June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.631.1 - 11.631.12
Factors Affecting Student Performance and Satisfaction in Distance Learning Courses
During the past few years, the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) has initiated several projects to determine best practices in distance learning education and to apply them to courses in the Newark College of Engineering. The engineering college has lagged behind other colleges within the university in developing and implementing distance learning courses, and concerns about the quality of distance learning courses are one of the main reasons for this. The Office of Institutional Research and Planning at NJIT has undertaken a study of distance learning courses offered during the 2003-2004 academic year. The study examines a total of 150 courses, 3,491 students and 7,701 course enrollments; approximately 1/5 of the enrollments are in distance learning courses and the remaining students enrolled in traditional face-to-face courses and served as a control group. The study examines a wide variety of parameters, including overall course performance, student satisfaction with the course and the instructor, delivery format for distance learning courses (multimedia, text, multimedia + text), instructor rank, instructor training for distance learning instruction, distance learning platform (WebCT® and WebBoard®), and ease of use of technology. This paper presents the results of this study and how they can be applied to produce improved distance learning courses in the engineering college, in all colleges within NJIT, and at other universities. Among its most significant results, the study highlights the need for instructors to receive training in teaching, learning, and technology; the preference of students for courses that use multiple delivery formats; and the greater student satisfaction at NJIT for courses that use WebCT as their asynchronous learning network platform.
Since offering its first distance learning courses in the 1970’s, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, NJIT, has been a leader in distance learning education. From its inception, NJIT has emphasized the use of computer-mediated communication systems, or asynchronous learning networks (ALNs), as a means to keep distance learning students engaged in their coursework, to promote a sense of community among classmates, and to improve student learning. The first ALN used at NJIT was the Electronic Information Exchange System, EIES1. This system was expanded and modified to make it web-accessible, and became the Virtual Classroom ® system. More recently, NJIT has been using WebCT ® and WebBoard ® as its ALNs for distance learning courses.
NJIT currently offers a wide variety of distance learning courses and programs. Three complete
Carpinelli, J., & Calluori, R., & Briller, V., & Deess, E., & Joshi, K. (2006, June), Factors Affecting Student Performance And Satisfaction In Distance Learning Courses Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--338
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