University Students’ Satisfaction with Online and Face-to-Face Spanish Learning

By Maria Isabel Cristino Pena and Alexander S. Yeung.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

University students choose to study in a Spanish language course for a range of reasons. Two of the major reasons would be: (a) communicating with Spanish speakers, and (b) acquiring knowledge and skills in Spanish for instrumental purposes (such as getting a language-relevant job). Students’ satisfaction with the course they attend may be partly due to these functions of language and partly due to the delivery of the course. In a blended learning environment in the university where Spanish is taught partly face-to-face and partly online, student satisfaction may be associated with these factors. University students who studied in a beginner’s course of Spanish (N = 36) completed a survey on their perceptions of the language functions (communicative, instrumental), satisfaction with the two modes of delivery (face-to-face, online), and their overall satisfaction with the Spanish course. Overall satisfaction was found to be positively correlated with the two language functions (rs = .22 and .18, respectively) and with the two modes of delivery (rs = .41 and .27, respectively). However, the correlation between the online and face-to-face delivery modes was negative (r = -.30), indicating that those who favoured online delivery tended to dislike face-to-face delivery, and vice versa. Repeated-measures analysis of variance found that the students had stronger perceptions of the communicative function and higher satisfaction with the face-to-face delivery mode. On a five-point scale, students’ satisfaction with the face-to-face mode (M = 4.23) was significantly higher than their satisfaction with the online mode (M = 3.04). Their overall satisfaction was somewhere in between (M = 3.49). The results suggest that the students preferred face-to-face learning to online learning. Although there is an increasing interest of universities to provide online learning opportunities, it seems that a substantial proportion of time should be allotted for face-to-face interaction.

Keywords: Blended Learning, E-Learning, Student Satisfaction, Online vs Face-to-Face, Spanish Beginners

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp.637-648. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.295MB).

Maria Isabel Cristino Pena

Lecturer, School of Humanities and Languages, College of Arts, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Maria Isabel Pena is a Lecturer in Spanish Language/Culture and Teacher Education at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. Her research interests include: e-learning, language teaching methodology, language acquisition, bilingualism and Spanish language and culture.

Prof. Alexander S. Yeung

Associate Professor, National Institute of Education, Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Dr. Alexander Yeung is associate professor at the Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice of the National Institute of Education, Singapore. His research is closely related to the areas of self-development, school motivation and learning facilitation. His major expertise includes: self-concept, motivation, language learning, measurement and evaluation, cognition and instruction, and research methodology.


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