Studying Online: Student Motivations and Experiences in ALA-Accredited LIS Programs

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Anthony Shong-Yu Chow, Associate Professor (Creator)
Fatih Oguz, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This paper presents a large scale study of online MLIS students (n=910), who completed at least one online course and were enrolled in 36 of the 58 ALA-accredited MLIS programs in Canada and the United States. The results indicate that the typical student is female, White, lives in an urban setting, and is in her mid-30s. Online students were found to be quite diverse, with statistically significant differences in their preferences and satisfaction across five demographic variables: age (generational cohort), employment status, urban status, commute distance, and program modality. Three motivations emerged: accommodation, predisposition, and selectivity, which influenced the respondents to choose online learning. The prevalent issues online MLIS students experienced were a sense of isolation from peers and instructors, and a lack of professional development and networking opportunities with peers. The findings have implications for enhancing MLIS online education including marketing, course offerings, and student support services.

Additional Information

Journal of Education for Library and Information Science
Language: English
Date: 2015
online courses, distance education, student characteristics, rural/urban status, commute distance, student satisfaction, student motivations

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