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Presence at a distance : the educator-learner relationship in distance education and dropout Munro, Patricia Jane 1991

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PRESENCE AT A DISTANCE: THE EDUCATOR-LEARNER RELATIONSHIP IN DISTANCE EDUCATION AND DROPOUT By PATRICIA JANE MUNRO B.A., I n d i a n a U n i v e r s i t y , 1966 M.A., Simon F r a s e r U n i v e r s i t y , 1971 M.F.A., The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1978 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Adult Education) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF March © P a t r i c i a BRITISH COLUMBIA 1991 Jane Munro In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT The purpose of the p r e s e n t study was t o p r o v i d e an un d e r s t a n d i n g o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and then t o i d e n t i f y and d i s c u s s p a r t s of t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p a s s o c i a t e d w i t h dropout. I t s u n d e r l y i n g assumption was t h a t e d u c a t i o n , a t a d i s t a n c e o r f a c e - t o - f a c e , i n v o l v e s an e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . There were t h r e e j u s t i f i c a t i o n s f o r t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n : t o i l l u m i n a t e t he e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p , t o c o n t r i b u t e t o r e s e a r c h on dropout i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , and t o f o s t e r i n t e g r a t i o n between p r a c t i c e and s c h o l a r s h i p i n the f i e l d . The scope o f the f i r s t r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n , what characterizes educator-learner relationships in distance education? n e c e s s i t a t e d drawing on a b r o a d d a t a base and suggested an i n t e r p r e t i v e study. The r e s e a r c h method chosen was an i n t e g r a t i v e r e view of s c h o l a r l y l i t e r a t u r e i n the f i e l d o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . In answer t o the f i r s t r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n , the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n was c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as a wheel w i t h an a x l e of d i a l o g u e , spokes o f suppo r t , and a r i m o f independence. The development o f t h i s model was the most important r e s u l t of the p r e s e n t study. Concern among p r a c t i t i o n e r s over h i g h a t t r i t i o n r a t e s l e d t o the second p a r t of the purpose and the second r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n , what characteristics of the educator-learner relationship in distance education are associated with dropout? In answer t o t h i s q u e s t i o n , f i n d i n g s from the dropout l i t e r a t u r e were f i l t e r e d through the model of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . T i n t o 1 s r e s e a r c h i n t o dropout from h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n informed the a n a l y s i s . R e s u l t s i n d i c a t e d t h a t p e r c e i v e d d e f i c i e n c i e s i n d i a l o g u e a l o n g the spokes o f support i n the quadrants o f l e a r n i n g and i n s t r u c t i o n have been a s s o c i a t e d w i t h dropout. T h i s study r e c o g n i z e d t h a t the r e l a t i o n s h i p between educator and l e a r n e r a f f e c t s s t u d e n t p e r c e p t i o n s o f i n t e l l e c t u a l and s o c i a l i n t e g r a t i o n and so may i n f l u e n c e dropout. Recommendations f o r r e s e a r c h and p r a c t i c e were generated from the model o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Presence a t a d i s t a n c e can be enhanced by a d i a l o g u e - c e n t r e d p r a c t i c e . S u g g e s t i o n s i n c l u d e d the t r a c k i n g of s t u d e n t s , p r o f e s s i o n a l development f o r p r a c t i t i o n e r s , and e v a l u a t i o n s o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n p r a c t i c e based on the model o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . CONTENTS A b s t r a c t i i L i s t o f Table i x L i s t o f F i g u r e s ' x Acknowledgement x i I. INTRODUCTION 1. Background: Why T h i s Study? 2 A. E d u c a t o r - L e a r n e r R e l a t i o n s h i p s 4 B. E d u c a t o r - L e a r n e r R e l a t i o n s h i p s and Dropout 6 C. I n t e g r a t i o n of P r a c t i c e and S c h o l a r s h i p 7 2. The Research Questions 9 3. Overview o f the D i s s e r t a t i o n 10 I I . METHOD 1. Approaching the Problem 11 A. I n t e g r a t i v e Reviews 15 B. E s t a b l i s h i n g T r u s t w o r t h i n e s s 16 2. Data C o l l e c t i o n 18 A. I n f o r m a l Channels 18 B. Formal Channels 20 C. C o n f i r m i n g Comprehensiveness 23 D. Data L i m i t a t i o n s 24 3. Data A n a l y s i s 25 4 . Summary 28 I I I . UNDERSTANDING DISTANCE EDUCATION 1. D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n i n the Context o f Open L e a r n i n g .29 2. D e f i n i t i o n o f D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n 32 A. S e p a r a t i o n of Teacher and L e a r n e r 36 B. S e p a r a t i o n o f Learner from L e a r n i n g Group 3 6 C. B u r e a u c r a t i c Form o f E d u c a t i o n a l P r o v i s i o n 37 D. Content C a r r i e d by M e c h a n i c a l or E l e c t r o n i c Media38 E. Means f o r D i a l o g u e • 39 3. Research i n D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n 40 A. An I n d u s t r i a l i z e d Form of E d u c a t i o n 45 B. D i d a c t i c C o n v e r s a t i o n and Empathy 47 C. Three I n t e r r e l a t e d Systems 50 D. Independence 53 4 . Summary 54 IV. THE EDUCATOR-LE7ARNER RELATIONSHIP IN DISTANCE EDUCATION 1. Review and S y n t h e s i s o f C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the E d u c a t o r - L e a r n e r R e l a t i o n s h i p i n D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n . ..56 2 . Moore's Work 59 A. Moore's Typology 62 B. Moore's C o n t r i b u t i o n 63 C. C o n t r o l 64 D. Saba's Work on T r a n s a c t i o n a l D i s t a n c e 65 3. Composite Diagram of t h e E d u c a t o r - L e a r n e r R e l a t i o n s h i p i n D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n 67 4. I n s t r u c t i o n i n D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n 70 A. Diagram 71 B. The Use o f Media t o Convey Content 72 C. Relevance 7 6 v i 5. L e a r n i n g i n D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n 80 A. Diagram 81 B. L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t y : P r a c t i c e , R e f l e c t i o n , E v a l u a t i o n 82 C. Relevance 8 6 D. E v a l u a t i o n o f L e a r n i n g • .89 E. C o u n s e l l i n g 91 6. C e r t i f i c a t i o n 94 A. Diagram 95 B. C e r t i f i c a t i o n : The Degree or the Empowerment? ..95 C. E v a l u a t i o n , C o u n s e l l i n g and Access 98 7 . Openness 103 A. Diagram 104 B. S o c i a l E q u i t y and Access t o D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n 104 C. Openness: From S t r u c t u r e t o Access 107 8. Overview o f the Complete Model: Independence, Support and D i a l o g u e 113 A. The Rim o f Independence 114 B. The Spokes of Support 115 C. The A x l e of Dialogue 116 9. Answering the F i r s t Research Q u e s t i o n : Review of R e s u l t s 117 10 . Summary 121 V. DROPOUT STUDIES AND THE EDUCATOR-LEARNER RELATIONSHIP IN DISTANCE EDUCATION 1. Dropout from D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n i n G e n e r a l 123 v i i A. D i f f i c u l t i e s w i t h D e f i n i n g Dropout i n D i s t a n c e . . E d u c a t i o n 124 B. D e f i n i n g Dropout f o r the Pre s e n t Study 129 C. Rates of Dropout from D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n 12 9 D. E a r l y Dropout 132 2. The Focus o f the Second Research Q u e s t i o n w i t h i n the L a r g e r P i c t u r e o f Dropout 135 A. M u l t i - C a u s a l Dropout and the E d u c a t o r - L e a r n e r R e l a t i o n s h i p i n D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n 137 B. A l t e r a b l e F a c t o r s 139 3. A T h e o r e t i c a l Framework about Dropout R e l a t e d t o the Model o f t h e E d u c a t o r - L e a r n e r R e l a t i o n s h i p i n D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n 140 A. T i n t o ' s T h e o r e t i c a l Work on Dropout 142 B. T i n t o ' s D e f i n i t i o n o f Dropout 144 C. T i n t o ' s Major F a c t o r s 145 D. I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n 147 E. Summary: A T h e o r e t i c a l Framework A s s o c i a t e d w i t h Dropout and the Model of the E d u c a t o r - L e a r n e r R e l a t i o n s h i p i n D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n 153 4. L i m i t a t i o n s o f the Data on Dropout from D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n 155 5. Research on Dropout from D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n A s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e Model o f the E d u c a t o r - L e a r n e r R e l a t i o n s h i p i n D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n 159 A. Dropout F i n d i n g s A s s o c i a t e d w i t h I n s t r u c t i o n ..160 B. T u t o r i n g 175 v i i i C. Dropout F i n d i n g s A s s o c i a t e d w i t h L e a r n i n g 185 D. Dropout F i n d i n g s A s s o c i a t e d w i t h C e r t i f i c a t i o n 196 E. Dropout F i n d i n g s A s s o c i a t e d w i t h Openness 199 F. Overview: Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h the A x l e o f ... D i a l o g u e 203 G. Overview: Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e Spokes o f Support 207 H. Overview: Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h the Rim o f Independence 208 6. Answering t h e Second Research Question 210 7. Summary 219 V I . PRESENCE AT A DISTANCE: INFERENCES FOR RESEARCH AND PRACTICE 1. R e c a p i t u l a t i o n 1 221 2. L i n k i n g S c h o l a r s h i p w i t h P r a c t i c e 223 3. The Model as a G e n e r a t i v e T o o l f o r Research 227 4. P r a c t i c e , Development, and Research at t h e L e v e l of the I n s t i t u t i o n 238 5. Presence a t a D i s t a n c e 250 REFERENCE LIST 257 APPENDIX A: REQUEST PACKAGE SENT TO EXPERTS 270 1. Example o f L e t t e r Sent 271 2. M a t e r i a l s Sent w i t h L e t t e r 272 APPENDIX B: REPLIES FROM EXPERTS 2 88 i x LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Lewis's Open-Closed L e a r n i n g Continuum (Lewis, 1986,pp. 7-8) 108 Table 2. Some Rates o f Dropout and/or Completion .for D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n 130 Table 3. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h I n s t r u c t i o n i n G e n e r a l . 160 Table 4. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h Relevance 163 Table 5. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h Content 165 Table 6.Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h Mediated P r e s e n t a t i o n 167 Table 7. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h S t r u c t u r e 170 Table 8. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h T r a n s a c t i o n a l D i s t a n c e . 171 Table 9a. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h T u t o r i n g 17 6 Table 9b. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h T u t o r i n g 17 9 Table 9c. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h T u t o r i n g 17 9 Table 9d. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h T u t o r i n g 181 Table 9e. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h T u t o r i n g 183 Table 9f. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h T u t o r i n g 184 Table 10. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h L e a r n i n g i n Ge n e r a l 186 Table 11. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h C o u n s e l l i n g 187 Table 12. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h E v a l u a t i o n 190 Table 13.Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s .193 Table 14. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h C e r t i f i c a t i o n 196 Table 15. P a r t i c i p a t i o n A s s o c i a t e d w i t h Openness 199 X LIST OF FIGURES F i g u r e 1. Modes of I n s t r u c t i o n i n an Open L e a r n i n g System 31 F i g u r e 2. Examples o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n on a continuum w i t h c o n t i g u o u s e d u c a t i o n 35 F i g u r e 3. Moore's t y p o l o g y of e d u c a t i o n a l programs ....63 F i g u r e 4. Saba's diagram o f t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e ....66 F i g u r e 5. Composite diagram of t h e e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n 69 F i g u r e 6. The quadrant of i n s t r u c t i o n i n the e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n 71 F i g u r e 7. The quadrant o f l e a r n i n g i n the e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n 81 F i g u r e 8. The quadrant o f c e r t i f i c a t i o n i n t h e e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n 95 F i g u r e 9. The quadrant o f openness i n the e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n 104 F i g u r e 10. T i n t o ' s model o f i n s t i t u t i o n a l d e p a r t u r e ( T i n t o , 1987, p. 114) 143 x i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am g r a t e f u l t o th e S o c i a l S c i e n c e s and Humanities Research C o u n c i l o f Canada f o r a D o c t o r a l F e l l o w s h i p which s u p p o r t e d me f o r a year w h i l e I worked on t h i s study, and t o the Canada C o u n c i l f o r an A r t s Grant "B" which a l l o w e d me t o piggyback a v i s i t t o IGNOU on w r i t i n g I was doin g i n I n d i a . No p r o j e c t o f t h i s s o r t can be completed w i t h o u t the he l p of o t h e r s . I want t o mention a few whose a s s i s t a n c e has been most i m p o r t a n t : K j e l l Rubenson f o r h i s encouragement and d i r e c t i o n as my r e s e a r c h s u p e r v i s o r ; Graham K e l s e y , Tom Sork, and J o c e l y n C a l v e r t f o r t h e i r time and a t t e n t i o n as committee members; B o r j e Holmberg, T o r s t e i n Rekkedal, John D a n i e l , B. N. K o u l , Urban D a h l l o f , and M i c h a e l Moore f o r g e n e r o u s l y p r o v i d i n g me w i t h papers and monographs; H i l a r y P e r r a t o n , Randy G a r r i s o n , Chere Campbell Coggins, Glen F a r r e l l and people a t I n d i r a Ghandhi N a t i o n a l Open U n i v e r s i t y f o r t a k i n g the time t o t a l k about d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n w i t h me; Marta Baresh f o r the computer g r a p h i c s ; Joyce S t a l k e r , Shauna B u t t e r w i c k and Lee T i t t e r i n g t o n f o r t h e i r f r i e n d s h i p and p r a c t i c a l a i d as f e l l o w d o c t o r a l s t u d e n t s ; and my c h i l d r e n — Ian, A l i s o n and Ann M u n r o — f o r c h e e r f u l l y e n d u r i n g my lo n g o b s e s s i o n w i t h t h i s s tudy. The one person I most want t o thank, however, i s my husband, Bob Amussen. H i s l o v i n g c a r e , t h o u g h t f u l r e a d i n g , and encouragement have made my work p o s s i b l e . I have a p p r e c i a t e d h i s e d i t o r i a l eye, h i s e x p e r i e n c e as a d i s t a n c e e d u c a t o r , h i s genuine i n t e r e s t i n the i s s u e s , h i s p a t i e n c e w i t h t h e p r o c e s s , and h i s optimism. 