ERIC Number: ED464231
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
Going the Distance: Are There Common Factors in High Performance Distance Learning? Research Report.
Hawksley, Rosemary; Owen, Jane
Common factors among high-performing distance learning (DL) programs were examined through case studies at 9 further education colleges and 2 nonsector organizations in the United Kingdom and a backup survey of a sample of 50 distance learners at 5 of the colleges. The study methodology incorporated numerous principles of process benchmarking. The study established that, in terms of planning, monitoring, and managing provision, good practice for DL has much in common with good practice for any program delivered through other modes of attendance. The data strongly suggested a correlation between meeting quality criteria in the planning, resourcing, and supporting of DL programs and the successful outcomes achieved by learners and the DL organization itself. The following factors were identified as critical success factors for DL: (1) integration of program planning, monitoring, management, and resources; (2) a good understanding of the DL operation's costs; (3) tutor and other contact with learners; (4) pre-entry guidance; (5) well-established procedures for selecting learning materials and monitoring their use; and (6) procedures to obtain customer feedback and a process to incorporate feedback survey results into future program planning. (The DL provider questionnaire and background summary are appended, along with the student questionnaire. Contains 19 references.) (MN)
Descriptors: Benchmarking, Case Studies, Data Collection, Delivery Systems, Distance Education, Educational Counseling, Educational Planning, Educational Practices, Educational Quality, Feedback, Foreign Countries, Instructional Materials, Interaction, Outcomes of Education, Performance Factors, Postsecondary Education, Program Administration, Program Costs, Program Effectiveness, Questionnaires, Student Attitudes, Student Surveys, Success, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Student Relationship, Teacher Surveys
Learning and Skills Development Agency, Regent Arcade House, 19-25 Argyll Street, London W1F 7LS, England, United Kingdom (Ref. No. 1225; free). Tel: 020 7297 9000; Fax: 020 7297 9001; Web site: http://www.lsda.org.uk/home.asp. For full text: http://www.lsda.org.uk/files/PDF/1225.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Learning and Skills Development Agency, London (England).; National Extension Coll., Cambridge (England).
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom