2010 Sinclaire Abstract Research

The purpose of this study is to explore factors affecting differences in student satisfaction between a traditional classroom environment and a Web-assisted (online) course environment. Specifically, the objective of this study is to determine whether relational communication training can positively influence student satisfaction. This research utilized survey data collected from undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory Management Information Systems (MIS) course. Although it was hypothesized that students in the traditional learning environment would report a higher level of satisfaction with the course than students in the online learning environment, this hypothesis was not supported. Instead, the significant main effect for learning environment and satisfaction with the course was in the opposite direction: Students in the Web-assisted group reported a higher level of satisfaction with the course. Other comparisons showed that students in the Web-assisted group who received communication training reported greater satisfaction with the course and greater satisfaction with the group process/project than students who did not receive training, although the difference between satisfaction with the course scores was not statistically significant. Findings will help guide the development of course management practices for Web-assisted (online) courses.