ERIC Number: ED385311
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-May
Reference Count: N/A
Future Learning: Distance Education in Community Colleges. ERIC Digest.
The use of distance learning programs at the postsecondary level is expected to grow throughout the 1990s, with much of the growth taking place in community colleges. As of 1994, 80% of community colleges offered some form of distance education (DE) programs. A 1992 national survey of DE practices reported that broadcast television was the most widely used technology, while a 1990 survey reported that 63% of responding community colleges relied on public television, 49% used educational channels, and 4% offered videotape checkout. Other DE programs are synchronous in nature, using live interactive instruction, audio conferences, and real-time computer communications. A profile of DE students developed in 1988 indicated that, in general, they were over 26 years of age, highly motivated, goal-oriented, and unable to attend the traditional classroom setting. With respect to student outcomes, two studies on distance education from 1992 and 1993 found no significant difference in grade point averages between distance and traditional students, though evidence did exist that course completion rates were higher in traditional sections. Another important issue in implementing DE is that low-income and minority students may not have access to the technology and may be locked out of the programs. One of the greatest challenges facing the widespread implementation of DE programs, however, are faculty who are concerned about the impact of technology on their roles, intellectual property rights, fair compensation, decline in quality due to canned courses, and preserving human contact. (Contains 13 references.) (KP)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; Reports - Descriptive; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse for Community Colleges, Los Angeles, CA.