Impacts of Online Education on Existing Education Models, Teachers, and Students: Results of a Nationwide Survey in Taiwan
Jonathan Spangler, “Impacts of Online Education on Existing Education Models: Empirical Evidence from Taiwan,” in Chuing Prudence Chou and Jonathan Spangler (eds.), Chinese Education Models in a Global Age, Singapore: Springer, 2016, pp. 177–192, <doi:10.1007/978-981-10-0330-1_13>. Abstract Recent years have seen an explosion in the popularity of online education, yet the impacts of online education on existing education models, teachers, and students are not fully understood. While the rise of online education is evident in countries around the world, students in East Asian societies have been particularly active in their online educational pursuits. This chapter seeks to further understand the significance of these trends by using empirical evidence from a nationwide survey conducted in Taiwan. In particular, it aims to ascertain the reasons for the immense popularity of online education that may be specific to societies of Chinese descent and identify the impacts of online education on the existing education model, teachers, and students. Empirical evidence is based on nationwide survey data collected in collaboration with the Election Study Center in Taiwan. The results indicate that logistical, professional/academic, and sociocultural factors have contributed to the growth of online education in the Taiwanese context. The findings suggest that online education has had major impacts on the existing education model, teachers, and students and that these impacts has been both positive and negative in nature. Methodology In collaboration with the Election Study Center (ESC), a nationwide survey (n=397) was conducted in Taiwan in early October 2014. Invitations to participate in the survey were sent to 8,700 individuals aged 20 to 69, and the survey was closed after receiving 400 responses. As the organization responsible for gathering national statistical data on political and social issues since 1989, the ESC has developed a reputation as one of the few research organizations capable of conducting nationwide surveys. (Cheng, 1996, p. 206) Respondents came from all geographic areas, and the distribution of responses closely reflects the population distribution of the most recent census data. As anticipated, respondents tended to be in the younger age cohorts, reflecting the general distribution of Internet users as well as those enrolled in online courses. The questionnaire consisted of four parts covering (1) the reasons for the increasing popularity of online courses in Taiwan, (2) the impacts of online education on existing education models, teachers, and students, (3) comparisons between online and offline courses, and (4) demographic data about the respondents’ personal experiences with online education. See Appendix I for the specific questions asked in the questionnaire. Demographic data about each respondent based on questions not asked in the survey were provided by ESC and matched with survey data for the current study.