ERIC Number: ED468454
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-May
Reference Count: N/A
Identifying the Needs of Adult Women in Distance Learning Programs.
A study examined reasons that adult female students are motivated to enroll in distance learning programs, described their perceptions of the courses, and identified barriers these women face as they attempt to progress through their degree programs. Results of focus groups with 40 returning adult women were analyzed. Their needs were grouped into these five general categories: needs involving communication with instructors; needs surrounding interactions with other students; needs involving support services provided by the campus; and personal needs, including support of spouses, family members, and employers. Themes from focus groups were then used to develop an online survey that was administered to 400 men and women enrolled in online courses. Findings suggested women return to college primarily for job-related reasons and deliberately select programs delivered via distance education because of the convenience of online courses and other types of distance education courses delivered at sites near their homes. Although, in general, students were satisfied with these programs and the programs appeared to enable women to balance school, work, and family demands, in some areas distance education programs still fell short of meeting student needs and expectations. Concerns were lack of feedback from instructors, lack of technical support, and inadequate advisement and student services. (Contains 22 references.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Adult Education, Adult Students, Computer Mediated Communication, Distance Education, Education Work Relationship, Educational Research, Family School Relationship, Females, Focus Groups, Needs Assessment, Student Attitudes, Student Educational Objectives, Student Needs, Student Personnel Services, Student Surveys
For full text: http://www.coe.uga.edu/hsp/monographs2/bowe.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI.
Authoring Institution: Georgia Univ., Athens. Dept. of Adult Education.
Note: In: R. M. Cervero, B. C. Courtenay, and C. H. Monaghan, Comps. The Cyril O. Houle Scholars in Adult and Continuing Education Program Global Research Perspectives: Volume 2. University of Georgia, 2002. p82-89.