Students’ Perceptions of Online Learning: A Case Study of Singapore Temasek Polytechnic’s Virtual School of Business Project. This essay is by Wee Leng Peh and Schubert Foo. It was published in LIBRES: Library and Information Science Research Electronic Journal, 2001 Volume 11 Issue 2; September 30.
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With the emergence of the Internet and its related technologies, many educators assert that there are substantial benefits to reap from online learning and educational technology. This study examines the effectiveness of online learning and to provide insights into the experiences related by participants in the Virtual School of Business (VBUS), a Temasek Polytechnic’s online project. VBUS is a cluster of newsgroups, databases, File Transfer Protocols (FTP) and RealMedia video servers dedicated to the various diploma courses of the Polytechnic as a repository for lecturers to deliver their teaching materials online.
A total of 657 first-year business students responded to a questionnaire administered as part of this study that examined the issues of the accessibility, usefulness, and effectiveness of online learning and its relation to improvement in subject grades. The findings suggest that the “better” students were more receptive to VBUS, while the “weaker” students found VBUS more of an added burden than an aid to their already heavy workload. There was no clear indication that VBUS played a significant role in improving students’ grades. More positive reactions to VBUS came from students who use VBUS on an average of one to two times a week, with each access lasting between fifteen and thirty minutes, and whose median time spent on studying a subject is around two hours per week.