Quality in Distance Education: Focus on On-Line Learning

Synopsis

Breaking through the myths and misunderstandings surrounding web-based learning, this book focuses on the particular characteristics of on-line education, a distance learning technology that can enhance on-campus courses as well. Drawing from her own experience as director of distance learning and technology at the University and Community College System of Nevada, author Katrina A Meyer examines the need to evaluate web-based learning on its own terms. She presents several examples of measures for quality web-based learning, and argues for the next phase of research in the field to focus on which technology works with which student and which learning objective in which discipline and why. With a synthesis of the emerging body of literature and research on web-based learning, Meyer highlights creative approaches to quantitative and qualitative studies and acknowledges the serious and balanced personal insights that researchers are developing for this fast growing form of learning. She delivers compelling reasons why one cannot evaluate the use of technology separate from the instructional uses made of it and argues that basic human psychology is the key to unlocking our relationship with the web. As a rapidly developing, ever-changing mode of learning, on-line education challenges academic researchers to continually question their assumptions and renew their attention to student learning. This book is a valuable tool to assist educators in achieving that goal.