The present study examines the satisfaction level of instructors and students from Virtual University e-learning system. The factors which affect the level of satisfaction are acceptance of this online university as learning organization, learning provisions for students, interactivity issues and instructor’s self learning from the system. Qualitative as well as quantitative information was collected from respondents. Focus group discussions were also conducted with instructors to take in-depth information regarding their satisfaction from online learning system. Results showed that satisfaction with e-learning facilities was moderate; interactivity constraints between instructors and students were highlighted by instructors as a big hurdle in providing quality of education. Students were highly satisfied with the e-learning mode as compared to their instructors. The results of the study can benefit the student, teacher and policy makers to improve quality of online education in Pakistan.
Key words: MDB (moderated discussion board) LMS (learning management system)
FGD (focus group discussion)
Modern information technology, especially the growth of the Internet in 21st century has opened up new opportunities for learning all over the world and in Pakistan. Traditionally in Pakistan, students travel to far off areas to get higher education due to limited or absence of quality of education at small towns and villages. Now information technology has opened up new avenues for information transmission at greater speed and student can get access to higher education even in small towns.. The Virtual University of Pakistan is using a hybrid model of education all over the Pakistan to provide on-line education. The model consists of remote class room set up, class rooms having television, each private virtual campus has the Internet lab and satellite downlink. This university has its own 3 television channels which are used to deliver different subject lectures according to given lecture schedule. Faculty and students are in communication with each other through moderated discussion boards and e-mails. Quality assurance and learning level of students is tested through different assignments/quizzes, graded discussion boards, projects, and unique question paper for each student. Though information is given in on-line mode, but there is a body of factors such as lack of eye contact, student teacher meeting, mentoring, character building etc limit personal interaction between students and instructors and affect their level of satisfaction.
In distance learning the issue of social interaction is of major concern because students get upset when apparently minor conversations of discussion are not followed. E-learning mainly misses the element of live interaction between students and teacher and restricts the students to ask the questions at the spot in case of having any ambiguity which is strength of conventional mode...