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An 18-Month Study of Student Embracement and Use of a Learning Management System at an Urban, Research Institution

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

FPD VII: Research on First-year Programs Part II

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.146.1 - 25.146.9

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Paper Authors


Julie M. Little-Wiles M.S.M., Ph.D. (A.B.D.) Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Julie M. Little-Wiles is a Ph.D. candidate at Purdue University's College of Technology in the Department of Technology Leadership and Innovation.

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Stephen Hundley Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Stephen Hundley is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Programs and Associate Professor of organizational leadership and supervision in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI.

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Wanda L. Worley Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Erich J. Bauer Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

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An 18 Month Study of Student Embracement and Use of a Learning Management System at an Urban, Research InstitutionWhen freshman students are presented with not only a new experience called college, but alsothe responsibility of managing this event – how does a learning management system aid them inthis endeavor? Do they embrace the learning management system for use with their courses andprogram? How frequently do they utilize the learning management system and its tools with theircourses? And does this embracement and usage change over time?This study examined both the embracement and usage patterns of a group of freshman studentsin an online learning management system in the School of Engineering and Technology at____________ throughtheir first 18 months. A survey was administered twice, once following the first semester of thefreshman year and the second midway through the first semester of the sophomore year withquestions focused on evaluating the amount of engagement and usage of the learningmanagement system. Several open-ended questions concentrated on learning what studentsfound especially difficult in navigating through the environment; how they perceive they will usethe learning management system throughout their time at this institution; what they like most andleast about the system; and finally, how could their experience be improved with the learningmanagement system. Researchers were also curious if students were experienced in using anylearning management system before their involvement at this particular institution to determineprior bias or embracement factors that might be present or may hinder their use of the system.Besides learning basic demographic and descriptive information about the student group,researchers gained perspective on the students’ prior opportunity and their future desire fortraining on the learning management system. Details emerged on the frequency of use, toolsutilized within the system, communication methods, and if the students were really using thesystem to manage their courses or what other tools they were actually utilizing. These facts wereevaluated between surveys to understand variations that had occurred as the students progressedthrough their programs into their sophomore years. Final results also demonstrated a mixedresponse with instructor usage of the learning management system within student courses and anequally mixed result of students who have taken online courses through this particular institutionin the learning management system.

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