Alshahrani, Saeed, Ahmed, Ejaz and Ward, Rupert (2017) The influence of online resources on student–lecturer relationship in higher education: a comparison study. Journal of Computers in Education. pp. 1-20. ISSN 2197-9995

The internet has become a key resource for students’ higher education studies due to both its availability and currency. Previously within higher education, lectures, books and course materials were the only sources of information. This change, to more open access to information and more online materials being accessed outside of those provided by lecturers, and indeed institutions, is likely to accelerate and change the way students are learning. This study aims to help institutions understand better the impact of these changes on the student–lecturer relationship by exploring students’ perceptions of their studies in terms of power and students’ academic engagement in the classroom. The importance of the internet (online learning resources) to students’ achievements, the importance of lecturers and the student–lecturer relationship have all been widely investigated. However, limited research has been undertaken examining the impact of students’ use of the internet on the student–lecturer relationship, or comparing this across different countries and cultures. To address this, data were collected via semi- structured questionnaires distributed to undergraduate students from three countries: United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Kenya. Quantitative data were analysed using a simple statistical analysis approach and qualitative data were analysed using a thematic analysis approach. The results showed that students’ use of the internet has improved students’ academic self-confidence, academic self-reliance and student– lecturer connectedness, but students’ use of the internet has increased the gap in the student–lecturer expert relationship and referent relationship. The impact and rea- sons for this differed between the countries involved in this study.

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