Factors Affecting a Medical Faculty’s Engagement in Virtual Learning Environments

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Educational Management, School of Economy and Management, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of e-Learning in medical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: This study aimed to investigate the intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting faculty engagement in virtual learning environments at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (SUMS) in Shiraz, Iran. Methods: In this comparative study, 112 eligible faculty members at SUMS were enrolled in 2018-2019 academic year. The sample was surveyed by a researcher-made questionnaire consisting of 28 items, including 17 questions on intrinsic factors (familiarity with e-learning, faculty attitudes and human resources) and 11 on extrinsic factors (financial resources, inherent barriers, infrastructural factors and institutional support). The reliability of the research instrument, as measured by internal consistency and Cronbach’s alpha, stood at 0.92. It was measured at 0.87 and 0.92 for extrinsic and intrinsic factors respectively. The CVR and CVI values were found to be 0.6 and 0.8 respectively. One-sample t-test was applied to compare the mean scores of the intrinsic and extrinsic factors with the hypothetical mean, and to determine the ranking of the factors. Results: In order of their impact, the intrinsic and extrinsic factors included inadequate financial resources (P=0.566) lack of familiarity with electronic learning (P<0.001), inherent barriers such as institutional disbelief in the complementary role of e-learning (P=0.001), infrastructural factors (P<0.001), faculty attitudes (P<0.001), inadequate human resources (P<0.001), and lack of institutional support (P<0.001). Conclusion: University administrators should provide educators with adequate resources for handling new educational environments, remove administrative and structural obstacles, and create motivation among faculty members to use e-learning systems.


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