Attitudes of undergraduate nursing students towards E- learning at the University of the Western Cape
The development of internet has provided an opportunity for offering online learning. Online learning otherwise known as ‘e-learning’ is a fast growing new concept of modern education. Substantial evidence indicates that many universities across the world have started offering study programmes through a variety of e-learning methods. Although e- learning environments are becoming popular, there is minimal research on learners’ attitudes toward online learning environments. Past research has recommended a variety of factors affecting user attitude so far as e-Learning is concern. It is thus against this background that this study purports to determine the attitudes of undergraduate nursing students toward e–learning at the University of the Western Cape. The study developed an integrated model with six dimensions: learners, instructors, courses, technology, design, and environment. A survey was conducted on 213 undergraduate nursing students to assess their attitudes toward e-learning. The study employed the survey methodology based on the questionnaire that was distributed randomly to students to assess their attitudes towards e-learning and to find out if any existing demographical factors impact on the students’ use of e- learning. The results revealed that males and females differed significantly in terms of satisfaction levels. When specific demographic variables with two outcome levels (age group, computer facility at home, computer training experience and experience in e-learning prior to registering at UWC) are considered, there is no statistically significant difference (from the sample t-test) in learner satisfaction between these groups. From a valid response rate (90% of the sample), statistical analysis (multivariate analysis) revealed that learner satisfaction as the control variable is influenced by perceived easy to use, gender and year level of participants. The findings also showed a significant difference between male and female satisfaction. In this regard, 4th year nursing students were proven to be less likely to be satisfied with e-learning than 2ndyear nursing students, whereas female nursing students are more likely to be satisfied with e-learning than male nursing students. Generally, the study’s findings demonstrate a favourable attitude towards e-learning among nursing students at University of the Western Cape.