ERIC Number: ED340335
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Understanding Distance Education: Identifying Barriers to College Attendance.
Hezel, Richard T.; Dirr, Peter J.
In order to determine what constraints lead students to enroll in television-based courses, personal interviews were conducted in the fall of 1989 with students enrolled in at least one telecourse at four institutions, i.e., Governors State University in Illinois, Northern Virginia Community College, Memphis State University in Tennessee, and the University of South Dakoa. Twenty-five students were interviewed at each institution, for a total sample of 100 students. They were asked to rate the importance of and comment on potential barriers to enrolling in on-campus courses, including time, distance, transportation, responsibilities at work, family concerns, and daycare. Analyses of their responses indicate that time rather than distance seems to be the major constraint facing these students. They find that their greatest challenge is managing their limited time in view of competing demands from jobs, families, and other responsibilities. Most of them indicated that interaction with faculty is an important feature of distance education; however, interaction with other students is less important. Computer-based communication through use of electronic mail and computer networks seems to be a feasible approach to providing increased communication between faculty and distance education students, and telecourse students, for the most part, are favorably disposed toward telecourses that would require them to use microcomputers in their homes. They are less inclined to take courses that require the use of computers in the work place, and would resist courses that require them to come to campus or learning centers to use computers, especially if those computers were high-powered workstations. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Annenberg/CPB Project, Washington, DC.; Hezel Associates., Syracuse, NY.