ERIC Number: ED450673
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
Distance Learning: Academic and Political Challenges for Higher Education Accreditation. CHEA Monograph Series 2001, Number 1.
Eaton, Judith S.
Distance learning challenges the academic work of colleges and universities as well as the politics of self-regulation. This, in turn, places significant responsibility on the accrediting community in two ways. First, accreditors must take the initiative in defining the differences in teaching and learning that distance learning brings in order to sustain the quality of the higher education experience. Distance-based teaching and learning must respond to similar expectations of quality that are comparable, even if they are not identical, to the expectations that have such a long and respected tradition in the site-based community. Attention to student achievement is central to these efforts. Second, accreditors must attend to the bond of trust that has been created with government, that in exchange for assurance about quality through voluntary accreditation, government honors the principle of self-regulation and institutional autonomy. This needs to be accompanied by attending to the public's growing demand for reliable information about quality. The five responsibilities for institutions and accreditors outlined in this essay can go a long way toward meeting the challenge of distance learning to both the nature of academic work and the politics of institutional self-regulation. (Contains 34 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Washington, DC.