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The purpose of the p r e s e n t study i s t o p r o v i d e an un d e r s t a n d i n g o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , and then t o i d e n t i f y and d i s c u s s p a r t s of t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p a s s o c i a t e d w i t h dropout. I t s c o n t r i b u t i o n t o knowledge l i e s i n t h e development of a t h e o r e t i c a l model o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p which i s then l i n k e d t o a new p e r s p e c t i v e on dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Rather than i d e n t i f y i n s t i t u t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o r l e a r n e r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s connected w i t h dropout, as most p r e v i o u s r e s e a r c h has done, the p r e s e n t study f o c u s e s on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between ed u c a t o r and l e a r n e r as an i n f l u e n c e on dropout. Chapter I i n t r o d u c e s t h e a n a l y s i s o f e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s and t h e i r a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h dropout i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . I t p r o v i d e s t h r e e j u s t i f i c a t i o n s f o r u n d e r t a k i n g the p r e s e n t study: t o i l l u m i n a t e t he e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p , t o c o n t r i b u t e t o r e s e a r c h on dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , and t o f o s t e r i n t e g r a t i o n between p r a c t i c e and s c h o l a r s h i p i n the f i e l d . I t then s t a t e s the r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n s and concludes w i t h an overview of the d i s s e r t a t i o n . 2 1. Background: Why This Study? L e a r n i n g may be done a l o n e , but e d u c a t i o n r e q u i r e s a r e l a t i o n s h i p — d i r e c t o r m e d i a t e d — b e t w e e n ed u c a t o r and l e a r n e r . The nature o f these r e l a t i o n s h i p s v a r i e s . Perhaps the most f a m i l i a r , t y p i c a l o f t r a d i t i o n a l s c h o o l i n g , occurs when one t e a c h e r meets f a c e - t o - f a c e w i t h a c l a s s o f s t u d e n t s . Today, th e r e v e r s e o f t h a t i s a l s o p o s s i b l e : a s o l i t a r y s t u d e n t can engage i n a mediated r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h a group of e d u c a t o r s . There are now people a l l around t h e w o r l d who take courses i n which the r o l e o f t e a c h e r i s performed by an i n s t i t u t i o n . Such e d u c a t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s may be u n c o n v e n t i o n a l , but they have l e d many thousands of students t o the s u c c e s s f u l c o m p l e t i o n o f programs and degrees. They a l s o , v e r y o f t e n , l e a d t o dropout. Less t r a d i t i o n a l forms of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p e p i t o m i z e d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . The m i s t r u s t w i t h which t h i s mode of e d u c a t i o n has o f t e n been viewed seems connected t o q u e s t i o n s about how p r e s e n t a t e a c h e r can be f o r a student a t a d i s t a n c e . Research has demonstrated t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s t u d e n t s do as w e l l as, i f not b e t t e r t h a n , t h e i r c o u n t e r p a r t s i n t r a d i t i o n a l modes when w r i t i n g the same examinations (Moore, 1985). D e s p i t e t h i s f a c t , w o r r i e s p e r s i s t about the q u a l i t y o f e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . 