Ndoye & Martin

Examining student perceptions of important features in online courses: A study based on demographic and contextual characteristics

Abdou Ndoye, Northern Kentucky University
Florence Martin, UNC Charlotte


This study used a survey-based research methodology to examine the perceptions of 206 students of important features of online courses based on demographic and contextual factors. Overall, learner interaction was rated the least important compared to course design, course facilitation, course assessment, and learner support. The results show that English as Second Language (ESL) students rated the importance of learner interaction significantly higher than native English speakers. Graduate and undergraduate students also had significantly different ratings for course design. Students enrolled in accelerated online programs compared to students enrolled in regular, semester-long online programs had significant differences in terms of course design, course facilitation, and course assessments.

Keywords: online learning, course design, online course quality

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