Analysis of distance learner value assessment of distance education in engineering

Agdas, Duzgun, Washington, Simon, Ellis, Ralph D., Agdas, Sevcan, & Dickrell, Pamela (2014) Analysis of distance learner value assessment of distance education in engineering. Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, 140(1), 04013001.

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Abstract

Numerous research studies have evaluated whether distance learning is a viable alternative to traditional learning methods. These studies have generally made use of cross-sectional surveys for collecting data, comparing distance to traditional learners with intent to validate the former as a viable educational tool. Inherent fundamental differences between traditional and distance learning pedagogies, however, reduce the reliability of these comparative studies and constrain the validity of analyses resulting from this analytical approach. This article presents the results of a research project undertaken to analyze expectations and experiences of distance learners with their degree programs. Students were given surveys designed to examine factors expected to affect their overall value assessment of their distance learning program. Multivariate statistical analyses were used to analyze the correlations among variables of interest to support hypothesized relationships among them. Focusing on distance learners overcomes some of the limitations with assessments that compare off- and on-campus student experiences. Evaluation and modeling of distance learner responses on perceived value for money of the distance education they received indicate that the two most important influences are course communication requirements, which had a negative effect, and course logistical simplicity, which revealed a positive effect. Combined, these two factors accounted for approximately 47% of the variability in perceived value for money of the educational program of sampled students. A detailed focus on comparing expectations with outcomes of distance learners complements the existing literature dominated by comparative studies of distance and nondistance learners.

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1 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 69743
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: HERN, Structural Equation Modelling, Distance Learning, Value Assessment
DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)EI.1943-5541.0000166
ISSN: 1943-5541
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 02 Apr 2014 23:17
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2015 06:03

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