing a diverse means to support learning in a more personalized, flexible, portable and on-demand manner. These radical and sweeping changes in learning needs and technology have catapulted a revolutionary transition in modern learning tools in the backdrop of the internet, commonly referred to as e-learning. In the midst of this transition, corporations, government organizations, and educational institutions have to keep pace with the e-learning phenomenon and make strategic decisions on how to adopt e-learning techniques in their unique environments (Zhang et al., 2004).

Practitioners (Berry, 2000; Coné and Robinson, 2001; Rossett, 2002) and researchers (Brown and Ford, 2002; Salas et al., 2002; Steele-Johnson and Hyde, 1997) agree that technological advances are dramatically altering the training and development landscape. In particular, the increased use of Internet technologies to deliver training has been heralded as the 'e-Learning Revolution' (Galagan, 2000). Although precise estimates for growth in e-learning vary, published estimates indicate that organizations have increased and will continue to increase the use of technology to deliver training (Rossett, 2002).

History Timeline of E-Learning

E-learning evolved gradually through the phase of time. Computers and Internet are major roles in bring e-learning to what it is today. Education has various standards in many countries and regions. Software's are designed to meet various these standards and academic curriculum. Below we shall discuss a brief timeline on the evolution of e-learning.

Instructor Led Training (Pre 1983)

Prior to the availability of computers everywhere and with everyone, Instructor Led Training (ILD) was the primary training method. ILT allowed students to focus on their studies and to come in direct contact and interaction with their instructors and classmates. Drawbacks of ILT were high costs and time. Students had to ensure to take time off from all other activities and be enrolled into academic institutions and spend most of their time there. These also hiked and educational expenses whereby it was not easy for everyone to afford these standards.

Multimedia Era (1984 to 1993)

The mid 1980's and early 1990's saw a much changing computer era. Most of the people started to understand the importance of computers and it started to become a need rather than a luxury product. Various operating systems like Windows, Macintosh for Apple Computers with their easy to use Graphical User interface made it easy for the users to take a much more liking towards computers. Applications also evolved with higher standards focusing on the ease of use by the end-users. Microsoft's Office package that included standards day-to-day applications like MS-Word, MS-Excel, MS-PowerPoint, MS-Access and such added software's made using programs easier. Out of this applications such as PowerPoint became handier tool for e-learning. CD-ROM's made it easier for these programs to be carried and stored easily rather than carrying multiple numbers of Floppy Disks. All this led to the advancement of the multimedia era.

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With the use of multimedia applications and in an attempt to make training more transportable and visually engaging, Computer Based Training (CBT) courses were delivered via CD-ROM. This availability of anytime, anywhere via CD-ROM's provide time and cost savings compared to the ILT's and gradually reshaped the training industry.

These too had its disadvantages. Despite these benefits and saving of time and cost, these courses lacked the personal student-instructor interaction and dynamic presentations making the experience somewhat less satisfying. Students started to find it slower and less engaging.

Introduction of Web - (1994 - 1999)

Introduction of the internet and the World Wide Web, gave insights into training providers to explore its potentiality and find ways to improve training. The introduction of email, Web browsers, HTML, media players, low fidelity streamed audio/video and simple Java began to change the face of multimedia training.

CBT's improved with text and graphics, but the graphics provided were of low quality. E-mails provided standards whereby CBT's and similar contents could be reached to students with ease, but care had to be taken for these files to be of small file size due to the Internet bandwidth capacity.

The Next Generation Web (2000 to now)

Various technology advancements have enhanced the way e-learning has shaped today. Application like Java and other IP (Internet Protocol) applications help streamlining rich media. Internet has evolved with high bandwidth lines enabling users to access large files easily and with speed. This has led to a combination of ILT along with electronic highway. Today, live instructor led training (ILT) via the Web can be combined with real-time mentoring, improved learner services and up-to-date. This growth in Internet, Web enables instructors to deliver high quality content directly to the users.

