Students' perceptions of Internet in education and in everyday life
Susana de Juana-Espinosa, Sergio Luján-Mora
Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies (Edulearn 2013), p. 1443-1453, Barcelona (Spain), July 1-3 2013. ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2.
(EDULEARN'13b2) Congreso internacional / International conference
Incorporating information and communication technologies (ICTs), particularly the Internet, into teaching and learning in higher education has become an important issue. During the last decade, world-wide institutions of higher education have become deeply engaged in utilizing the Internet and computers as pedagogical tools. Different reasons promote this trend: the relative affordability of computers, the ever-increasing simplicity of using computers, and the wide existence of online learning applications. Thereby, online learning has grown significantly over the past decade due to its real and perceived benefits. However, not so much research has been carried out to study students’ perceptions of the use of Internet in education. It is imperative that all stakeholders involved in education understand the perceptions and expectations of students about online learning. In this paper, we present a study which aims to examine student perceptions and overall satisfaction with the use of Internet in education and in everyday life. Our research is based on a questionnaire designed for this study, which contained items drawn from previous research. The questionnaire consisted of a total of 60 questions and statements grouped in four sections: basic demographic information; information on Internet use; a computer technology assessment test; and an attitude scale to measure expectations and perceptions about Internet. A computer technology assessment test was included in order to test students’ computer and Internet knowledge and competence. Twenty multiple-choice questions were used to measure students’ knowledge about ICTs and the Internet. A 5-point Likert scale ranging from “totally disagrees to totally agrees” was used to assess the participants’ expectations and perceptions about Internet. There were 18 statements about the Internet, such as “Learning to use Internet is crucial in education” and “Internet leads to less face-to face interaction”. The target population for this study was defined as students enrolled in graduate and postgraduate studies with different profiles (age and education) and from different countries. In this paper we present the findings of our study, which reveals that students’ perceptions are biased based on the daily use of Internet. However, their general attitude toward the use of Internet in education is positive. Moreover, the results also show some significant gender differences. In general, all the students agreed with the statement that learning to use the Internet is crucial in education nowadays. Besides, most of the students reported that the Internet makes life easier and more comfortable, however, men students showed stronger positive attitudes than women.