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Learner Perceptions of Online Courses

Learner Perceptions of Online Courses
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Author(s): Marc R. Robinson (Next Generation Learning, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch192


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The debate about learner perceptions of online courses can be divided roughly into two spheres: those that argue that learner perceptions are influenced mainly by instructor quality, and those that argue that learner perceptions are more affected by course design quality (Ortiz-Rodríguez, Telg, Irani, Roberts & Rhoades, 2005). These divergent views may mirror a shift in research literature away from an instructor focus and toward a student focus – labeled as either a learner, learning, or engagement focus (Ennis-Cole & Lawhorn, 2004; Palloff & Pratt, 2007, and Rice, 2006). This also reflects emerging research (e.g., Jackson, 2007, Palloff & Pratt, 2007, and Wilson, 2007) which indicates that the instructor’s role is changing from being the sole expert responsible for designing, developing, and teaching the class – the “sage on the stage” model – toward a team-based approach where the instructor assists in designing a course with a team and acts as a facilitator for the learners – the “guide on the side” model.

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