A brief examination of predictors of e-learning success for novice and expert learners
As the prevalence of e-learning continues to grow in higher education settings, so too does the need for empirical research examining the antecedents of success in this environment. Previous research has suggested some characteristics that may determine success in an online course; however, little empirical evidence exists relating potential predictors of e-learning success with actual performance outcomes, particularly for different levels of learners. Students new to college may need different kinds of support to succeed in an online course compared to students with more experience in taking college-level courses, whether online or in-class, and navigating institutional resources. A primary goal of the current study is to determine the kinds of support needed to help lower-level and upper-level learners succeed in an e-learning environment. We assess several predictors of e-learning success and compare the relative effectiveness of these characteristics across novice and expert learners. Findings suggest that for lower-level students, access to technology predicted learner performance, whereas for upper-level students, motivation and self-discipline predicted learner performance. We discuss the implications of these results for e-learning instructors, instructional designers, and knowledge management practitioners.
Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal