ERIC Number: ED304133
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Aug
An Examination of Perceptions and Motivations of Faculty Participating in a Distance Education Project.
Burnham, Byron R.
This evaluation of the LearnerNet Project at Utah State University focuses on teacher reactions to instruction using an expanded syllabus over an electronic system and the effects of such instructional methods on faculty members and their teaching. It is noted that interviewing and qualitative analysis were chosen as the research methods both because the number of instructors involved was small, and because the study describes opinions, judgments, perceptions, and activities. Data from the interviews were categorized, and are discussed in this report as they relate to five major areas: (1) teaching techniques and strategies; (2) perceptions about students and their achievements; (3) perceptions about the electronic delivery system; (4) motivations; and (5) other perceptions. Analyses of the data indicated that the faculty judged the project a success; the distance students learned and generally performed as well as on-campus students; and, even though some of the students were under-prepared, their experience and motivation seemed to overcome such shortcomings. Limitations in the electronic and support systems are also noted. It was also found that faculty were generally pleased with the system's capacity to carry discussions, convey humor, and augment directed learning, but that more preparation was required to provide highly structured learning experiences that would compensate for the limited discussion time and geographic separation. (EW)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Teaching at a Distance Conference (Madison, WI, August 1988).