Barrett, R. E. Paul (2000) Perspectives of distance learning : a study of administrators instructors and students of the public college system of Newfoundland and Labrador. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the direction of distance learning in the public college system of Newfoundland and Labrador as perceived by administrators, instructors, and students. -- Data were collected using three methods: (a) interviews, (b) student survey, and (c) Delphi panel. Interviews were conducted with ten persons who had some special knowledge about the direction of distance in the public college system. A random sample of 282 students was selected from the distance learning population of 955 for the 1995-96 academic year. Of these 228 students were surveyed, for a response rate of approximately 81%. The survey presented an opportunity for students to voice their opinions and provide feedback concerning distance learning courses in the public college system. In the Delphi process, a sample of 14 campus administrators was administered a structured questionnaire in two rounds, with results from the first round being used to help achieve convergence in perceptions of the future directions in distance learning. -- The data indicated that administrators, instructors, and students all concurred that distance learning has a place in the public college system. However, with distance learning in the early stages, it is not at all clear what directions this will take in the future. Administrators and instructors were cautious in their views about distance learning. The student survey indicated that students would avail of courses offered through distance learning. However, students indicated very strongly that the college should offer only some courses through distance. The Delphi panel members echoed the views of the administrators and instructors. A cautionary approach of building one block at a time is required. -- The recommendations reflect the research findings about distance learning in the public college system. These recommendations include: (a) continue to provide accessibility to distance courses throughout the scattered campuses across the province but at a moderate pace; since both technological change and the cost-effectiveness question were in a transitional phase, (b) monitor and review technological advancements to determine the need to merge with existing college technology; implementing a combination of methods for distance courses provides students with a choice, (c) further study on the cost-effectiveness of distance learning; the actual cost-effectiveness of distance learning requires study relative to the traditional approach and other methods, (d) monitoring of distance courses to determine the needs of students and employers; the college should contact employers to determine the assistance that can be provided - offering courses requested by employers and students sets the stage for increased participation rates, and (e) provide an enhanced communication system between instructors and students; this system should include direct phone numbers, e-mail, fax, and an on-line help service via the world wide web.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Bibliography: leaves 113-120.|
|Department(s):||Education, Faculty of|
|Geographic Location:||Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador|
|Library of Congress Subject Heading:||Distance education--Newfoundland and Labrador; Community colleges--Newfoundland and Labrador|
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