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ERIC Number: ED552523
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 338
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-3392-8
Factors Affecting Student Success in Distance Learning Courses at a Local California Community College: Joint Governance Perspectives
Gonzalez, Luis A.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara
The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives of staff and faculty regarding factors affecting student success in distance learning at a California community college (CCC). Participants were members of the leadership group known as the distance learning committee. Data were collected through in-depth interviews using open-ended questions. Eight of 10 committee members volunteered to be interviewed for this study. This study identified four categories of factors affecting student success consistent with the literature: Organizational factors (campus and administrator support, user friendly course management systems, infrastructure), student internal factors (student initiative, familiarity with technology, motivation and competence), student external factors (family and work responsibilities), and pedagogical factors (course design, and course delivery). The literature on distance education primarily focuses on pedagogical factors and student internal and external factors affecting student success. Furthermore, the literature primarily addresses distance education "programs". The CCCs in this study does not offer a certificate or degree completely through distance education, but does offer distance learning "courses". This is a critical distinction to consider when examining distance learning courses at the CCCs. The majority of the participants interviewed focused on organizational and student internal factors affecting student success in distance learning. The majority also suggested providing faculty with training on course design and delivery. However, there was a difference of opinion on the implementation of that training. Staff members suggested that the training be mandatory, while faculty members suggested it be "offered" as opposed to mandatory. Additionally, participants stated that students could benefit from participating in a distance learning orientation to better prepare them prior to enrolling in distance learning courses. Finally, another critical observation was that faculty did not tend to focus on pedagogical factors affecting student success. These factors were prominent in the literature but not in the faculty responses. When faculty addressed course design or delivery they addressed it as a need the campus (the organization; hence, organizational factor) should address by offering professional development for the faculty. That this leadership group focused on organizational and student internal factors may have affected how the campus addressed student success in distance learning. Possibly, some critical factors were not getting needed attention from campus administration because the committee did not find them as critical as the organizational and pedagogical factors. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California