Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 7, No. 1 (2010)

Adoption of a learning management system by polytechnic students: A case study in Singapore.

Henry Ho, Swinburne University of Technology
Helen Madden-Hallett, Victoria University

Abstract

This study examines the use of Blackboard as a communication and learning facilitation tool in a tertiary institution (polytechnic) situated in Singapore. For past decades, polytechnics in Singapore have been viewed as institutions that provide ‘para-professional training’ (Sanderson, 2002). Nevertheless, securing a place in a polytechnic is extremely competitive, with only 40% of applicants gaining a place (Sanderson, 2002). The case study is based on marketing students’ experience of using Blackboard in one of the largest polytechnics in Singapore. The sample consisted of 390 undergraduate business students, drawn from a first year marketing subject. Students were in two age groups, 16-24 and 25 and above, with the group 16-25 making up almost all of the respondents. Gender was slightly unevenly distributed with 57.2% female respondents and 41.8% male respondents. The only gender difference identified was that females were more likely to use Blackboard for communication purposes rather than face to face communication. The study also revealed students’ highly positive view of Blackboard because it is easy to use, user friendly and a time saver. Confirmatory factor analysis was undertaken to determine Blackboard’s capability of providing students with an optimum learning environment. The items loaded into four factors. Based upon these loadings, four factors were named; usefulness, time saving quality, ease of use and, enjoyment and positive self-image. It is recommended that further study be undertaken to establish Blackboard’s contribution to subject management to establish more fully Blackboard’s overall contribution as a teaching and learning resource.

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