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Scaling business development services through distance learning: a case study of WESST

Compelled by the drive to serve larger numbers of aspiring entrepreneurs in a tightening funding environment, many organizations are looking more closely at distance learning - but challenges abound. This case study profiles the experiences and lessons WESST has learned from its experience developing distance learning services to serve entrepreneurs across New Mexico.

Compelled by the drive to serve larger numbers of aspiring entrepreneurs in a tightening funding environment, many ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Thetford, Tamra; Edgcomb, Elaine
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: North America; United States
Resource type: Paper
Series name: Progress notes from FIELD
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Skills and knowledge; Research;

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Distance higher education programmes in a digital era: good practice guide

This guide sets out to clarify the key distinctions between distance and contact education provision in South Africa, and to provide guidelines on how general programme accreditation requirements need to be interpreted for a distance education context and the wide variations thereof, including the effective integration of supporting information and communication technologies (ICTs). The guide is divided into eight sections as follows: introduction and background; a conceptual framework for distance education in a digital era; curriculum design, development and delivery for distance education in a digital era; teaching and learning in distance education in a digital era; assessment in distance education in a digital era; partnerships and collaborations for distance education provision in a digital era; managing distance education provision in a digital era; and concluding remarks. These sections include examples of good practice in distance education. There is also a glossary of terms that are useful in the discussion of distance education provision, and a distance education bibliography.

This guide sets out to clarify the key distinctions between distance and contact education provision in South Africa, and to ...  Show Full Abstract  

Corporate authors: Council on Higher Education (South Africa)
South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE)
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: South Africa; Africa
Resource type: Guide
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Quality; Higher education;

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Measuring student graduateness: reliability and construct validity of the Graduate Skills and Attributes Scale

This study reports the development and validation of the Graduate Skills and Attributes Scale which was initially administered to a random sample of 272 third-year-level and postgraduate-level, distance-learning higher education students. The data were analysed using exploratory factor analysis. In a second study, the scale was administered to a stratified proportional random sample of 1102 early-career, undergraduate open distance-learning higher education students in the economic and management sciences field. The data were analysed using confirmatory factor and Rasch analyses. The structural validity and reliability of the scale were confirmed by the results. Educators and learning and development practitioners may be able to use the findings in their teaching, learning and assessment design.

This study reports the development and validation of the Graduate Skills and Attributes Scale which was initially ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Coetzee, Melinde
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: South Africa; Africa
Journal title: Higher education research and development
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Students; Employment; Skills and knowledge;

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Gender analysis of open and distance learning in the Caribbean region

This report provides an overview and analysis of the existing literature on open and distance learning (ODL) in the Caribbean from a gender perspective. It covers a wide range of themes encompassing the socio-cultural and economic factors. For some there was no data or analysis available directly related to gender issues or the data available is over 10 years old. In these instances, the report summarized key ODL issues in that area and assessed the relevant gender equality issues and questions influencing the related current practices and status.

This report provides an overview and analysis of the existing literature on open and distance learning (ODL) in the ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Peebles, Dana
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Central America and the Caribbean
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Gender; Teaching and learning; Technology;

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Policy for the provision of distance education in South African universities in the context of an integrated post-school system

This policy seeks to resolve areas of uncertainty and provide strong support for the progressive development of South African university distance education as an indispensable and integral component of the national post-school education system. The policy is part of a broader focus on building the capacity of the post-school system but focuses primarily on university education because of its unique features. The development of this policy has taken place in the context of two important factors: the development and release of the ‘White paper on post-school education and training’ with its imperative to expand the system dramatically; and increasing, but by no means ubiquitous, penetration and affordability of information and communication technologies (ICTs) across South Africa. Both factors have a seminal impact on the provision of distance education in the public and private university sector.

This policy seeks to resolve areas of uncertainty and provide strong support for the progressive development of South ...  Show Full Abstract  

Corporate authors: South Africa. Department of Higher Education and Training
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Africa; South Africa
Resource type: Policy document
Series name: Government gazette = Staatskoerant (South Africa. Department of Higher Education and Training
Subjects: Policy; Teaching and learning; Higher education;

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Massive open online course (MOOC) report 2013

The University of London International Programmes launched four massive open online courses (MOOCs) on the Coursera platform in June 2013. Each of the MOOCs lasted six weeks and was designed to offer a short introduction to subjects the university offered as full degrees. The initial offering of four MOOCs attracted over 210,000 initial registrations, over 90,000 active students in their first week, from over 160 countries and lead to 8,843 Statements of Accomplishment being attained. The programmes offered achieved an aggregate student satisfaction rating of 91 per cent (ranging from good to excellent). While it is still too early to evaluate the conversion of students completing a MOOC to enrolment on a University of London International Programmes degree, over 30 students who applied to the university's 2013/14 fee-paying programmes have indicated that they took one of the MOOCs beforehand.

