Course management systems in higher education: understanding student experiences

Allan Yuen, Robert Fox, Angie Sun, Liping Deng

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The course management system (CMS), as an evolving tool and innovation, is increasingly used to promote the quality, efficiency and flexibility of teaching and learning in higher education. This paper aims to examine students' experiences of CMSs across faculties at a comprehensive university in Hong Kong.

Design/methodology/approach: This is an exploratory study. With questionnaires as the means of data collection, the exploration focuses on: perceived usefulness of technologies for study, usage pattern of CMSs, students' perceptions of CMSs, user support preference, and self-reported experiences.

Findings: The results show significant differences between academic levels of students in their uses and perceptions, and shed light on issues concerning technology, pedagogy, and implementation strategies of CMSs in higher education.

Research limitations/implications: This is a small-scale study and results will not produce generalizations that can be applied directly in other institutions. However, empirical studies in CMS implementation are relatively rare, and results of this study provide initial evidence to shed light on a number of issues concerning the implementation of CMSs.

Practical implications: On the whole, this study centering on university students' experiences and perceptions could inform the decision-making process concerning successful implementation of CMSs.

Originality/value: Many studies concerning e-learning have focused on practitioner perspective or course design and overlooked students' voices. In this study, students' experiences are central. In particular, the paper probes the possible differences between academic levels of students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-205
Number of pages17
JournalInteractive Technology and Smart Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education

User-Defined Keywords

  • Curricula
  • E-learning
  • Higher education
  • Hong Kong
  • Students
  • User studies


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