With the evolution of PDA (Personal Desktop Assistants) and Smartphone and wireless technologies such as WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network), GPRS (Global Packet Radio Service) web based contents and emails can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. These enhanced training solutions provide greater cost savings, higher quality of learning experience and are the educational standards are being revolutionize and changing to adopt e-learning as the basis for many educations levels. (Al-Khashab H M, 2007)

Uses of E-Learning

E-Learning is used in everywhere and across all types of areas. Businesses - private or public sectors, non-profit organizations, NGO's (Non-governmental organizations) and educational institutions. E-learning is deployed with the objective of enhancing the students knowledge and cost saving. E-learning also helps to reach geographically dispersed groups, to provide "anywhere-anytime" learning, to provide consistency, to ensure compliance with regulations, and to improve productivity, to name just a few.

Businesses used e-learning for introduction or orientation learning of the organizations and their products and services in addition to remedial training, to provide certifications, to promote products and services, to support organizational initiatives and to keep up to date with the latest software's. Educational institutions used it for broadening the academic scope. E-learning can provide much more references and learning scopes than the ones provided in the usual text books. Class assignments can become assigned to the students and also submitted back using e-learning portals. (Al-Khashab H M, 2007)

Attitudes

Previous researches found by and large a favorable attitude towards e-learning. For example, Peters (1993) explored the possible benefits provided by e-learning. Results show great conformity to deriving benefits of e-learning in both teaching and research. However, faculty members in this study expressed certain reservations regarding the future implementation of e-learning at the university; for example: "One day the university will receive all its learning provision through e-learning", "e-learning will help faculty members develop better teamwork and inter-personal skills" and "Implementing e-learning at the university will make faculty members flock to sophisticated technologies in teaching". These attitudes reflect faculty members' lack of trust in one another's ability in using advanced technologies in teaching as well as in building up teamwork spirit in the workplace.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Description of the Study Area

The area selected for the study is Lucknow. The colleges were selected to conduct the research.

Sampling Technique

Random Sampling is used to choose the area of Lucknow from which colleges were selected; the area of Lucknow selected for the sampling is Gomti Nagar and Alambagh. The selection of these areas was made because most of the colleges are in these areas only. Further, Convenience sampling is used to collect data from the students. The total Sample size for the study was determined 400 respondents and the time frame to conduct this study was four months.

Data Collection

The data is collected on the basis of structured questionnaire. The questionnaire is prepared considering the demographic profile such as educational level and gender of the students with some basic questions related to the objectives of the study.

Analytical Tools and Techniques Employed

The analytical tools and techniques that will be employed in the research are:

One sample T- test was used to test the hypothesis.

One- Way ANOVA is used to measure the effect of gender and educational level on the attitudes of the students.

Nominal Scale was used for few questions in the research.

The SPSS for windows will be used for calculating the collected data.

DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS

The total of 327 questionnaires out of 400 questionnaires was received. The data was classified on the basis of demographic variables such as age, education level and gender of the students. The students were classified into the age groups of 10-20, 20-30 and 30-40.

Table 1: Age Group

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

10-20

138

42.2

42.2

42.2

20-30

143

43.7

43.7

85.9

30-40

46

14.1

14.1

100.0

Total

327

100.0

100.0

As shown in Table 1, it is found that maximum students falls in the age group of 20-30. The strength of the students in this age group is 143 (43.7%) followed by the students in the age group of 10-20 with the strength of 138 (42.2%).

Table 2: Gender

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Male

175

53.5

53.5

53.5

Female

152

46.5

46.5

100.0

Total

327

100.0

100.0

In Table 2 it is found that the number of male students is 175 which contribute to the 53.5% of the total population. It is also found that female students' strength is 152 which contribute to the rest of the 46.5% of the total population of the study.