The University of London International Programmes launched four massive open online courses (MOOCs) on the Coursera platform ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Grainger, Barney
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: England; Great Britain; Europe
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Higher education; International education; Teaching and learning;

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Going beyond Kirkpatrick's Training Evaluation Model: the role of workplace factors in distance learning transfer

This article emanates from a longitudinal study of the impact of a distance education programme for teacher training on graduates' job performance, in which the authors built on the findings of a previous pilot study. After using Kirkpatrick's Training Evaluation Model in a previous study, one of the authors found there to be a strong relationship between graduates' completion of the programme and their performance at school. However, the model does not probe factors that impede on transfer of learning. Quite a number of the graduate participants indicated that they were faced with this problem. In order to further probe this phenomenon, the authors fused Baldwin's Transfer of Training Model with the second level of Kirkpatrick's model by using a mixed-methods enquiry. It became clear that the organizational climate of schools has a strong influence on the transfer of learning in the workplace. Suggestions are presented on how educators and school managers can work together effectively.

This article emanates from a longitudinal study of the impact of a distance education programme for teacher training on ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Aluko, Ruth; Shonubi, Ololade
Date: 2014
Journal title: Africa education review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Skills and knowledge; Students;

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The development of massive open online courses (MOOCs) in New Zealand

The aim of this project was to provide a baseline account of massive open online courses (MOOCs) in the New Zealand context. An introductory section puts MOOCs into their theoretical and conceptual context in commitments to freedom, citizenship, knowledge for all, social progress, individual transformation and 'openness'. Five themes emerged from the literature: the disruption of higher education; open learning; technology and education; the political economy; and learners and learning. Stakeholders identified a range of potentially disruptive effects of MOOCS, but there is evidence of significant caution among organisations in adopting MOOC models. Disruption may occur from issues of access, price and non-traditional modes of learning, new models of learning and incompatibilities. Little is yet known about MOOC learners, but many see the potential to improve access and reduce costs to learners, including particular groups of learners. The conclusion examines the themes raised in the report and considers options for the sustainable development of MOOCs in the New Zealand context.

The aim of this project was to provide a baseline account of massive open online courses (MOOCs) in the New Zealand context. ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Gordon, Elizabeth Audrey; Peters, Michael; Besley, Tina
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: New Zealand; Oceania
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Technology; Innovation;

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Distance learning can help low-income parents attend school: TANF agencies should adopt supportive policies

Distance learning is an increasingly popular way to acquire higher education. Distance learning programs are particularly attractive to nontraditional students, including low-income parents, who often must fit their classes around work and family responsibilities. The current economic recession provides an opportunity for low-income parents who are working part-time or having trouble finding employment to use distance learning to get more education and advance once the economy recovers. However, states may be placing unnecessary limits on distance learning to meet work participation requirements under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. On February 5, 2008, in the final rule implementing the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) changes, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared that states can count distance learning coursework as a work activity under the vocational educational training classification. This paper identifies language from HHS-approved work verification plans that other states can adopt to maximize access to distance learning and raise work participation rates. It also highlights some restrictive and burdensome language that should be dropped from work verification plans.

Distance learning is an increasingly popular way to acquire higher education. Distance learning programs are particularly ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Lewis, Matt
Date: 2009
Geographic subjects: United States; North America
Resource type: Paper
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Students; Disadvantaged;

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'We thought we would be the dunces': from a vocational qualification to a social work degree: an example of widening participation in social work education

The policies of successive UK governments have promoted access to higher education by students from diverse social backgrounds. This paper uses the example of social work education to examine one way in which the Open University (OU) has sought to attract 'non-traditional' students into higher education. It draws on findings from a small-scale research study that explored the experiences of students with vocational and other prior qualifications who gained 'advanced entry' to the university's social work programme in Scotland. The paper explores the interplay between students' day-to-day experiences of transition and broader influences on widening access to education, including the political and organisational contexts within which this change has taken place. It reflects on both the university's learning from the experience of implementing this initiative and the continuing experience of widening participation in relation to social work education and, more broadly, to distance learning practices in higher education.

The policies of successive UK governments have promoted access to higher education by students from diverse social ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Gordon, Jean; Dumbleton, Sue; Miller, Christina
Date: 2010
Geographic subjects: Great Britain; Scotland; Europe
Journal title: Widening participation and lifelong learning
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Participation; Higher education; Providers of education and training;

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