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Distance Learning - Essay Example

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Summary to essay on topic "Distance Learning"
One major consequence of the remarkable technological surge was the rapid development of computer-mediated distance learning at the higher education level. A survey carried out by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) seven years ago demonstrated that from 1994-95 to 1997-98 the number of distance education degree programs increased by 72 percent, while 20 percent of the institutions surveyed planned to establish distance education programs within the next three years…
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Distance Learning
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Download file "Distance Learning" to see previous pages... The online enrollment estimations made in the late 1990s have been exceeded and continues to grow at amazingly high rates. Thus, the number of online students reached 2.6 million in the fall of 2004 (Allen, and Seaman, 2004). Despite the tremendous success of distance technology-mediated learning (this term covers not only fully online courses,
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but also various blended approaches that integrate online components into traditional classes), experts suggests that it still remains at an early stage of development (Smart, and Cappel, 2006).
The conventional concepts and theories of education were reported to retain their suitability in the web-based learning environment. Numerous research studies demonstrated that cognitive factors such as performance, learning, and achievement in distance education classes are comparable to those observed in traditional classes (Russell, 1999). ...
s enrolled in an introductory psychology course performed better in distance education courses, although the level of their satisfaction with them was lower. Students in the web based course consistently scored an average of five percentage points higher on the final exam than did those in the lecture course, but they consistently reported less satisfaction than the students in the lecture course (Hagel, and Shaw, 2003).
Student satisfaction is currently believed to be one of the major indicators of student development in conventional higher education. The mission of higher education is not only to impart knowledge but also to enhance the student's total development (Astin, 1993). One of the ways higher education institutions accomplish this mission is by continuously collecting information on student satisfaction, defined by various authors as an "everpresent campus variable" (Betz, Menne, Starr, and Klingensmith, 1971: 99), the key outcome of higher education (Astin, 1993), and the 'quality enhancement tool designed to improve the quality of the student experience' (Harvey, Plimmer, Moon, and Geall, 1997: 3). Traditionally, the institutions of higher education have used the data on student satisfaction to improve understanding of the educational environments. This understanding, it its turn, allowed to create settings more conducive for student development.
Student satisfaction is an indicator of higher education institutions' responsiveness to the needs of students. Also it is a measure of institutional effectiveness, success, and vitality. Measuring student satisfaction is also important for maintaining and increasing enrollment, managing attrition and retention problems, and making better-informed decisions in the area of student affairs (Beltyukova, 2002). ...Download file "Distance Learning" to see next pagesRead More
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