The development of an instrument to assess student opinions of the quality of distance education
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In the past decade, there has been an enormous growth of distance education courses and programs in higher education. However, the potential of distance education is tempered by one overriding question: How do you ensure that distance education coursework and degrees are of high quality? The purpose of this study is threefold: (1) to identify quality indicators of distance education; (2) to provide implications of the identified quality indicators for health education researchers and practitioners; and, (3) to develop an instrument to assess student opinions of the quality of distance education. Dillman's (2000) steps of pretesting and the instrument development framework in the Standards (1999) were used, and data were collected from students enrolled in four health education on-line courses during the Spring 2006 semester at Texas A&M University. MPlus (Muthen & Muthen, 2002) was used to conduct reliability and validity analyses of the instrument. The results of the study revealed common benchmarks and quality indicators that all parties deem important in designing, implementing and evaluating distance education courses and programs. Additionally, an instrument was produced that resulted in both valid and reliable scores.
Chaney, Elizabeth Hensleigh (2006). The development of an instrument to assess student opinions of the quality of distance education. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from