Does Policy Make a Difference? An Exploration into Policies for Distance Education

January 15, 2003

The study focuses on the impact of various policies (e.g., faculty compensation, workload, intellectual property, geographic service areas) on distance education enrollment growth. Five cases were developed based on data submitted in response to a survey sent to institutions that are members of the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications. The cases provide greater appreciation for the complex role played by funding, the marketplace, and policies. The discussion presents a framework for understanding why policies may, or may not, influence faculty behavior as well as alternatives institutions may wish to consider when contemplating changing these policies.

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