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IJIET 2015 Vol.5(8): 587-592 ISSN: 2010-3689
DOI: 10.7763/IJIET.2015.V5.573

Perceptions of Online Learning in an Australian University: Malaysian Students’ Perspective – Support for Learning

Renee Chew Shiun Yee

Abstract—Several researchers have reported that cultural and language differences can affect online interactions and communications between students from different cultural backgrounds. Other researchers have asserted that online learning is a tool that can improve teaching and learning skills, but its effectiveness depends on how the tool is used. To delve into these aspects further, this study set out to investigate the kinds of learning difficulties encountered by the international Asian students, in particular Malaysian students and how they actually coped with online learning. The modified Online Learning Environment Survey (OLES) instrument was used to collect data from the sample of 76 students at a university in Brisbane. A smaller group of 35 Australian students was also included for comparison purposes. Contrary to assumptions from previous research, the findings revealed that there were only few differences between the international Asian students from Malaysia and Australian students with regards to their perceptions of online learning. Recommendations based on the findings of this research study were made for Australian universities where Asian international students from Malaysia study online. Specifically the recommendations highlighted the importance of upskilling of lecturers’ ability to structure their teaching online and to apply strong theoretical underpinnings when designing learning activities such as discussion forums, and for the university to establish a degree of consistency with regards to how content is located and displayed in a learning management system like Blackboard.

Index Terms—Asian international students, online learning, online learning environments, online learning environment survey (OLES), Net Gen, support for learning.

Renee Chew is with the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (IT Division), INTI International University, Nilai, Malaysia (e-mail: reneesy.chew@newinti.edu.my).


Cite: Renee Chew Shiun Yee, "Perceptions of Online Learning in an Australian University: Malaysian Students’ Perspective – Support for Learning," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 5, no. 8, pp. 587-592, 2015.

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-3689 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Inf. Educ. Technol.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJIET
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Dr. Steve Thatcher
  • Executive Editor: Ms. Nancy Y. Liu
  • Abstracting/ Indexing: Scopus (CiteScore 2022: 2.0), INSPEC (IET), UGC-CARE List (India), CNKI, EBSCO, Google Scholar
  • E-mail: ijiet@ejournal.net


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