Assessment of Attitudes Toward an Asynchronous Communication Tool Used as a Required Part of the 
MBA Curriculum

Edward Weiss & Alex Koohang
National-Louis University, USA

[email protected]

 

Abstract

Higher education institutions are increasingly embracing the Internet as a tool to support academic courses and/or programs. Little research has been done to assess students' attitudes toward the Web-based instructions and communication tools that supplement academic courses and/or programs. The purpose of this study was to assess studentsí attitudes toward the on-line asynchronous communication tool used as a required part of the MBA curriculum at a medium-sized university in the Midwest. The on-line asynchronous communication tool known as the

Higher education institutions are increasingly embracing the Internet as a tool to support academic courses and/or programs. Little research has been done to assess students' attitudes toward the Web-based instructions and communication tools that supplement academic courses and/or programs. The purpose of this study was to assess studentsí attitudes toward the on-line asynchronous communication tool used as a required part of the MBA curriculum at a medium-sized university in the Midwest. The on-line asynchronous communication tool known as the MBA web-support/discussion forum is the nucleus of the interaction between students and faculty, and among students. It simulates the traditional classroom discussion activities among groups and between students and faculty. It also allows posing of course information, syllabi, office hours, and weekly assignments/activities. A Likert-type questionnaire consisting of 20 items was constructed and administered to 74 MBA students. The results of this study showed that respondents did not express high positive attitudes toward the on-line asynchronous communication tool. The discussion is focused on three elements that might be responsible for learners' attitudes toward on-line communication tool used to deliver Web-base courses or programs. These elements are on-line instructional design, building on-line community, and training. Recommendations are made based on the findings of this study.