Table 3: Education Level

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

B. Tech 1 Year

110

33.6

33.6

33.6

B. Tech 2 Year

80

24.5

24.5

58.1

B. Tech 3 Year

81

24.8

24.8

82.9

B. Tech 4 Year

56

17.1

17.1

100.0

Total

327

100.0

100.0

Further Table 3 determines the analysis is done on the educational level of the students, that is, in which year the students are, it is found that maximum students in the study was in B. Tech First Year with the strength of 110 (33.6%) students which is one third of the total study population. The number of students in B. Tech Second Year is 80 (24.5%), the number of students in B. Tech Third Year is 81 (24.8%) and the lowest strength of the students is found in B. Tech Fourth Year with the strength of 56 (17.1%) students.

Table 4: Attitude of First Year Students towards E- Learning

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Positive

69

21.1

62.7

62.7

Negative

41

12.5

37.3

100.0

Total

110

33.6

100.0

Missing

System

217

66.4

Total

327

100.0

Now, the students are further classified on the basis of their attitude. As shown in Table 4, it is found that maximum number of students from First Year falls under the classification of positive attitude towards the e- learning the strength of the students under this class is 69 which is 62.7% of the total students of First Year. The number of students under negative category is 41 which is 37.3% of the total population of B. Tech First Year.

Table 5: Attitude of Second Year Students towards E- Learning

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Positive

47

14.4

58.8

58.8

Negative

33

10.1

41.2

100.0

Total

80

24.5

100.0

Missing

System

247

75.5

Total

327

100.0

As shown in Table 5, it is found that maximum number of students from Second Year falls under the classification of positive attitude towards the e- learning the strength of the students under this classification is 47 which is 58.8% of the total students of Second Year. The number of students under negative category is 33 which are 41.3% of the total population of B. Tech Second Year.

Table 6: Attitude of Third Year Students towards E- Learning

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Positive

53

16.2

65.4

65.4

Negative

28

8.6

34.6

100.0

Total

81

24.8

100.0

Missing

System

246

75.2

Total

327

100.0

As shown in Table 6, it is found that maximum number of students from Third Year falls under the classification of positive attitude towards the e- learning the strength of the students under this classification is 53 which is 65.4% of the total students of Third Year. The number of students under negative category is 28 which are 34.8% of the total population of B. Tech Third Year.

Table 7: Attitude of Fourth Year Students towards E- Learning

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Positive

38

11.6

67.9

67.9

Negative

18

5.5

32.1

100.0

Total

56

17.1

100.0

Missing

System

271

82.9

Total

327

100.0

As shown in Table 7, it is found that maximum number of students from Fourth Year falls under the classification of positive attitude towards the e- learning the strength of the students under this classification is 38 which is 67.9% of the total students of Third Year. The number of students under negative category is 18 which are 32.1% of the total population of B. Tech Fourth Year.

HYPOTHESES TESTING

Table 8: One-Sample Test

Test Value = 1

t

df

Sig. (2-tailed)

Mean Difference

95% Confidence Interval of the Difference

Lower

First Year

13.544

109

.000

.63

.54

Second Year

10.607

79

.000

.59

.48

Third Year

12.306

80

.000

.65

.55

Fourth Year

10.775

55

.000

.68

.55

Null Hypothesis- The Students has negative attitudes towards e-learning.

Alternate Hypothesis- The Students has positive attitudes towards e-learning.

E- Learning is a new system; therefore we predict that there would be the negative attitude of the students towards E- Learning. Therefore, null hypothesis was framed for the study. To test the hypothesis the statistical tool One- Sample T-test is done. The test does not support to the null hypothesis that is students have negative attitude towards e- learning. As per Table 8, it is found that the value of significance is .000 which is significant at the level of 5% of significance. Therefore, null hypothesis that is the B. Tech students have negative attitude towards e-learning can be rejected and alternate hypothesis students have positive attitude towards the e- learning can be accepted.

