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  • 1. A Case Study Comparing Teaching Strategies and Student Learning Outcomes Between On Campus and Distance Courses at a Midwest University Mary Jo Davis December 7, 2005
  • 2. Distance Learning-Is It An Improvement to Learning or a New Challenge for Students
    • Growth and new technologies will cause exponential growth in both online and distance opportunities in the next few years
    • What are the challenges for professors who want to teach an web, remote, or learning package course
    • Who are the typical DL students
    • What challenges face this new learning group when re-entering the world of education
    • How can the process of higher education improve and insure the success of distance learners in the future
  • 3. 1. Introduction
  • 4. Technology is transforming education
    • 56% of all 2 and 4 year institutions had online programs in 2001-2002
    • Estimated that over 68% will have programs by 2005
    • Less than 25% of today’s college students are in the traditional 18-25 age bracket
    • It is predicted that higher education in the future will have traditional facilities, online facilities or a blend of the two
    • National Center for Educational Study, 2001-2002
  • 5. 2. Literature Review
  • 6. Trends found in existing research
    • Instructor Perspective
    • Instructors must use technology as supplement to course work, not as substitute for it
    • Instructional designer must keep in mind adult learning styles
    • When designing for virtual classroom, instructors must effectively manage student interaction with the classroom and each other
    • Instructors must wear three “hats” to be effective designers/instructors in the distance classroom
      • Technological hat
      • Pedagogy hat
      • Social hat
  • 7. Trends in existing research (con’t)
    • Student Perspective
    • Students in the DL class must be prepared for various challenges
      • Must be self-starting, highly motivated student
      • Learn to ignore multiple outside distractions
      • Lack of visual communication cues that hamper effective communication
    • Students should not view web content as excuse to not attend class, in remote site classrooms
    • Don’t be afraid to ask questions
    • Bring your own life experiences to the classroom to enrich the learning experience-help to connect lessons with real life
  • 8. 3. Methodology
  • 9. Professor/Instructor Interviews
    • Professors chosen for interview were from all three DL class formats at the university studied: online, remote site, and learning package
    • Interview protocol was designed to measure key issues in course format & design, teaching styles, and several other categories
    • Semi-structured interviews were held to focus on questions and also allow for free flow of ideas and opinions
    • Results of taped interview sessions were transcribed, tabulated, and common issues were listed in table form, including demographic data about professors teaching history in DL classrooms
  • 10. Students Surveyed
    • Three sections of the same on campus course were surveyed for their opinions of technology and learning-84 students total were surveyed
    • On campus survey results were tabulated and trends discussed in the paper, although a direct comparison to opinions of DL students was not possible
    • On campus results were also compared to the professor’s opinions of technological challenges faced by DL students for comparison to on campus students views
    • Access to DL students was not available for this study
  • 11. 4. Discussion of Results
  • 12. Professor Interview Results
    • History of teaching in DL environment ranged from less than 1 year to 9 years plus
    • Most professors utilize web content in both their on campus and off campus courses, even in other countries which pose even more teaching/learning challenges
    • Identified common challenges for students
      • Time Management
      • Attendance issues
      • Low course completion rates
      • Outside obligations & distractions
      • Personality traits/learning styles that affect success
      • Shortened class format
      • Information overload
      • Hesitation to ask questions
  • 13. On Campus Survey Results
    • Eighty four on campus students were surveyed in a 200 level course
    • Majority of students in this course were between the age of 18-25
    • Most were taking the course as a required course for their major
    • Over half of the on campus students felt the Blackboard classroom is easy to navigate and felt it had little to some effect on their success in the classroom
    • Over two thirds of the on campus students have access to a high speed Internet connection either at their residence or on campus
  • 14. 5. Limitations of study
  • 15. Limitations to Professor Interviews
    • Would have been beneficial to interview a larger pool of professors yielding more data for comparison
    • In order to survey a larger bank of instructors, more long distance interviews would need to be done
    • Important to focus on various formats of DL opportunities available
    • May improve data and study validity if would include instructors from other educational facilities
  • 16. Limitations to Student Surveys
    • Needed to survey/interview DL students, and should have explored the difficulties with access before including them in original research design
    • The lack of access to DL students curtailed ability to compare on campus to off campus students
    • May have gotten more varied responses if survey had been administered to a 300 or 400 level course
    • Wider range of courses surveyed may have provided more variation in responses to questions
    • More responses would lead to higher validity of the study
  • 17. VI. Contributions
  • 18. Contributions of this study
    • Provided a “snapshot” of current DL programs at the Midwest university studied
    • Identified key strategies for professors to modify course design to improve student learning
    • Identified leading challenges facing current DL students
    • Identified other obstacles to successful distance learning
    • Study could be used to educate potential DL students so they can be wise consumers when choosing the educational format for any future Distance Learning endeavors
  • 19. Questions ? ? ?