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ERIC Number: ED556657
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 180
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-2656-9
Exploring Organizational and Cultural Barriers to Developing Distance Learning
Nadelman, Cindi A.
ProQuest LLC, D.B.A. Dissertation, Northcentral University
Distance learning programs are being developed at many institutions of higher learning as a means of maintaining a competitive advantage. The problem is that college administrators have no reliable methods for predicting the likelihood of success or failure of these newly launched programs. There is a lack of information regarding attitudes and perceptions related to the barriers to implementation of these programs. Organizational culture provides a framework for administrators to make decisions and is determined by individual beliefs and values; however, little is known about the internal cultural barriers to online learning. Ensuring program success requires an understanding of the factors that affect the implementation of distance education. The purpose of this qualitative, single-site case study was to explore the organizational and cultural barriers that arose in the course of the development of distance learning programs at a postsecondary institution. Participants consisted of a purposive sample of 25 staff members from a liberal arts college in New England where distance learning programs were recently implemented. Data were derived from structured interviews and internal reports. Content analysis was used to analyze the data and to categorize findings into themes. This research added to the literature by identifying barriers to the success of distance learning programs at traditional colleges in the context of organizational culture. The results reflect the richness of the data pertaining to the decision-making strategies involved in the creation of online programs and contributed to the understanding of program implementation by providing an evidence-based foundation for improving the chances of successful implementation. Participant responses yielded 10 significant themes: (a) technical expertise, (b) administrative structure, (c) evaluation/effectiveness, (d) organizational change, (e) social interaction and quality, (f) student support services, (g) the threat of technology, (h) access, (i) faculty compensation and time, and (j) legal issues. Recommendations for future research include (a) a case study exploring a college located in a metropolitan area with a larger sample size; (b) use of a mixed-methods, multiple-site research strategy in order to develop a statistical comparison of perceived barriers; and (c) a case study exploring schools located in other geographic regions. [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: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A