Table 9: ANOVA (Effect of Gender on Attitude)

Sum of Squares

df

Mean Square

F

First Year

Between Groups

.620

1

.620

2.666

Within Groups

25.099

108

.232

Total

25.718

109

Second Year

Between Groups

2.989

1

2.989

14.218

Within Groups

16.398

78

.210

Total

19.387

79

Third Year

Between Groups

.068

1

.068

.294

Within Groups

18.253

79

.231

Total

18.321

80

Fourth Year

Between Groups

4.032

1

4.032

26.614

Within Groups

8.182

54

.152

Total

12.214

55

Null Hypothesis- There is no effect of age group on the attitudes of students towards e- learning.

Alternate Hypothesis- There is no effect of age group on the attitudes of students towards e- learning.

The test of ANOVA is done to test the effect of age group on the attitudes of students towards e- learning. The test does not support to the null hypothesis that is there is no effect of age group on the attitudes of the students of B. Tech towards e- learning. As per Table 9, it is found that the value of significance is .000 for second year and fourth year, which is significant at the level of 5% of significance. Therefore, null hypothesis that is the B. Tech students have negative attitude towards e-learning can be rejected and alternate hypothesis students have positive attitude towards the e- learning can be accepted.

Whereas; it is found that the value of significance is .105 for first year and .589 for the first year and third year, which is not significant at the level of 5% of significance. Therefore, null hypothesis that is the B. Tech students have negative attitude towards e-learning can be accepted and alternate hypothesis students have positive attitude towards the e- learning can be rejected.

Table 10: ANOVA (Effect of Age Group on Attitude)

Sum of Squares

df

Mean Square

F

First Year

Between Groups

14.736

1

14.736

144.916

Within Groups

10.982

108

.102

Total

25.718

109

Second Year

Between Groups

13.612

1

13.612

183.857

Within Groups

5.775

78

.074

Total

19.388

79

Third Year

Between Groups

3.755

2

1.878

10.055

Within Groups

14.566

78

.187

Total

18.321

80

Fourth Year

Between Groups

3.388

2

1.694

10.171

Within Groups

8.827

53

.167

Total

12.214

55

Null Hypothesis- There is no effect of gender on the attitudes of students towards e- learning.

Alternate Hypothesis- There is no effect of gender on the attitudes of students towards e- learning.

The test of ANOVA is done to test the effect of gender on the attitudes of students towards e- learning. The test does not support to the null hypothesis that is there is no effect of gender on the attitudes of the students of B. Tech towards e- learning. As per Table 10, it is found that the value of significance is .000 for the students of B. Tech, which is significant at the level of 5% of significance. Therefore, null hypothesis that is the B. Tech students have negative attitude towards e-learning can be rejected and alternate hypothesis students have positive attitude towards the e- learning can be accepted.

CONCLUSION

The statistical tools were used to determine the conclusion of the hypotheses framed. The tools used for analysis of the data are- frequency distribution, which showed the percentage by which the hypotheses has been accepted, one- sample t-test to test the hypotheses at 5% of significance and ANOVA to analyze the effect of gender and age group on the attitude of B. Tech students towards the e- learning.

The following points were concluding observation to satisfy the objectives of the study and prove the hypotheses:

The total percentage of questionnaires responded by the respondents is 81.75% of the total estimated population for the study.

The maximum number of students who responded the questionnaire falls in the category of 20-30 years. More than 85% of respondents fall in the age group of 10-30 years.

The majority of students are males; the total number of male respondents is 175 which is 53.5% of the total responded population.

Maximum number of respondents of B. Tech have positive attitude towards the E- Learning.

The age group of B. Tech students of second year and fourth year effects positively on the attitude towards the e- learning. That is, these students prefer technological advancements in learning. The students of first year and third year do not prefer technological advancement in learning.

The gender of B. Tech students effects positively on the attitude towards e-learning. That means both male and female students prefer technology advancement in learning. That means that there is no difference between the male students and female students in adopting the technology in learning.