3 There are p r a c t i c a l reasons f o r s t u d y i n g the e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n : i t a f f e c t s program development, course d e s i g n and d e l i v e r y , student support s e r v i c e s , and i n s t i t u t i o n a l g o a l s . Understanding the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p may h e l p i n s t i t u t i o n s assess -the q u a l i t y of t h e i r t e a c h i n g . As g e n e r a t i o n s of t e a c h i n g m a t e r i a l s age and r e q u i r e r e v i s i o n — a n d as d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n s t i t u t i o n s prepare more new c o u r s e s — t h e r e i s a need f o r g u i d e l i n e s and t o o l s t h a t can be used i n course and program e v a l u a t i o n . In r e g i o n s such as I n d i a , p a r t s o f A f r i c a , and South-East A s i a where c o n v e n t i o n a l u n i v e r s i t i e s and v o c a t i o n a l c o l l e g e s cannot meet the needs of l a r g e and o f t e n i m p o v e r i s h e d p o p u l a t i o n s , d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n has become a p r e v a l e n t mode of e d u c a t i o n a l p r o v i s i o n . I t s impact i s a l s o b e i n g f e l t i n more i n d u s t r i a l i z e d c o u n t r i e s where d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s promoted as a way t o p r o v i d e workplace t r a i n i n g o f the la b o u r f o r c e . The need f o r a p p r o p r i a t e t h e o r e t i c a l a n a l y s i s t o serve as a guide f o r p r a c t i c e i s becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y apparent. What makes f o r good e d u c a t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s a t a d i s t a n c e ? Is dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n the r e s u l t of weak e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s ? The p r e s e n t study t a k e s s t e p s t o answer these q u e s t i o n s through an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and an e x a m i n a t i o n o f how t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p a f f e c t s dropout. In so d o i n g i t c o n t r i b u t e s t o the development o f t h e o r y and the ref i n e m e n t of p r a c t i c e . 4 A. E d u c a t o r - L e a r n e r R e l a t i o n s h i p s More than one hundred years ago, Harper, the f i r s t p r e s i d e n t o f the U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago, made some o b s e r v a t i o n s about correspondence t e a c h e r s and s t u d e n t s which are p r o v o c a t i v e today. . . i t w i l l be seen t h a t the correspondence t e a c h e r must be p a i n s t a k i n g , p a t i e n t , s y m p a t h e t i c , and a l i v e ; and t h a t the correspondence p u p i l must be e a r n e s t , a m b i t i o u s , a p p r e c i a t i v e and l i k e w i s e a l i v e . Whatever a dead t e a c h e r may a c c o m p l i s h i n the c l a s s r o o m , he can do n o t h i n g by correspondence; and i f a s t u d e n t l a c k i n g the q u a l i t i e s j u s t named undertake work by correspondence, one of two t h i n g s w i l l happen: e i t h e r he w i l l a c q u i r e t h e s e q u a l i t i e s , and succeed; or he w i l l remain as he was a t the b e g i n n i n g , and f a i l . The man who does the work at a l l , must do i t w e l l . (Harper, 1886, i n Mackenzie & C h r i s t e n s e n , 1971) Harper's comments emphasize the need f o r a s e r i o u s , r e s p e c t f u l , p e r s o n a l i z e d and l i v e l y correspondence between an e d u c a t o r and a l e a r n e r working a t a d i s t a n c e from one a n o t h e r . As t e c h n o l o g i e s have advanced and t h e numbers of s t u d e n t s grown, the p o s t a l correspondence which Harper knew has been e n l a r g e d . D i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n a l l o w s f o r many forms of mediated communication; i t a l s o a c c e p t s l a r g e r d i s t a n c e s of t i m e , as w e l l as of space, between the a c t s o f l e s s o n -p r e p a r a t i o n by the educator and study by the l e a r n e r . P e t e r s ' ( 1 9 7 1 , 1983) concept o f the r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p so t h a t i t resembles i n d u s t r i a l i z e d m a n u f a c t u r i n g suggests t h a t elements of the r o l e o f e d u c a t o r can be performed by a team of people who are 5 a t d i s t a n c e s of space and time from t h e i r l e a r n e r s . T h i s s u g g e s t i o n has been borne out by f a c t . In c e n t r a l i z e d and i n d u s t r i a l i z e d systems of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n such as the Open U n i v e r s i t y of t h e U n i t e d Kingdom (OUUK), the course w r i t e r or t e l e v i s i o n producer may c r e a t e i n s t r u c t i o n a l m a t e r i a l s years b e f o r e t h e student reads t h e study guide o r watches v i d e o s of the programs. While t h e OUUK student can d i s c u s s the course c o n t e n t and i t s p r e s e n t a t i o n w i t h a t u t o r , d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n systems v a r y i n the amount and q u a l i t y o f d i a l o g u e or correspondence p o s s i b l e between educators and l e a r n e r s . In some cases the student i s a consumer of a i d s t o l e a r n i n g and then a contender f o r c r e d i t by means o f an e x a m i n a t i o n , r a t h e r than a p a r t i c i p a n t i n a two-way e d u c a t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p . As d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n has e v o l v e d beyond d i r e c t t u t o