Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Adams, James

Committee Member

Scott-Bracey, Pamela

Committee Member

King, Stephanie

Committee Member

Yu, Wei-Chieh (Wayne)

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 6 months

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Instructional Systems & Workforce Development

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering


This study examined the perceptions of satisfaction, engagement, comfort, and confidence level with Web 2.0 technologies as learning strategies in online courses, as well as differences based on gender, age, race, income, and a correlation among these factors and digital skills. The researcher survey design was used for this study, and was sent to all adult learners enrolled in an undergraduate degree-completion or graduate program. The population of 2,100 adult learners was asked to participate in the study, and 134 adult learners completed it. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were conducted in order to address the research questions. The analysis consisted of one sample t tests and analysis of variance (ANOVA) in order to determine the level and differences in perception of Web 2.0 use and correlation. One sample t test indicated that respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they were satisfied, engaged, comfortable, and confident with Web 2.0 technologies. There were no significant differences among participants based on gender, age, income, or race in their overall satisfaction. When looking at individual survey items, results indicated that a female's comfort level in virtual meetings in online courses was significantly lower than males. The findings also showed that the Hispanics and other ethnic race groups' comfort level using social networking sites was significantly higher than that of the Caucasian and African American participants. However, the Caucasian groups' comfort level was significantly higher in social networking sites and instant messaging than that of African American groups. Moreover, both Caucasian and African American participants' confidence levels were significantly higher using Web 2.0 technologies at work than Hispanics'. Additionally, the study checked for correlations among digital literacy, satisfaction, engagement, comfort, and confidence, and positive correlations were found. An increase in confidence and satisfaction was associated with an increase in engagement, and increases in satisfaction were associated with increases in comfort. To summarize, most adult learners can learn and acquire digital literacy skills based on their satisfaction, engagement, comfort, and confidence in using Web 2.0 technologies in online learning. Digital literacy skills are needed for adult learners to participate in a digital and global society.