New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Distance education has become the most significant change to the process of teaching and learning in recent decades21. A survey conducted by the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics identified more than 21 million students enrolled in distance education, while almost 3 million were enrolled in graduate courses during the fall of 2012. This research addresses the key success factors for online classes and provides recommendations on actions that institutions can take to improve the quality of online instruction programs. It includes a SWOT analysis to identify challenges and generalize strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities, in managing online graduate construction management courses based on the responses of a sample population. The research is based on the case study of the Master of Construction Management (MCM) program that has been offered online for the past 10 years at East Carolina University. The survey population included construction management educational professionals, current and graduated students, and new industry professionals. Data was collected from 10 survey respondents. Telephone surveys were conducted with two participants. While the relatively small sample size was dictated by cost limitations, the detailed responses provided valuable program information. Students praised online courses for its convenience and portability, while providing a broader world view and technical depth of the construction industry. Educators cited the benefit of additional course enrollment without the obstacles that are faced with enrolling traditional face to face classes. Educators felt the need for strategies to correct negative perceptions about online programs as being of lesser quality than face-to-face classes. The cost of tuition was also cited as being an area for improvement in light of the high cost of student debt. At the same time the cost of course development and delivery was cited as a constraint for some institutions. Commitment by both the institution and the faculty were identified as key success factors in having online programs approach the quality of face-to-face programs.
Keywords SWOT analysis, distance education, online programs, information technology
Ahmed, S. M., & Mahaffy, K. M., & Forbes, L. H., & Robinson-Watts, R. M., & Gregory, A. L. (2016, June), Success Factors in Distance Education: A Case of Master of Construction Management at East Carolina University Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25951
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