Distance Education: A Reflective Action Research Project and Its Systemic Implications for Higher Education

Research paper by Alison A. Carr-Chellman

Indexed on: 01 Aug '00Published on: 01 Aug '00Published in: Systemic Practice and Action Research


This reflective action research study examines faculty experience with distance education. Distance education has become increasingly of interest in higher education and is seen by many as the opportunity for systemic change in higher education. This study is a reflective action research project which examined the author's experiences teaching a distance version of a basic instructional design course at the same time as teaching a residential version of that same course. The examination finds significant faculty issues that emerged during the experience and specifically found concerns with the distance education learner. In the end, the study finds that as a tool for systemic change of higher education, distance delivery will have to engage faculty with their concerns in more substantive ways than they have to date. In essence, this study asserts that the current demands on distance educators are not motivating for traditional faculty members because of increased time demands, lack of traditional rhythm, lack of personal contact with students, and less evident interest among distant students in the areas that faculty value.