The influence of internal and external factors on student participation in online tutorials at Universitas Terbuka

Meilani, Any, Kuswanti, Eko and Pujiwati, Ami
Universitas Terbuka


The Master of Management in Universitas Terbuka includes online tutorials in which students are required to actively participate in discussion and work on assignments. The main problem that often occurs in online tutorials is students' lack of involvement which can be caused by internal and external factors. Internal factors include students' ability to use computers and the Internet, motivation in following online tutorials, allocation of time for doing so, financial circumstances, and ease of access to the Internet and location. In contrast, external factors include Internet disorders, problems in managing online tutorials, problems with online tutorial facilities, tutors' not providing assignment feedback, and tutor problems in utilizing the facilities.

Data were retrieved from the database records for online tutorials, while other data were collected through a questionnaire to 241 students in 2012. The data were analysed using factor analysis and SEM (Structural Equation Model). The results showed that the level of participation in online tutorials was influenced by internal factors (-0.42) and external factors (-0.04). Both internal and external factors contributed to the student participation rate of 18%, with more variations caused by changes in internal factors rather than external factors.