Developing and Managing a Multi-Modal Distance Learning Program in the Two-Year College
Chattanooga State Technical Community College (CSTCC), in Tennessee, offers distance learning courses through Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS) broadcast, through broadcasts of a local public television affiliate station, and through video cassette checkout/mailout. By the end of fiscal year 1991-92, over 2,500 students had enrolled in the college's 49 distance learning courses. The majority of them were working adults seeking degrees or specialized training, students planning to transfer to four-year institutions, and homebound students or other shut-ins. Of the distance learning courses, 7 were taught by ITFS, 6 were broadcast over public television, and 36 were delivered through videocassettes. CSTCC's experience suggests that the following factors are crucial to a successful distance education program: involving faculty in program development; training faculty in instructional telecommunications; allowing faculty to practice with live interactive distance teaching; providing faculty with support, released time, and other resources; humanizing outreach to students through the use of letters and phone calls; giving prompt feedback to students; and providing students with special help with problematic assignments. In surveys of CSTCC's distance learners, 89.2% were either satisfied or very satisfied with the course, and between 93% and 98% rated instruction as adequate to excellent. Since 1985, 63.4% of CSTCC's distance learners successfully completed their courses. For the last 2 fiscal years, the college's distance learning program has generated three dollars for every dollar spent. (PAA)
Hyatt, S.Y. Developing and Managing a Multi-Modal Distance Learning Program in the Two-Year College.