r i n g t h r ough correspondence t o the c e n t r a l i z e d p r e p a r a t i o n o f l a r g e course packages and the use of mass media, two t h i n g s have happened t o i t s e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s . F i r s t , t h e y have developed a c o m p l e x i t y of modes and l e v e l s . Second, when o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r two-way communication are l i m i t e d , t h e s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s may e x i s t p r i m a r i l y i n an a b s t r a c t and tenuous form. Harper's d e p i c t i o n of the p e r s o n a l involvement between a correspondence t e a c h e r and a s t u d e n t would not be r e p r e s e n t a t i v e today of the e x p e r i e n c e of a l l e d u c a t o r s and l e a r n e r s engaged i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . The o t h e r p r o v o c a t i v e element i n Harper's statement i s t h a t the correspondence student w i l l e i t h e r measure up t o the 6 h i g h s t a n d a r d s o f performance expected, or f a i l . D i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n can be a demanding way t o t e a c h or t o study. I t may t a k e more r e a d i n g and independent study on t h e p a r t of the s t u d e n t , and more w r i t i n g and s t r u c t u r e d t h i n k i n g on the p a r t o f the e d u c a t o r , than would an e q u i v a l e n t course taught f a c e -t o - f a c e . T h i s g e n e r i c d i f f i c u l t y may c o n t r i b u t e t o the g e n e r a l l y h i g h r a t e o f dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , a l t h o u g h a c t u a l f a i l u r e i s now r a r e l y the b i g g e s t t h r e a t t o s u c c e s s f u l course c o m p l e t i o n (Baath, 1984). Perhaps s t u d e n t s who a n t i c i p a t e f a i l u r e t e n d t o dropout i n advance of t h a t event. While t h e s t a t i s t i c s v a r y from course t o course and i n s t i t u t i o n t o i n s t i t u t i o n , i t i s p r o b a b l y s a f e t o say t h a t o v e r a l l , about h a l f the s t u d e n t s who s t a r t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n programs do not complete them (Baath, 1984). The converse i s a l s o t r u e : h a l f the s t u d e n t s who b e g i n p e r s i s t . Chapter IV d i s c u s s e s t h e e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n depth, develops a c o n c e p t u a l framework i d e n t i f y i n g i t s s a l i e n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and proposes a model d e s c r i b i n g i t s f u n c t i o n s . B. Educator-Learner Relationships and, Prppoyt I f we wish t o understand h e a l t h y e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , why l o o k a t dropout? There are t h r e e reasons. F i r s t , i n v e s t i g a t i n g the d i s c o n t i n u a t i o n of e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s can y i e l d i n f o r m a t i o n about how t o p r e s e r v e them. Second, dropout has been a major concern f o r b o t h p r a c t i t i o n e r s and s c h o l a r s i n 7 d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , and p r o g r e s s towards u n d e r s t a n d i n g , p r e d i c t i n g , and c o n t r o l l i n g dropout would be a welcome c o n t r i b u t i o n . F i n a l l y , l a r g e l y because of t h i s concern, d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n has produced a s u b s t a n t i a l d i s c o u r s e on dropout: and c o n s e q u e n t l y , a source o f data b e a r i n g on the d i s c o n t i n u a t i o n o f e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s . While c o n n e c t i n g e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n w i t h dropout, t h e p r e s e n t s t u d y a l s o seeks t o i d e n t i f y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which may d i s c o u r a g e dropout and encourage p e r s i s t e n c e . Chapter V d i s c u s s e s dropout and a n a l y z e s the d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n dropout l i t e r a t u r e t h a t can be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . Much of the r e s e a r c h i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s l i m i t e d i n q u a l i t y (Moore, 1985) , and t h i s i s a l s o t r u e o f the dropout s t u d i e s ( G a r r i s o n , 1987) . Simply d e f i n i n g dropout i s d i f f i c u l t s i n c e i n s t i t u t i o n s have t h e i r own i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of what c o n s t i t u t e s t h a t phenomenon. However, q u i t e a l a r g e body of work e x i s t s and the p r e s e n t study uses i t as d a t a . C. Integration g_£ P r a c t i c e and, Scholarship D i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s a new t e r r i t o r y — a n e d u c a t i o n a l f r o n t i e r . I t s p r a c t i t i o n e r s are drawn from a v a r i e t y of d i s c i p l i n e s and p r o f e s s i o n s and o f t e n