An exploratory comparative study of distance-learning programmes

Marija Cubric, Karen Clark, Mariana Lilley

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

1 Citation (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper we describe an exploratory study of distance learning practice. We review five different distance learning programme models from five different schools at the University of Hertfordshire, each varying in production and presentation. We situate the programmes in an extension of Weller’s pedagogy-technology space, and we further qualify their pedagogy, using Chickering and Gamson’s principles as a basis for evaluation.
The results of our analysis show that while the flexibility offered to students and economics of distance learning are indeed important drivers for implementation and adoption of distance learning, the quality of teaching and students’ learning experience is less well understood and frequently overshadowed by the above-mentioned factors. Moreover, we found that certain principles for ‘good teaching’ become more important than in the face-to-face scenarios, some principles assume different meaning in distance learning situations and new principles related to effectiveness and ‘affordability’ of on-line communication emerge and gain in importance.
The study aims to help develop a framework for analysis to be a tool for programme planners in a dynamic education environment. It is already helping in formulating implementation of the ambitious distance learning strategy at University of Hertfordshire but can also help other higher education institutions that aspire to provide quality distance learning education in the future as well as in informing other providers of distance learning materials and tools
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProcs 10th European Conference on e-Learning
Subtitle of host publicationECEL-2011
PublisherACPI (Academic Conference Publishing International)
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event10th European Conf on e-Learning - Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Nov 201111 Nov 2011


Conference10th European Conf on e-Learning
Abbreviated titleECEL 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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