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Role of Digital Fluency and Spatial Ability in Student Experience of Online Learning Environments

Digital Readiness for Evolution of Educational Ecosystem

Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC,volume 857)

Abstract

Online learning environments have become a standard support for most higher education courses, whether they are face to face, hybrid, or online. During their years of study, today’s students will need to navigate these online learning environments: from finding the syllabus to interacting with the faculty virtually. However, not all learners have equal facility when dealing with online environments. In this article we report results of two exploratory studies investigating cognitive characteristics involved in learning and personal pre-requisites that are important for a positive learner experience in an online learning environment. In particular, we examined the perceived easiness of use and perceived helpfulness of the OLE, as related to the user’s digital fluency and spatial ability. Logistic regression of scores in digital fluency (DF) tests on dichotomized survey responses demonstrated that senior undergraduate students with higher DF scores find online learning environments easy to use, and helpful, more often than their peers having lower DF scores. Comparison of mental rotation scores with the digital fluency scores, by means of linear regression analysis, demonstrated statistically significant association between spatial ability and digital fluency. As previous studies demonstrated that spatial ability can be trained, these results will facilitate digital readiness for the expansion of educational ecosystem and will help people to make better use of eLearning materials.

Keywords

  • Learning environments
  • Online education
  • Learning management system
  • Digital fluency
  • Spatial ability

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Correspondence to Tatiana Tchoubar .

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Tchoubar, T., Sexton, T.R., Scarlatos, L.L. (2019). Role of Digital Fluency and Spatial Ability in Student Experience of Online Learning Environments. In: Arai, K., Kapoor, S., Bhatia, R. (eds) Intelligent Computing. SAI 2018. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 857. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-01177-2_18

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