have l i t t l e knowledge of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n as a f i e l d of study. Some a r r i v e w i t h a hunger f o r r e s e a r c h t o i n f o r m them about the f i e l d and guide them i n t h e i r c r e a t i v e , and c h a l l e n g i n g , work. Others are 8 s c e p t i c a l about the p r a c t i c a l v a l u e of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s c h o l a r s h i p . In her keynote address on r e s e a r c h a t the I n t e r n a t i o n a l C o u n c i l o f D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n ' s 14th World Conference, C a l v e r t (1988) i d e n t i f i e d antagonism between s c h o l a r s h i p and p r a c t i c e as the fundamental problem f a c i n g d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . C a l v e r t made a number of s u g g e s t i o n s . She c a l l e d on s c h o l a r s h i p " t o r e l a t e i t s c o n s t r u c t s i n m e a n i n g f u l terms t o t h e complex p r a c t i c a l w o r l d " and s a i d : t h e t a s k s f a c i n g r e s e a r c h e r s are t o i n t e g r a t e the d i v e r s e " m i n i - t h e o r i e s " t h a t have e v o l v e d l a r g e l y i n i s o l a t i o n from one another and t o r e l a t e these more c l e a r l y t o the c o n c r e t e e x p e r i e n c e s of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n p r a c t i c e . (1988, p. 7) C a l v e r t ' s p r e s c r i p t i o n i s congruent w i t h Holmberg's o b s e r v a t i o n s about "Research as c a t e r i n g t o the needs o f t h e o r e t i c i a n s and p r a c t i t i o n e r s " (1988, p. 1 ) . Holmberg, b a s i n g h i s a n a l y s i s on Popper (1980), argued t h a t r e s p o n s i b l e s c h o l a r s h i p i s both t h e o r e t i c a l and p r a c t i c a l . F o r t u n a t e l y these concerns of the p r a c t i t i o n e r and the t h e o r e t i c i a n converge. The l a t t e r ' s aim " i s t o f i n d e x p l a n a t o r y t h e o r i e s ( i f p o s s i b l e , t r u e e x p l a n a t o r y t h e o r i e s ) ; t h a t i s t o say, t h e o r i e s which d e s c r i b e c e r t a i n s t r u c t u r a l p r o p e r t i e s o f the w o r l d , and which p e r m i t us t o deduce, w i t h t h e h e l p o f i n i t i a l c o n d i t i o n s , the e f f e c t s t o be e x p l a i n e d " (Popper 1980 p. 61) . . .the t a s k o f s c h o l a r s h i p i s on the one hand t h e o r e t i c a l , t o b r i n g about e x p l a n a t i o n , on the o t h e r hand p r a c t i c a l , t o p r o v i d e f o r a p p l i c a t i o n or t e c h n o l o g y . . . A p p l i c a t i o n , whether seen as c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t a r g e t groups and study g o a l s , methodology or a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , media s e l e c t i o n or t e c h n o l o g y , or some o t h e r aspect of p r a c t i c e i s , o f course, e x a c t l y what the p r a c t i t i o n e r i s p r i m a r i l y i n t e r e s t e d i n . (Holmberg, 1988, p. 1) The p r e s e n t study seeks t o " i n t e g r a t e d i v e r s e " m i n i -t h e o r i e s ' " and r e l a t e t h e s e " t o the c o n c r e t e e x p e r i e n c e s of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n p r a c t i c e " ( C a l v e r t , 1988). So f a r , Chapter I has i n t r o d u c e d t h e d i s c u s s i o n of e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and o u t l i n e d t h r e e j u s t i f i c a t i o n s f o r u n d e r t a k i n g the pr e s e n t study. The remainder of the c h a p t e r w i l l s t a t e the r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n s and p r o v i d e an overview o f the d i s s e r t a t i o n . 2. The Research Questions The b a s i c assumption which u n d e r l i e s the p r e s e n t study i s t h a t : Education, at a distance or face-to-face, involves an educator-learner relationship. There are two r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n s : 1. What characterizes educator-learner relationships in distance education? 2. What characteristics of the educator-learner relationship in distance education are associated with dropout? B e f o r e a d d r e s s i n g the f i r s t r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n i t was nec e s s a r y t o d e f i n e d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and a r r i v e at an un d e r s t a n d i n g o f i t s components. S i m i l a r l y , b e f o r e a d d r e s s i n g the second r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n , i t was ne c e s s a r y t o understand dropout. 