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A case study of the effectiveness of distance learning materials in higher education and suggestions for improvement

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6 Author(s)
T. Taguchi ; Fac. of Commun. & Inf., Shizuoka Sangyo Univ., Japan ; T. Umemoto ; M. Naniwada ; A. Garden
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Distance learning methodology will receive more and better recognition in the near future. This is because it can be expected to contribute to democratization and equalization. On the basis of this belief, we designed some sample teaching materials for a distance learning program for use in higher education, and tested them with university students. Then we evaluated the effectiveness of the materials. We used a sample group which worked with the sample materials and a control group which studied in traditional classroom lectures. The evaluation was made by means of (1) a questionnaire designed to ascertain students' reactions to the distance learning materials, (2) an analysis of questions from students, which we took to be an indication of their motivation, and (3) examinations to clarify the students' understanding of the materials. For each measure, we took the data from each group and compared and analyzed them. The distance learning materials were original materials which we designed for use in a business management course on the Internet. These materials were made using presentation application software and were loaded on the teacher's home page so the students could use them either on campus or in any other environment where they could access the Internet. They could ask questions about the contents from any place by e-mail. The students worked with the materials by downloading data and other relevant information from the Internet, which they then analyzed and processed. We report on the results of the case study and make some suggestions for improvements to distance learning methods

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Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, 1999. IEEE SMC '99 Conference Proceedings. 1999 IEEE International Conference on  (Volume:2 )

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