Toward a Better Experience: Examining Student Needs in the Online Classroom through Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Model

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Journal of Online Learning and Teaching

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Current research continues to support the notion that students participating in online courses experience dissatisfaction for a number of reasons. Instructors carry on their search for ways to enhance learning and increase levels of satisfaction with respect to all aspects of the online classroom experience. This paper focuses specifically on students in the online classroom, and how to attend to their needs in an effort to foster a more satisfying learning experience. Using Maslow's hierarchy of needs model as a conceptual framework, the paper examines how student needs can be addressed at various levels in online courses, from basic needs to the ultimate goal of self-actualization. Based on this analysis, recommendations are discussed in the way of strategies and tools that can be used to positively affect the online student experience.