Faculty perceptions of accessibility and quality of college graduate programs offered via Internet
Joseph Turney Baxter, The University of Alabama, United States
The University of Alabama . Awarded
The purpose for conducting this study was to measure faculty perceptions of accessibility and quality of college graduate programs offered via Internet. Current literature revealed that the number of colleges offering college credit courses via distance education is increasing. In particular, educational use of the Internet to deliver courses and course materials is on the rise. This study attempted to determine whether faculty teaching graduate courses delivered via Internet perceived those courses to be of high quality and to provide additional accessibility to potential graduate students.
This study utilized the snowballing technique to produce a nationally gathered sample of college faculty who have taught graduate courses using the Internet as the primary delivery medium. The process produced a sample of 64 potential respondents who were surveyed electronically to determine their perceptions of quality and accessibility of graduate education delivered via Internet. This study was exploratory and descriptive in nature.
A one-way ANOVA was used to determine whether significant differences existed among perceptions of faculty toward access and quality based on perceived environmental characteristic preference. Environmental characteristics include teaching/learning culture, course/program administration, instructional quality, learner involvement, and course delivery. The Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance test was used to determine whether differences existed between tenure status and the faculty's perceptions of quality and accessibility of graduate courses offered via Internet.
Several findings were reported. There were no perceived differences among any of the environmental factors regarding quality or accessibility of graduate programs offered via Internet. Further, there were no perceived differences between tenured and nontenured faculty in either quality or accessibility. However, a majority of those faculty responding to the survey were in agreement that graduate courses offered via Internet were of good quality and generally made graduate education more accessible. When these same individuals were asked whether they considered themselves to be adequately prepared to teach graduate courses via Internet, an overwhelming majority answered affirmatively. A total of 18 different areas of research were reported to be important areas of research in the next decade, with student learning being the most frequently reported by the respondents.
Baxter, J.T. Faculty perceptions of accessibility and quality of college graduate programs offered via Internet. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Alabama. Retrieved March 21, 2019 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/121083/.
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