Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

The Experiences of Students Who Complete in a Successful Distance Learning Course Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/tt44ps361

Descriptions

Attribute NameValues
Creator
Abstract
  • Background: Prior research has shown that distance learning courses have higher failure rates at community colleges then equivalent face-to-face to courses. There are a few programs and courses, however, that consistently achieve completion rates as high as or higher than their equivalent face-to-face courses. The research to date has not focused on these successful courses. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of students in consistently successful distance learning courses. The research questions were: 1. What are the experiences of students who complete in distance learning courses that have exemplary success rates in each of the three categories; (a) category 1, good fit; (b) category 2 strong instructor presence; (c) category 3 strong institutional support? 2. What barriers do they feel they have overcome? 3. What do the students identify as key factors to their success? Setting: Distance learning courses were selected from a large community college with a robust distance learning program. Population: Two years of course completion data (2014-2015 and 2015-2016) were collected from the Institutional Research office. Courses were identified that had completion rates as high as or higher than the equivalent face-to-face courses for the two year period. From this subset, courses were chosen that had the same instructor for both the face-to-face and the distance learning sections and whose instructors were teaching a distance learning section during the term when the research took place. Five courses from different disciplines were selected. Thirteen students from three different courses were chosen through homogenous sampling to be interviewed. The three instructors from these courses were also interviewed. Research Design: A qualitative, collective (three courses) case study design was used in order to explore the experiences of students in a consistently successful distance learning course. Particular focus was on three categories that emerged from the literature review that influence completion; (a) category 1, good fit; (b) category 2 strong instructor presence; (c) category 3 strong institutional support Data Collection and Analysis: Semi-structured, open-ended interviews were conducted in the three categories. Notes were taken and the interviews recorded. The data were coded and categorized and the frequency tracked in each case and then collectively from the three cases. Data were analyzed for patterns in each case and then across the three cases. Efforts were made to triangulate between the students, the instructor and the data in the learning management systems in order to check accuracy. Findings: The themes found across the three cases in good fit were; (a) the students were experienced academically; (b) the students had support of their family or friends or both; and (c) the students considered the course easy due to the content, the pedagogical structure, or having prior knowledge of the course content. The theme found across the three cases in strong instructor presence was robust and timely feedback. There were no themes across the three cases associated with strong institutional support. Conclusions: This research suggests that consistently successful distance learning courses have some commonalities in good fit and strong instructor presence that can be used to help students complete their courses. Students who are thinking about taking a distance course should be advised prior to the start or before the add/drop date about whether taking this course is a good fit for them. Community colleges can help students explore whether they are experienced academically and/or with distance courses, have support from family and/or friends, and consider the course easy due to the content, the pedagogical structure, or having prior knowledge of the course content. Policies that support robust and timely feedback from instructors should also be implemented and supported with good course design.
License
Resource Type
Date Available
Date Issued
Degree Level
Degree Name
Degree Field
Degree Grantor
Commencement Year
Advisor
Committee Member
Academic Affiliation
Non-Academic Affiliation
Keyword
Rights Statement
Publisher
Peer Reviewed
Language
Replaces
Additional Information
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2017-10-23T15:53:25Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2license_rdf: 1379 bytes, checksum: da3654ba11642cda39be2b66af335aae (MD5)SmithSteveJ2017.pdf: 700805 bytes, checksum: 981b2d74f96c37f43f768744e1c29174 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Steven Van Tuyl(steve.vantuyl@oregonstate.edu) on 2017-12-05T20:08:10Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2license_rdf: 1379 bytes, checksum: da3654ba11642cda39be2b66af335aae (MD5)SmithSteveJ2017.pdf: 700805 bytes, checksum: 981b2d74f96c37f43f768744e1c29174 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2017-12-05T20:08:10Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 2license_rdf: 1379 bytes, checksum: da3654ba11642cda39be2b66af335aae (MD5)SmithSteveJ2017.pdf: 700805 bytes, checksum: 981b2d74f96c37f43f768744e1c29174 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Steve Smith (smithst@oregonstate.edu) on 2017-10-21T04:32:27ZNo. of bitstreams: 2license_rdf: 1379 bytes, checksum: da3654ba11642cda39be2b66af335aae (MD5)SmithSteveJ2017.pdf: 700805 bytes, checksum: 981b2d74f96c37f43f768744e1c29174 (MD5)
Embargo reason
  • Existing Confidentiality Agreement
Embargo date range
  • 2018-01-23 to 2018-05-29

Relationships

Parents:

This work has no parents.

In Collection:

Items