Student Satisfaction in Distance Learning

Research Proposal
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One major consequence of the remarkable technological surge was the rapid development of computer-mediated distance learning. The beginning of the third millennium was marked by an impressive growth in distance education enrolment. Institutions of higher education continued to further develop distance learning offerings targeting the populations of working adults and international students who otherwise have limited access to higher education (Smart, and Cappel, 2006; Liaw, and Huang, 2002).


Student satisfaction is currently believed to be one of the major indicators of student development in conventional higher education. The mission of higher education is not only to impart knowledge but also to enhance overall development of the students (Astin, 1993). One of the ways higher education institutions accomplish this mission is by continuously collecting information on student satisfaction, defined by various authors as an "everpresent campus variable" (Betz, Menne, Starr, and Klingensmith, 1971: 99). Student satisfaction is the key outcome of higher education and the 'quality enhancement tool designed to improve the quality of the student experience' (Harvey, Plimmer, Moon, and Geall, 1997: 3). Traditionally, the institutions of higher education have used the data on student satisfaction to improve the educational environment in order to create learning settings highly conducive for student development.
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