ERIC Number: ED452774
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-May
Best Practices and Accreditation Issues in Distance Education.
Chiti, Judith; Karlen, Janice M.
This report presents a review of the literature on the best practices in distance education and the views of accreditation organizations on assessment of distance learning at institutions of higher education. To date there is a good deal of information about how to initiate distance learning courses and some case studies of individual courses at specific institutions, but there is little hard information about best practices or actual costs or profits of these courses. Some suggestions can be derived for creating a successful online community, and these center on prompt responses, profiles of participants, rules for a friendly environment, and providing information about specific discussion topics and the timing of discussions and presentations. A review of the policies of several major accreditation associations and professional groups suggests that a primary concern for evaluative bodies is that the distance education initiative be consistent with the mission and purposes of the institution with evaluative mechanisms in place to assure that programs and courses offered electronically have the same requirements and meet the same outcomes as traditionally offered courses. Accrediting agencies are also concerned with faculty training for distance education, learning resources, student services, and physical and financial resources. The commitment to distance learning goes beyond the effort to provide quality courses in a new environment to a demonstrated commitment to continuous improvement. (SLD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper prepared for the American Association for Higher Education Teaching Learning Technology Roundtable (May 2001).