Distance learning is on the rise but it is not readily accepted by people. Roberts, Irani, Lundy, & Telg (2003) claim there has been a lack of systematic evaluation research focusing on distance education courses. Since this article Dr. Kelsey has research information currently in press regarding evaluating online programs. Dr. Kelsey teaches advanced methods in qualitative research at OSU. Dr. D'Souza from Wichita State was more difficult to find information about. I am assuming he still is Director of Research and Development for TRiO Programs.
I love how the researcher's in the Student Motivation article used Creswell, Yin, and Merriam. I have not heard of ATLAS.ti...has anyone heard of it who is reading this blog? If so, please fill me in. I have not heard of Patton or Stake either, yet I would not have heard of the other three authors if I was not enrolled in the JDP.
Still, this is so interesting because we have the same issues arising in the JDP that were problems in their research. "Faculty members felt bothered by having to ignore the on-campus students' needs while meeting remote students' needs, or vice-versa, or dealing with technology failures." This is unfortunate because it is difficult that all students' needs be met. I do not agree with the faculty member who stated that in class students should get preferred treatment. Each and every student is important. Do the distance students feel less important? They should not. They pay the same fees, attend the same lectures, and write the same papers. If anything, I feel the distance learners are somewhat at a disadvantage because they can't have the feeling of the camaraderie that in class students feel. Nonetheless, I do not believe they are shorted academically and we still have social meeting times.
I love that "the case study pointed to several questions for future research. Are distance education students really interested in interacting with other students enrolled in the same course? Do faculty members have enough training and expertise to modify the curriculum and methods of instructions to suit distance education needs? Does evaluation of such programs lead to an improvement in the program? " The answers seem clear - yes, students do want to interact; no, faculty members do need more training - this is new to them too!; Evaluation always gives time to reflect and hopefully improve. I can't wait to read Kelsey's new research!