Journal of Social Sciences

Trust in Virtual Universities

Asghar Abolhasani Hastiani and Mohammad Ali Sarlak

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2008.237.245

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 4, 2008

Pages 237-245

Abstract

The number of students enrolled at Iranian virtual Universities during 2004-2007 years, annually accounted for less than 0.5% of traditional Iranian universities enrolment. The low rate of virtual Universities enrolment might be due to a low level of student's trust in this type of educational institution. Students with low trust in virtual universities may be less likely to enroll in distant learning courses. Many factors contribute to student's trust level, including perceptions of the virtual university's quality of education, teacher's skills, academic reputation, etc...We examined five factors (academic reputation, administrative efficacy, size of institution, fairly tuition and Suitable environmental Conditions) as antecedents and three factors (student's attitude, willingness and risk taking) as consequences of student's trust. The relationships among factors were determined using a structural equations model and path analysis. Our analysis suggests that the academic reputation and the Suitable environmental Conditions for activity a virtual university is the most important determinants of student's trust. Furthermore, the student's trust level significantly affects student's willingness to study in virtual universities. Our results have implications for the development of theories as well as policies for the virtual universities.

Copyright

© 2008 Asghar Abolhasani Hastiani and Mohammad Ali Sarlak. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.