The Barriers And Needs Of Online Learners


Napaporn SRICHANYACHON


ABSTRACT
This study investigated some specific barriers and needs that online students are facing when learning English through WebEx system. It compared students’ barriers and needs with their background including gender, computer ownership, and monthly allowance. It also investigated the relationship among computer aptitude, barriers and needs of online learners. The samples were 211 undergraduate students enrolled in Fundamental English course. The instrument in this study was a questionnaire. Results indicated that the levels of needs and barriers of online learners in general were moderate. There were no statistically significant differences at .05 level found in barriers and needs of online learners as classified by gender, computer ownership, and computer aptitude. As hypothesised, there was a negative relationship between computer aptitude and barriers of online learners at .01 level. Students with high computer aptitude had fewer barriers to learn online than those with low computer aptitude. In addition, there was a positive relationship between barriers and needs of online learners at .01 levels. Students with more barriers were found to have more needs to help them to learn online than those with few barriers. Teachers and institutions can take the results of this study into consideration when developing online courses.


KEYWORDS: Barriers, Needs, Computer Aptitude, WebEx, Online Learning


DOI : 10.17718/tojde.08799 
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