ERIC Number: ED335023
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
A Qualitative Study of Teachers' Planning of Instruction for Adult Learners in a Telecommunications-based Distance Education Environment.
Wolcott, Linda L.
This qualitative study investigated how 11 full-time university faculty members planned live instruction for adult learners in a telecommunications-based distance education setting. All of the subjects had taught the same courses in a traditional setting and had experience teaching distance courses. Students at 8-11 sites in Utah and Colorado were linked with live instruction from a classroom at a state university in Utah. Instruction was delivered via two-way audio and one-way still image video signals via telephone lines; daily UPS deliveries were used for the submission and return of assignments and tests. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews, observation of class sessions in the originating classroom, and analysis of planning documents and journals prepared by the teachers. Three features were found to characterize the preactive planning process: (1) faculty engaged in course or term planning as a front-end activity; (2) planning was driven by content and centered on the selection and sequencing of subject matter; and (3) distance planning focused on the development of an extended syllabus. Factors that influenced planning included time constraints; the medium of delivery; and faculty beliefs, attitudes, and concerns about the nature and conduct of instruction. It is noted that the resulting courses were retrofitted rather than redesigned, and the paper concludes by suggesting that differences between face-to-face instruction and the distance education environment should be taken into account when planning for instruction in non-traditional settings with non-traditional learners. (25 references) (BBM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of Selected Research Presentations at the Annual Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology; see IR 015 132.