Students' Criteria for Course Selection: Towards a Metadata Standard for Distributed Higher Education
Description: By 2007, one half of higher education students are expected to enroll in distributed learning courses. Higher education institutions need to attract students searching the Internet for courses and need to provide students with enough information to select courses. Internet resource discovery tools are readily available, however, users have difficulty selecting relevant resources. In part this is due to the lack of a standard for representation of Internet resources. An emerging solution is metadata. In the educational domain, the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) has specified a Learning Object Metadata (LOM) standard. This exploratory study (a) determined criteria students think are important for selecting higher education courses, (b) discovered relationships between these criteria and students' demographic characteristics, educational status, and Internet experience, and (c) evaluated these criteria vis-à-vis the IEEE LTSC LOM standard. Web-based questionnaires (N=209) measured (a) the criteria students think are important in the selection of higher education courses and (b) three factors that might influence students' selections. Respondents were principally female (66%), employed full time (57%), and located in the U.S. (89%). The chi square goodness-of-fit test determined 40 criteria students think are important and exploratory factor analysis determined five common factors among the top 21 criteria, three evaluative factors and two descriptive. Results indicated evaluation criteria are very important in course selection. Spearman correlation coefficients and chi-square tests of independence determined the relationships between the importance of selection criteria and demographic characteristics, educational status, and Internet experience. Four profiles emerged representing groups of students with unique concerns. Side by side analysis determined if the IEEE LTSC LOM standard included the criteria of importance to students. The IEEE LOM by itself is not enough to meet students course selection needs. Recommendations include development of a metadata standard for course evaluation and accommodation of group differences in ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Murray, Kathleen R.
Partner: UNT Libraries