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Student and faculty

perceptions of online
clothing and textile courses
Genna Reeves-DeArmond,
Kansas State University
Jennifer Mower,
Central Michigan University
Keith Nishida,
Woodbury University

ITAA Conference

Limited studies have been
conducted in recent years
about the practices and
assignments in online
clothing and textile (CT)
E.g., Baytar & Karpova,
2014; Sanders, Zhang,
McKinney, Lee, &
Bennett, 2014.
However, online courses
are becoming increasingly
common in our discipline.

Justification and Purpose

Important to continue assessment of
online education.
31.1% of college students are
enrolled in an online course.
A 10% or more increase in
enrollment has occurred each year
since 2002 (Allen & Seaman, 2013).
Purpose: To obtain perceptions and
evaluations regarding CT online
courses. In so doing, the current status
of online education in this discipline
can be assessed and potentially

Recruitment: Via ITAA listserv, CT-focused social media
sites, and three junior and senior-level CT courses at
one Northwest university.
Online Survey: Quantitative and qualitative questions.
Sample Groups: CT students and faculty.
Data Analysis: Descriptive statistics, development of
coding guide and constant comparison method.

Description of Sample
163 students and 99 faculty members completed the
Academic Position:
Students: Majority were junior/senior standing
Faculty: Majority were in an assistant or associate
professor position (58.3%).

Mean Age:
Students: 23.8 years (18-47 years old).
Faculty: 57 years (30-67 years old).

Participation in Online CT Courses

Over half of student
participants (58.0%) had
taken an online course.

Almost half of faculty

participants (48.0%) had
taught an online course.

Most common online

courses students have

Most common online

courses faculty have taught:

Historic dress (43.2%)

Computer-aided design
Cultural aspects of dress
Textiles (11.3%)

Business topics (42.8%)

Certain level/type of course
(e.g., hybrid and survey
courses) (19.0%)
Cultural dress and textiles
Textiles (14.3%)
Pedagogy topics (e.g., best
teaching practices) (14.3%)

Positive Aspects of
Taking Online Courses

Teaching Online Courses

Convenience (80.0%)
Offering solutions to a
variety of situations (e.g.,
scheduling conflicts)
Flexibility (16.9%)
Accommodation of learning
styles (12.3%)
Aids learning and
comprehension (4.6%)

Convenience (39.1%)
Flexibility (30.4%)
Variety of opportunities and
venues for interaction (21.7%)
Enables access to education
Very structured course content
and format (13.0%)

Participant Quotes: Positive

Taking Online Course

Easy to access, no time restraints

and usually there are a lot of
outside resources made available.
You have your own study and
learning space and dont have
other students around you that can
be disruptive at times.
Dont have to attend class, feel like
I can get more done on my own
I can express my thoughts more
thoroughly in writing through
discussion boards, rather than
speaking on the spot in class.
Can watch the material as many
times as needed to fully understand
the material.

Teaching Online Course

It is convenient and allows me to interact

with students through other mediums,
like videos.
Gives the students additional
opportunities for learning using different
Students can do work on their own time
and at their own pace.
Being able to reach more students.
It seems more efficient. No distractions
of students talking or disrupting class.
Once the course is initially set up, it isnt
much work to teach it again.
Generates more tuition than a regular
course because its accessible to more

Negative Aspects of
Taking Online Courses
Lack of/difficulty with
instructor and other student
interaction (50.0%)
Difficulty maintaining
motivation and engagement
Less convenient than in-class
courses (19.6%)
Different course organization
and assignments that are
disliked (19.6%)

Teaching Online Courses

Lack of/difficulty with interaction
Difficulties associated with
gauging student comprehension
Course limitation in an online
setting (19.0%)
Difficulties with student
ethic (14.3%)
Assessment-related issues (e.g.,
development of clear rubrics and
large amounts of feedback
required) (14.3%)

Participant Quotes: Negative

Taking Online Courses
Harder to ask questions and
there can be a longer response
Easy to forget about finishing
assignments, a lot of reading,
dont walk away with meaning
and memorable experiences like
in the classroom.
Its harder to manage my time
and actually be engaged in
learning the material.
Lack of participation from
Dont like the typical discussion
board assignment.

Teaching Online Courses

I find it hard to get a good read on

students and their understanding.
Expectations of 24-hour instructor
Very time consuming; a lot of
feedback is required.
Limited course and assignment
Students dont always readeven
instructionsor how to use the
constructive feedback of their work.
I miss student/teacher interaction to
get students interested in the topic.

Similarity in student and faculty responses: Convenience and
flexibility are two of the top positive aspects.
Variation in student and faculty responses: Most noticeable in the
positive aspects of online courses.
Important to further understanding these varying perspectives to
ensure quality learning experiences.
Students learn differently today than they did in the past.
Faculty reported difficulty gauging student comprehension and
students reported unclear components and explanations as
negative aspects.
Suggests there needs to be a pedagogical dialogue among
faculty regarding how to present online learning material with
clarity and precision.


Students specifically reported not

liking discussion boards in online
Recommendation: Faculty
should rethink this type of
assignment and consider other
options not typically associated
with online learning.

Recommendation: Ongoing
discussions within ITAA about online
teaching and learning. For example,
through interactive discussion
session for this specific purpose at
every annual conference, as
suggested by Ha-Brookshire and
LaBat (2015).

Ian Mull, Seung-Eun Lee, Erica Palentyn:
Using Online Social Games as a Teaching Tool
for Visual Merchandising. (2012).
Joan Ellis: Using Audience Response Systems
in Merchandising Mathematics. (2012).

Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2013). Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United
States. Sloan Consortium. PO Box 1238, Newburyport, MA 01950.
Baytar, F. & Karpova, E. (2014). Student Perceptions of the Use of Different Content Delivery Types in a
Hybrid Computer-Aided Design Course. Paper presented at the meeting of the International Textile
and Apparel Association, Charlotte.
Ellis, J. (2012). Are they getting it? Using audience response systems in merchandising mathematics.
Paper presented at the meeting of the International Textile and Apparel Association, Honolulu.
Ha-Brookshire, J., & LaBat, K. (2015). Closing thoughts: Action items recommended to ITAA. In J. HaBrookshire & K. LaBat (Eds.), Envisioning textile and apparel research and education for the 21st
century. Knoxville, TN: International Textile and Apparel Association.
Mull, I., Lee, S., & Palentyn, E. (2012). Using Online Social Games as a Teaching Tool for Visual
Merchandising. Paper presented at the meeting of the International Textile and Apparel Association,
Sanders, E., Zhang, P., McKinney, E., Lee, Y., & Bennett, S. (2014). Insights from an Industry Advisory
Board about Online Education for Practitioners. Paper presented at the meeting of the International
Textile and Apparel Association, Charlotte.