Using Moodle in a General Education English as a Second Language Program: Taiwanese College Student Experiences and Perspectives

Chia-Hui Lin

Abstract


Pascarella and Terenzini (1991) concluded that general education improves students’ critical thinking. General education English courses have used the Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment (Moodle) platform for more than a decade. Moodle has become a popular free software package to assist educators and researchers in harnessing the benefits of online learning communities. This study uses a non-experimental, quantitative SPSS 17.0 research design to explore the relationship among demographic characteristics, Moodle use, flexible learning, and English as a second language (ESL) learning outcomes.The accessible population sample consisted of 231 participants, resulting in a response rate of 87%. The participants were college students from 2 colleges in Taiwan. The results show that Hypothesis 1 was supported for all variables for the ESL outcome (p = .0). Hypothesis 2 was supported for all variables for the pretest and posttest outcomes (p = .0). Hypothesis 3 was supported for Moodle use and flexible learning with Moodle (p = .0). Hypothesis 4 was not supported, and for general English, the posttest outcome explained more variance than the pretest outcome. Hypothesis 5 was not supported for Moodle use and the general English and English outcomes. The results of this study have limited applicability because the participants were from 2 small colleges. The distribution of the groups was also irregular. Although the results are valid, they should not be overgeneralized to the whole population. Future studies on general education English should sample all colleges in Taiwan.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2013.v3n3p97


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Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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