ERIC Number: ED469341
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Oct-24
Quality and Equality in Internet-Based Higher Education: Benchmarks for Success.
Merisotis, Jamie P.
The Institute for Higher Education Policy reviewed the research on quality and equality in Internet-based higher education and found a relative paucity of original research dedicated to explaining or predicting phenomena related to distance learning. The research that does exist has tended to emphasize student outcomes for individual courses, rather than a whole academic program. The research does not address the question of dropout rates or how learning styles relate to the use of particular technologies. The research does not include a theoretical or conceptual framework, nor does it consider the effectiveness of "digital libraries." The Institute developed benchmarks for Internet-based distance learning drawing on the limited research available and a case study that consisted of three sequential phases: a literature review, the identification of institutions with experience in Internet-based distance education, and a survey of six such institutions. The outcome was a list of 24 benchmarks, attached to this document as an appendix. The development of this list of benchmarks has resulted in the formulation of three recommendations for Internet-based distance education: (1) proceed cautiously with efforts to apply a governmental imprimatur on Web-based higher education; (2) find ways to strengthen the impact technology may have on equal educational opportunity, especially institutions that serve large numbers of underrepresented students; and (3) ground government policies in standards of quality that are based on what works, such as the proposed benchmarks. (SLD)
Descriptors: Benchmarking, Distance Education, Educational Quality, Equal Education, Higher Education, Internet, Online Courses
For full text: http://www.ihep.com/Organization/UNESCO.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute for Higher Education Policy, Washington, DC.
Note: Keynote address presented at the UNESCO European Centre for Higher Education and the University of Puerto Rico in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Council on Higher Education and the Hispanic Educational Telecommunications System International Seminar (San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 22-24, 2001.)