Perceptions of Graduate Students on the Use of Web-based Instruction in Special Education Personnel Preparation

Winter 2008

Source: Teacher Education and Special Education, Volume 31, No. 1, 1-11 ( Winter 2008)
(Reviewed by The Portal Team)

This study examined the perceptions of graduate students on the use of Web-based instruction in preparing special education personnel.

Two research questions guided the study, including
1. How do technology, interaction, and convenience impact the use of WBI in the preparation
    of special education personnel?
2. To what extent do students perceive WBI as effective in preparing special education personnel?


88 graduate students at a university in Texas participated in the study.
63 participants were enrolled in the masters program in special education; one was pursuing special education as a minor; 11 were seeking diagnostician or specialist certification in behavior, transition planning, or autism; and 13 did not identify their area of study.

Following the collection of data using surveys, 6 participants were randomly selected from the original sample and interviewed.



Findings supported Web-based instruction as a convenient way for students to pursue their education.
Furthermore findings indicated that Web-based courses with increased structure and organization resulted in improved learning outcomes.
Greater opportunities for learner and instructor interaction in Web-based courses increased the probability of acquiring anticipated learning goals and objectives.
Finally, technological problems and a lack of user-friendly technology jeopardize the effectiveness of Web-based instruction.

Updated: Nov. 10, 2008