Factors in High Quality Distance Learning Courses

July 26, 2013

The purpose of this paper is to examine factors that contribute to high quality distance learning courses and how to overcome barriers to offering them. For the purposes of this report, high quality equates to courses that receive high scores on student satisfaction surveys and other benchmarks that measure student performance.

Corry (2008) suggests there are several major components to consider when evaluating the quality of a distance learning course which are: “(1) course design, (2) content, (3) the instructor and (4) support systems” (p. 1). Corry’s (2008) framework provides an excellent means by which to begin evaluating the research because most any component of a distance learning course falls into one of these four categories. In a separate report by Husson (2002) on quality measures in distance learning, we find a similar framework which suggests course development, faculty, assessment, support services, and technology (p. 253-259). “When issues of quality are raised regarding Internet-based distance learning, the answers continuously come back to recognizing the needs of students and finding effective ways to facilitate the learning process” (Husson, 2002, p. 260).

The research by Corry (2008) and Husson (2002) generally qualify the areas that deserve focus when evaluating online courses and provide a framework on which this paper is based.

Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration

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