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Distance Learning


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction Background and Audience Overview of the Contents Our Companion Web Site 1. Distance Education: What Is It? And Why Is It Expanding So Rapidly? Impacts of Technology on Distance Education The Prevalence of Distance Education in the United States Societal Changes Contributing to the Growth of Distance Education The Impact of Distance Education on Traditional Instruction Criticisms of Distance Education Conclusion 2. Attracting Students to Distance Learning How to Assess the Need and Demand for a Distance Program Target Audience Instructional Design and Mode of Delivery Strategies for Marketing Distance Courses and Programs Specific Ideas for Promoting and Marketing Distance Programs Conclusion 3. Good Practices in Distance Education: How to Promote Student Learning and Development The Good Practices Summary Tips 4. The Syllabus for Distance Learning Courses What Is a Syllabus? More Than a List Outline for a Syllabus: Putting It Together Other Issues Summary Tips 5. Delivery Methods for Distance Education Synchronous or Asynchronous? Synchronous Delivery Methods Asynchronous Delivery Methods Conclusion 6. Selecting Delivery Methods Fundamental Principles to Observe in Selecting Delivery Methods A Decision Tree Approach to Selecting a Delivery Method Conclusion 7. Support Services Support Services Prior to Enrollment Support Services for Enrolled Students Support Services After Course or Program Completion Summary 8. Ensuring High Completion Rates The Problem of Retention Retention in Distance Education Programs Strategies for Improving Completion Rates Summary Tips 9. Assessing Learning Outcomes Guiding Principles Methods of Assessment Conclusion Summary Tips 10. Program Evaluation Evaluating Program Inputs Program Processes Assessing Outcomes Analysis of Costs and Outcomes Conclusion Summary Tips 11. Accrditation Guidelines for Distance Learning Providing Evidence Regarding the Program's Effectiveness in Meeting the Guidelines Conclusion Summary Tips Conclusion Author Index Subjedt Index About the Authors

About the Author

Chandra M. Mehrotra is Professor of Psychology and Dean for Special Projects at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from Ohio State University. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Gerontological Society of America (GSA). He received his college's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1979, the APA Division 20 Mentor Award in 2003, and the GSA's Outstanding Mentorship Award in 2011. He directs faculty training programs in aging research with support provided by the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, and the Hartford Foundation. His books include: "Teaching and Aging" (Jossey-Bass, 1984), "Measuring up: Educational Assessment Challenges and Practices for Psychology" (APA Books, 2004), "Aging and Diversity: An Active Learning Experience (2nd Ed)" (Routledge, 2009), and "Assessing, Teaching and Learning in Psychology: Current and Future Perspectives" (Cengage, 2013). He has guest-edited two special issues of the journal "Educational Gerontology": (a) "Strengthening Gerontology and Geriatrics Education"; and (b) "Fostering Aging Research in Undergraduate Psychology Programs." His activities with Native American communities include civic engagement among elders, culturally appropriate program evaluation, intergenerational relationships, and improvement of teaching and learning in tribal colleges. He currently serves as a member of American Psychological Association's Committee on International Relations in Psychology and the Minnesota Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators. C. David Hollister is Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota. Since 1993 he has been actively involved in the development and accreditation of the school's Master of Social Work distance education program, and he teaches distance learning courses on community practice methods and on substance abuse. He has published a number of articles evaluating distance education and has presented papers on distance education at meetings of the Council on Social Work Education, at the annual University of South Carolina Conference on Educational Technology in Social Work, and at international conferences. He is Associate Secretary General for the Inter-University Consortium for International Social Development and is member of the editorial board of Social Development Issues. His research and teaching activities have been supported by the Blandin Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Bush Foundation, and the National Institute on Alcohol Addiction and Abuse. Lawrence McGahey is Associate Professor, Chair of the Chemistry Department, and Chair of the Natural Sciences Division at The College of St. Scholastica. He has been involved in the development of St. Scholatistca's distance education program as a member of the Graduate Council and Graduate Curriculum Committee. In addition, he has experience both in developing and incorporating web-based instructional materials into science courses. His research and teaching efforts have been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Research Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Education. He is also a manuscript reviewer and annotator for the Journal of Chemical Education.


"The overall strength of this volume is its emphasis on practical considerations that an instructor is likely to encounter in creating a distance course. . . . particularly strong in presenting easily understood principles of good practice for those who must plan and implement distance learning."

"This book is a fine example of what is needed for distance learning teachers,
administrators, and evaluators throughout the world. It provides good coverage of the timely topics that face distance educators daily. For those considering starting a distance learning course or program, this book would provide a solid footing upon which to make important decisions." -- REVIEW OF HIGHER EDUCATION

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