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Questions for the Student Evaluation of Distance Courses

Questions for the Student Evaluation of Distance Courses
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Author(s): Martha Henckell (Southeast Missouri State University, USA), Michelle Kilburn (Southeast Missouri State University, USA) and David Starrett (Southeast Missouri State University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 5
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.ch254


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Different aspects of education have been evaluated by the government since 1897 (Patton, 1997). Educators have also adopted this means to collect information in order to make better decisions. The complexity of data collection makes this task much more difficult than it may appear. One of the biggest problems associated with evaluations has to do with questions; answers are only as good as the questions asked (Tricker, et al., 2001). Unfortunately, traditional student evaluations, with their focus strictly on traditional course features, are often the instrument used to evaluate distance courses (Achtemeier, et al., 2003). Course improvement and the quality of higher education distance programs can be affected by the use of an evaluation tool that does not fit the diverse setting of a distance learning environment (Griffin, et al., 2003). Differences in traditional and distance education approaches will be identified and used to develop topics for student evaluation questions in the following sections.

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