Survey of Distance Learning The State of Distance Learning

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The State of Distance Learning

in the Colleges and Universities

of the

Council for Christian

Colleges and Universities

May 23, 2005

Table of Contents

The Study 4

The Web Search 4

The Survey 5

Demographics 5

Questions 1 through 5 5

Programs offered 6

Question 6: What level of degree programs do you offer online? 6

Question 7: What degree programs do you offer online? 7

Question 8: What courses do you offer that are not part of an online degree? 8

Question 9: Do you provide web support for face to face classes? 10

Organizational Structure 11

Question 10: How many personnel have been hired to support the above programs? 11

Question 11: How many students do you have enrolled per year? 11

Question 12: The organizational structure for distance learning is? 12

Question 13: What course authoring tool is used for online courses? 12

Question 14: What course authoring tool is used for face to face courses? 13

Question 15: How much online/email help support do you have for students? 13

Question 16: How much help phone support do you have for students? 14

Question 17: How much online/email help support do you have for faculty course development? 14

Question 18: How much phone help support do you have for faculty course development? 15

Question 19: Is your web course offering system integrated with your student management system? 16

Question 21: Is your web course offering system integrated with your student registration system? 16

Question 22: Is your web course offering system: 16

Marketing 18

Question 23. How do you do a market analysis when considering a new program? 18

Question 24. How would you describe your target populations? 18

Question 25a. How do you market your programs and courses once they have been approved and are ready to be offered? 19

Development 20

Question 26. How many personnel are involved in the development of online courses? 20

Question 27: How long does it take to develop one of your online courses? 20

Question 28: How much do you estimate it costs to develop a fully online course? 21

Question 29: What course management system are you using? 22

Question 30: The faculty who teach online courses are: 22

Question 31: Do students pay an additional fee for online courses? 23

Question 32: Is the cost for delivery of online courses 23

Training 24

Question 33: How are faculty trained to teach online? 24

Question 34: How do faculty receive training in the use of the Course Management system? 24

Question 35: How are faculty given experience and training in functioning in an online environment? 24

Question 36: How are faculty given training in how to conduct asynchronous online discussions? 25

Question 37: How are faculty are given training in how to conduct synchronous learning (chat)? 26

Faith & Learning 27

Assessment 28

Question 39: How are student learning out comes assessed for online courses? 28

Question 40: Student satisfaction is assessed for online courses 28

Question 41: What process is in place for the assessment of faculty satisfaction? 29

Question 42: How have assessments been done to compare online and face to face classes? 30

Successes and Challenges 31

Question 43: What major successes have you had in developing or delivering online programs? 31

Question 40: What major challenges have you had to over come while developing or delivering online programs? 32

CCCU support 34

Question 41: In what way could CCCU support distance learning among its membership? 34

Question 43: Is there a need for CCCU to provide a listing of faculty openings? 35

Question 44: Are your online courses open to students from other CCCU schools? 35

Question 45: Are there any final comments you would like to add about your distance learning program? 36

Conclusion 36

The Study

There have been times in history when changes in technology have created a significant change in society and culture. The printing press is a frequently used example of a change in technology that changed the way words were printed on paper. It also changed the rate at which the work could be done, dropped the cost of production and distribution but also the availability of the information to a different segment of society. The fact that the content of what was being printed became directly connected with the Christian church, did away with an intermediary level of interpretations and allowed the common person to read, understand and evaluate scripture. This played an integral part in the reformation of the Christian church both in how the church used the technology and how the technology changed the culture of the church, including its educational mission.

We frequently hear that the internet is dramatically changing the amount, availability and rate of distribution of information. It could be debated whether this is for good or for evil with evidence found on both sides. An example is the recent distribution of images by military personnel during war has leaped over news correspondents and military intelligence with political and cultural impact. A useful line of questioning could be how this internet technology is affecting Christian higher education. There are multiple aspects of this line of questioning relating to the purpose for which this technology is being used, how it is being used and what effect the technology is having on the culture of the institutions. What programs are being offered and how do they fit with the mission of the university? Are the target populations of the institutions changing? Have these changes created new roles and personnel positions leading to changes in the structure of the organization? How are personnel trained and evaluated? Is there an impact on the faith and learning commitment and process in this new educational venue?
The purpose of this study was to determine the state of Distance Learning in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) member schools. The problem to be addressed was the lack of information about the type of distance learning initiatives that are being pursued by the members of the CCCU. This project was made up of two parts, the one being a web site search of the 114 members listed on the CCCU website. The second part was a survey sent out to CCCU contact email addresses. The first part was to determine which schools were offering distance learning. The second part was to determine more detailed information about the practices and experiences of those working in distance learning.

The Web Search

A search was conducted of the web sites of each of the 114 members listed on the CCCU website. From the member list the URL of the institution was obtained. Using an advanced search feature of Google, a search was done of the specified URL of the institution using the keywords Distance and Online. If no reference to distance or online learning were found in the first 5 pages of hits, it was assumed that the institution was not offering that type of learning experience. If no reference was found and an online PDF version of the catalog was available, it was downloaded and searched for the same terms using the search function in the Acrobat Reader. Using this combined method, 43 of the 114 institutions (38%) were found to have some offerings online. A listing of the results of this search may be found in Appendix A at the end of this document. Appendix B contains this same list broken down by the type of program rather than by school.

The Survey

This survey is a cooperative venture of the CCCU, the CCCU Commission on Technology. The survey was developed and distributed by Bruce D. Simmerok, Ph.D. from Azusa Pacific University using The survey consisted of 49 items covering the following areas: Demographics, Programs Offered, Organizational Structure, Marketing, Delivery, Training, Faith & Learning, Assessment, Successes and Challenges, and CCCU support. While a great deal more information would have been desirable to request, a balance had to be maintained between desired useful information and the length of the survey. It was decided to collect some information regarding a number of known critical areas of Distance Learning rather than asking for in-depth information in one or two areas.


Questions 1 through 5

The initial questions were information about the name of the institution, person in charge, URL, email address and phone number for follow-up.

A total of 131 emails were sent to CCCU schools in the United States and Canada. A total of 45 schools responded to the survey for a return of 34%. The following are the results of the responses to the survey.

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