ERIC Number: ED210000
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Distance University Students' Perceptions of the Influences on Their Study.
Dodds, Agnes E.; And Others
Perceptions of Australian students studying independently at a distance regarding factors influencing their external studies were compared with attitudes of campus-based students. The 53 distance students and 51 on-campus students were enrolled in three social and political theory courses at Murdoch University. The mean age of the external students was 33 years, with a range from 22 to 57, while the mean age of on-campus students was 26 years, with a range from 17 to 44. Responses were obtained to objective questions and by written open-ended advice to two hypothetical prospective external students. In both sets of responses, students identified family, job and life circumstances as major influences on their university work. The expressed advantages of external study were self-reliance and finances, while disadvantages were related to access to the library and understanding what academics expected. The students expressed preference for studying on campus or by the combination of campus and external courses that was available at the university. It is suggested that the opportunity to work in a mixed mode combination at Murdoch University allows a student to work out a personal adjustment around the perceived advantages and disadvantages of external study. Campus attendance for a limited number of selected courses gives access to university resources that can be applied to courses studied at home. The mixed mode enables students to exercise choice and to fit studies with the contexts of their life circumstances. A bibliography is appended. (SW)
Descriptors: Access to Education, College Students, Comparative Analysis, Extension Education, External Degree Programs, Family Life, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Individual Needs, Nontraditional Students, On Campus Students, Student Adjustment, Student Attitudes, Student College Relationship, Student Employment, Student Needs
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Murdoch Univ., Western Australia (Australia).
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Australia; Murdoch University (Australia)