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Distance Delivery of Courses: What Components are Important to Students?

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Best of Computers in Education Division

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.506.1 - 22.506.15



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Paper Authors


Carole E. Goodson University of Houston

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Carole Goodson is a Professor of Technology at the University of Houston. As an active member of ASEE, she is a member of the Academy of Fellows, a past Editor of the Journal of Engineering Technology, a past Chair of PIC IV and the ERM Division, and a past Chair of the Gulf Southwest Section of ASEE.

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Susan L. Miertschin University of Houston

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SUSAN L. MIERTSCHIN is an Associate Professor teaching in the Computer Information Systems program at the University of Houston. Her teaching interests are in the development of information systems applications and the complementary nature of back-end developer and front-end developer skill sets. Her research interests lie in the impact of information and communication technologies on teaching and learning experiences.

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Barbara L. Stewart University of Houston

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Dr. Barbara L. Stewart, CFCS, is a Professor at the University of Houston. Formerly she held positions as Chair of the Department of Human Development and Consumer Sciences and Associate Dean of the College of Technology at the University of Houston, and Director of the School of Home Economics at the University of Louisiana. She earned bachelors and doctoral degrees from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree from Utah State University.

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Distance Delivery of Courses: What Components are Important to Students?Increasingly popular, on-line courses have seen their enrollment double within a 5 year period to3.94 million students in 2007 (Allen & Seaman, 2008). Thus, it is important for those responsiblefor course delivery to know and monitor the courses, both to understand the course componentsthat potentially enhance the on-line learning experience and to understand the delivery concernsand mechanisms as they are perceived by students. Measurements of these perceptions provideindicators of the effectiveness and quality of the on-line course experience.In order to determine the effectiveness of on-line offerings, numerous frameworks for analyzingthe quality of on-line education exist, including the Quality Matters (QM) Program, the Institutefor Higher Education Policy (IHEP), the Western Interstate Commission for Higher EducationCooperative (WCET) best practices, the E-Learning Maturity Model (eMM), and others. Theseframeworks identify factors important to the quality of on-line delivery. The frameworks possesssimilarities and repeated themes. Among the common themes are learning objectives,instructional resources and materials, learner engagement, and course technology. This study tiessome of the quality factors that are in the frameworks directly to student opinion.In order to better understand the framework factors, faculty developed a survey instrument tomeasure student perceptions as they are related to the factors that most directly affect students,such as objectives, materials, and engagement. The survey was administered to 105 studentsenrolled in three junior/senior level courses including a research course, a supervision course andan information technology course. The survey was administered on-line and results wereanalyzed.This paper will address the following issues. 1. Major assessment frameworks for assessing distance courses will be presented and summarized. The components used for our analysis will be identified and discussed. 2. Student perceptions of course components (e.g. the use of teams, on-line lectures, discussion boards, etc.) will be summarized and presented. 3. General student perceptions of on-line delivery will be summarized and presented. 4. Results will be analyzed and implications for on-line delivery of courses will be presented.

Goodson, C. E., & Miertschin, S. L., & Stewart, B. L. (2011, June), Distance Delivery of Courses: What Components are Important to Students? Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17787

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