In spite of the increase in the number of Distance Learning Programs (DLP) offered by higher education institutions, not all programs have been successful. Successful programs use different types of media resources for instructional delivery. An understanding of the factors affecting decisions related to the type and number of teaching media resources used in successful DLP could provide valuable information not only to those two-year colleges currently offering DLP but also to those planning to offer them in the future. Unfortunately, the majority of the research efforts done in the past focused on DLP in four-year colleges and universities and not on two-year community colleges. Information on the key factors affecting these decisions from the two-year college perspective could help them in budgeting and planning new or enhanced distance learning programs, make an efficient allocation of resources and also give hints on how to improve the competitiveness of the college in a rapidly growing industry. Limited Dependent Variable models were used in this study to analyze quality, technology and experience as factors affecting these decisions made by two-year colleges. It was found that the set of statistically significant factors affecting the decision to use a specific type of media used is not the same for each type of media. It could also be noted that these factors affect differently the decision to use a given number of teaching media resources.
Quality, Technology, Experience and the Use of Media Resources in Distance Learning Programs by Two-Year Community Colleges
INTRODUCTIONIn the past decades, we have experienced rapid demographic, socioeconomic and lifestyle changes. Examples include more participation of women in the labor market, additional two income families, declining birth rates, increased number of one-person households, more women in executive positions, higher life expectancy, and higher standards of living.All these changes, in one way or another, have increased the importance of the 'nontraditional" student (full-time employed, more mature, not able to attend regular classroom classes, with family responsibilities, goal-oriented) within the college student population. This increasing number of non-traditional college students has increased the demand for "non-traditional" educational programs, among them Distance Learning Programs (DLP). Distance learning provides access to many more students thanj ust offering higher...