Anxiety & Performance in Online Learning

Raafat George Saadé, Dennis Kira, Tak Mak, Fassil Nebebe
InSITE 2017  •  2017  •  pp. 147-157
Aim/Purpose: To investigate the state of anxiety and associated expected performance in online courses at the undergraduate level.

Background: Online courses continue to increase dramatically. Computer related anxieties remain an important issue, and, in this context, it has evolved to online learning anxieties with deeper psychological states involved. Consequently, performance is compromised.

Methodology: A first semester online course in information technology was used for the study. A survey methodology approach was used for the anxiety scale measurements. A sample of 1377 participants was obtained.

Contribution: Although there are many technology and internet related anxieties studies, they are relatively scarce. Characteristics of educational performance as they relate to anxiety have not matured and are still controversial. We contribute to this body of literature.

Findings: 30% of students seem to experience some sort of anxiety with online courses. Female students are more anxious about taking online courses than male.

Recommendations for Practitioners: Through successive iterations between design and measuring the experience of anxiety, it is important to identify and mitigate sources of anxieties and to design course with greater distribution of marks on more tasks.

Recommendation for Researchers: Anxiety in online learning should take front stage as it represents an underlying stream of influence on all research in the field.

Impact on Society: It has been shown that the progress of nations depends on the academic performance of its students. As such, studies have also shown that anxiety in learning affects performance. Ultimately this impacts the nation’s progress and quality of life.

Future Research: Pedagogy for efficient and effective online courses to reduce anxieties and enhance performance.
anxiety, elearning, performance, online, gender, age
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