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Distance Education Quality: Success Factors for Resources, Practices and Results

Distance Education Quality: Success Factors for Resources, Practices and Results
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Author(s): Cathy Cavanaugh (University of North Florida, USA)
Copyright: 2002
Pages: 19
Source title: The Design and Management of Effective Distance Learning Programs
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Richard Discenza (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA)and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-20-4.ch011


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The current growth in distance education is a result of a convergence of factors. The delivery technology has become more affordable, available, familiar and interactive. With improvements in the technology, distance courses are now more realistic, engaging, inexpensive, and varied. The audience of learners is more experienced and capable with the technology, due to the increased availability of distance education, and they welcome distance learning into their busy lives. Technology-mediated distance education research has matured enough to produce an extensive body of evidence that distance education can be at least as effective as classroom instruction. The exciting convergence that brought about the growth in distance education also presented distance learners with a challenge: how to choose the best distance learning opportunities from the vast catalog of options. Distance learners can easily compare the costs, technical needs, cognitive requirements, and time demands of distance learning courses. Learners are less well equipped to distinguish high quality courses from the offerings. Distance education programs have the responsibility of communicating to students the quality assurance measures they employ, whether the measures consist of in-house practices or accreditation by outside bodies.

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