• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

What delivery methods are available to make education accessible to a wide variety of potential learners? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How can instructors create effective learning environments in distance courses? What support from administrators and staff is essential? What guidelines are used by accrediting agencies to assure program quality? This highly readable book by three experienced faculty members answers these questions and more. Both theoretical and practical, the book presents proven principles and research-based advice. Drawing upon their experience with a variety of delivery modes, the authors provide readers with tips they can use in designing, implementing, and evaluating distance courses and programs.


Most colleges and universities in the United States are accredited by one of the country's eight regional accrediting commissions. In addition, specific programs within these institutions are accredited by national professional associations such as those for engineering, medicine, law, business, education, psychology, and social work. Both institutional accreditation and specialized accreditation are voluntary and have two fundamental purposes: quality assurance and institutional/program improvement. Accrediting bodies evaluate more than formal educational activities; they also assess such characteristics as governance and administration, financial stability, admissions and student personnel services, institutional resources, student academic achievement, institutional effectiveness, and relationships with constituencies outside the institution. In other words, as we discussed in Chapter 10, evaluators focus on inputs, processes, and outcomes for the institution as a whole.

Although the ...

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