ERIC Number: EJ924383
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 67
Development and Validation of an Instrument for Assessing Distance Education Learning Environments in Higher Education: The Distance Education Learning Environments Survey (DELES)
Walker, Scott L.; Fraser, Barry J.
Learning Environments Research, v8 n3 p289-308 Nov 2005
The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a new learning environments instrument designed to aid investigators and practitioners in measuring and researching the psychosocial learning environment in post-secondary distance education. Using a three-stage approach, the Distance Education Learning Environments Survey (DELES) was developed, field-tested with 680 distance education students, and then validated. The DELES has 34 items allocated to six scales: (1) Instructor Support; (2) Student Interaction and Collaboration; (3) Personal Relevance; (4) Authentic Learning; (5) Active Learning; and (6) Student Autonomy. An additional scale of Enjoyment was included in this study to explore associations between the psychosocial learning environment and student affective traits. Each learning environment item had a factor loading of at least 0.50 with its own scale, and less than 0.50 with all other scales. The alpha reliability coefficient for each scale ranged from 0.75 to 0.94. Simple correlations between Enjoyment and the DELES scales ranged from 0.12 to 0.31, with the scale of Personal Relevance having the strongest correlation with Enjoyment when all other scales were mutually controlled. The DELES, an online instrument that can be utilized by students at any location, eliminates data transfer errors and does not allow for non-responses, adding to the overall validity of the instrument. The development of DELES relied extensively on literature pertaining to high-quality distance education and expert content validation techniques. It treats distance learning as having a distinct social-psychological climate unlike those found in other post-secondary classroom environments.
Descriptors: Distance Education, Test Reliability, Active Learning, Educational Environment, Test Construction, Surveys, Test Validity, Postsecondary Education, Computer Uses in Education, Educational Technology, Teacher Role, Teacher Student Relationship, Interaction, Cooperation, Peer Relationship, Relevance (Education), Personal Autonomy, Psychological Patterns, Student Characteristics, Affective Behavior, Correlation, College Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A