QUALITY OF THE INTEGRATED E-LEARNING SYSTEM – STUDENTS’ PERSPECTIVE
Implementation and use of e-learning systems in higher education have become necessity in the 21st century. While first researches were focused more on the functional understanding how to use the technology and which ICT skills are needed in order to get better results from it, latest research is focused more on the user satisfaction with the e-learning systems and how they can contribute to user motivation for learning. More precisely today’s e-learning research is concentrated on the quality of e-learning systems.
Course management systems are considered the most basic e-learning requirement and their ease of use encourages e-learning adoption. Within E-learning Centre at the University Computing Centre University of Zagreb SRCE an e-learning platform was established, available and free of charge to all university teachers and students. The aim was to provide accessible, reliable and easy to use platform.
Today this is the virtual learning environment (VLE) called Merlin which consists of several systems: a learning management system based on Moodle, an e-portfolio system based on Mahara and webinar system based on Adobe Connect. As well, VLE Merlin is connected to the national Information System of Higher Education Institutions. The e-learning system Merlin is in function for nine years now and, besides e-courses of the University of Zagreb, it hosts e-courses of many other higher education institutions in the Republic of Croatia. The VLE Merlin is continuously upgraded and expanded with new functionalities according to users (teachers and students) needs. In order to provide the ease of use and user friendly interface the E-learning Centre conducted the survey on users’ attitudes towards usefulness of the system Merlin, satisfaction with its design, functionality and user support that is provided by the E-learning Centre.
The survey was online and it was anonymous. It contained 30 questions for teachers and 21 questions for students. The survey was available during the period from 2 to 20 of November in 2015. During that period, we have collected 950 responses of which 79 responses were from teachers and 871 from students. In this paper we’ll present the results of the students’ response. In general, the results showed that 67.6% of students were satisfied with the e-learning system Merlin, 75.4% of them have agreed that the system is easy to use and considered it useful. Although more than half of the students (53.0%), who participated in the survey, expressed their satisfaction with the graphic design of the system Merlin, there were comments by some students that the design was monotonous and unattractive.
Within this paper we’ll present the results of the survey from students’ perspective in more detail. Based on their feedback, the new user interface of the VLE Merlin was designed along with other improvements.