Computers and computer‐assisted instruction are being used with increasing frequency in the area of health science student education, yet students’ attitudes towards the use of e‐learning technology and computer‐assisted instruction have received limited attention to date. The purpose of this study was to investigate the significant predictors of health science students’ attitudes towards e‐learning and computer‐assisted instruction. All students enrolled in health science programmes (n=2885) at a large multi‐campus Australian university in 2006‐2007, were asked to complete a questionnaire. This included the Online Learning Environment Survey (OLES), the Computer Attitude Survey (CAS), and the Attitude Toward Computer‐Assisted Instruction Semantic Differential Scale (ATCAISDS). A multiple linear regression analysis was used to determine the significant predictors of health science students’ attitudes to e‐learning. The Attitude Toward Computers in General (CASg) and the Attitude Toward Computers in Education (CASe) subscales from the CAS were the dependent (criterion) variables for the regression analysis. A total of 822 usable questionnaires were returned, accounting for a 29.5 per cent response rate. Three significant predictors of CASg and five significant predictors of CASe were found. Respondents’ age and OLES Equity were found to be predictors on both CAS scales. Health science educators need to take the age of students and the extent to which students perceive that they are treated equally by a teacher/tutor/instructor (equity) into consideration when looking at determinants of students’ attitudes towards e‐learning and technology.
Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2010
Keywords: Health science students; Technology; Teaching; Professional education