Hooman Estelami

Abstract

One of the fundamental drivers of the growing use of distance learning methods in modern business education has been the efficiency gains associated with this method of educational delivery.  Distance methods benefit both students and educational institutions as they facilitate the processing of large volumes of learning material to overcome barriers related to time, geography and physical facility constraints.  Nevertheless, existing research has not examined the extent by which these efficiency gains, compared to traditional face-to-face teaching, are recognized by online students.  Moreover, the extent by which students’ perceptions of course efficiency affects other key educational measures, such as intent to take online courses in the future, and instructor and course ratings, has not been examined in current research.  In this paper, utilizing data from student evaluation of teaching (SET) surveys from multiple sections of three online marketing courses, the effects of perceived course efficiency on various SET measures are examined.  The results indicate, that contrary to popular belief, students who view online courses as efficient exhibit lower sentiments towards the course and the instructor, and are also academically weaker than other students.  The paper concludes with a discussion of the findings and future directions for research.