An evaluation of distance learning programmes through the lens of students’ expectations

Karen Clark, Marija Cubric, Mariana Lilley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Abstract

As the University of Hertfordshire (UH) moves towards its goal of 15% distance learning by 2015, it has become increasingly important to gain a deeper understanding of the needs and expectations of our growing population of distance learners, and how these compare to the institutional agenda.
The purpose of our research is to analyse and compare student, staff and institutional views and expectations of distance learning programmes in three different Schools: School of Law, Business School and School of Computer Science. These Schools have adopted different models of study and support. Their programmes attract a diverse population of learners from across the globe; these include those living close to the University and juggling paid work with study, ex-pats, new graduates looking to enhance their CVs and international students seeking a UK qualification.
The focus of this paper is on student views, and our findings are supported with quantitative and qualitative data from student surveys (N=89).
The results confirm findings from the literature with regards to the importance of flexibility and time-management for online distance learners, but they also indicate some additional implications for learning designs and institutional processes related to Online Distance Learning (ODL), such as further customization of learning designs for specific types of learners, increased ‘tutor presence’ and more opportunities for social inclusion of distance learning students into the wider university
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProcs of 11th European Conf on e-Learning
Subtitle of host publicationECEL-2012
PublisherACPI (Academic Conference Publishing International)
Pages106-116
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012
EventECEL 2012: 11th European Conference on e-Learning - Groningen, Netherlands
Duration: 26 Oct 201227 Oct 2012

Conference

ConferenceECEL 2012: 11th European Conference on e-Learning
Country/TerritoryNetherlands
CityGroningen
Period26/10/1227/10/12

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