Research and Evaluation Needs for Distance Education: A Delphi Study

April 1, 2003

Distance education established its roots as a form of instruction at least 150 years ago as correspondence study (Holmberg, 1986). With the

advancements in telecommunications technologies, distance learning programs rapidly expanded so distance education is now defined as “the

acquisition of knowledge and skills through mediated information and instruction, encompassing all technologies and other forms of learning at a distance” (United States Distance Learning Association,1998).

As policy makers need to make wise philosophical and policy decisions about using distance education, they are asking for research and evaluation about the distance learning process. Therefore, distance educators were asked to participate in a Delphi study to identify and rank future research and evaluation needs/issues. Four themes emerged:

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