10 3. Overview of the D i s s e r t a t i o n Chapter I , Introduction, e s t a b l i s h e s t h e r e s e a r c h 0 q u e s t i o n s and p r o v i d e s background f o r the p r e s e n t study. Chapter I I , Method, d e s c r i b e s the r e s e a r c h d e s i g n and method i n d e t a i l . C h a p t e r I I I , Understanding Distance Education, d e f i n e s d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and p r o v i d e s an overview of r e l e v a n t r e s e a r c h and t h e o r y i n the f i e l d . C h a p t e r IV, The Educator-Learner Relationship in Distance Education, answers t h e f i r s t r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n . I t s y n t h e s i z e s a c o n c e p t u a l framework of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s c h o l a r l y l i t e r a t u r e and proposes a model of t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p . C h a p t e r V, Dropout Studies and the Educator-Learner Relationship in Distance Education, answers th e second r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n . I t p r o v i d e s t h e o r e t i c a l background f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , and then s c r e e n s d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n dropout l i t e r a t u r e through the model of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p developed i n Chapter IV. C h a p t e r V I , Presence at a Distance: Inferences for Research and Practice, d i s c u s s e s t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f the p r e s e n t study f o r b a s i c r e s e a r c h and f o r r e s e a r c h , development and p r a c t i c e a t the l e v e l o f t h e i n s t i t u t i o n . 11 CHAPTER II METHOD Chapter I I shows how the method arose from the study's purpose and r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n s . The f i r s t p a r t o f the chapter p r o v i d e s background which h e l p s t o e x p l a i n t h e approaches used; the second p a r t g i v e s d e t a i l s about the a c t u a l sources drawn upon t o make t h i s study as comprehensive as p o s s i b l e . The d i s c u s s i o n of method begins by i n t r o d u c i n g t h e i n t e r p r e t i v e t r a d i t i o n of i n t e g r a t i v e l i t e r a t u r e reviews t o which the p r e s e n t study belongs. Common b e n e f i t s d e r i v e d from u s i n g l i t e r a t u r e as a data source are l i s t e d and methods employed i n the study t o e s t a b l i s h t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s are d e s c r i b e d . The second p a r t of t h e c h a p t e r o u t l i n e s the pr o c e s s e s f o l l o w e d d u r i n g data c o l l e c t i o n and a n a l y s i s and ends w i t h a note about w r i t i n g t h e r e s e a r c h r e p o r t . 1. Approaching the Problem The purpose of the pr e s e n t s t u d y — t o p r o v i d e an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , and then t o i d e n t i f y and d i s c u s s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p a s s o c i a t e d w i t h dropout-12 -suggests an i n t e r p r e t i v e approach because t h e problem i s c o n c e p t u a l l y complex and i n t e r t w i n e d , and t h e r e i s a need t o p r o v i d e u n d e r s t a n d i n g . The study's purpose has a scope which r e q u i r e s drawing data as w i d e l y as p o s s i b l e , from a number of s e t t i n g s and c u l t u r e s . D i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s l a r g e r and more complex th a n any s i n g l e example o f i t ; t he e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n e x i s t s i n a v a r i e t y o f forms. The s c h o l a r l y l i t e r a t u r e o f the f i e l d o f f e r e d a good p l a c e t o f i n d the ne c e s s a r y b r e a d t h o f i n f o r m a t i o n . The d a t a needed t o answer the f i r s t r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n — What c h a r a c t e r i z e s e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n ? — c o m e from the a n a l y s i s o f l i t e r a t u r e r e p r e s e n t i n g d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n as a whole (the more t h e o r e t i c a l w r i t i n g s t h a t have begun t o s y n t h e s i z e e x p e r i e n c e i n the f i e l d ) , i n t e g r a t e d w i t h r e l a t e d p i e c e s o f r e s e a r c h d e s c r i b i n g i n d i v i d u a l s i t u a t i o n s . L i k e w i s e , the da t a needed t o answer the second r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n — W h a t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n are a s s o c i a t e d w i t h dropout?—come from a review o f the d i s p a r a t e and voluminous l i t e r a t u r e on dropout ( p r i m a r i l y i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n though a l s o some works from h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n and a d u l t e d u c a t i o n ) which was searched f o r f i n d i n g s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . Using, s c h o l a r l y l i t e r a t u r e as data i s a mode o f i n v e s t i g a t i o n which can be undertaken by one r e s e a r c h e r w i t h m a r g i n a l f u n d i n g . I t does, however, r e q u i r e a g r e a t d e a l of time, a t t e n t i o n , and cu m u l a t i v e a n a l y s i s . L u c k i l y , t h e r e are 13 g e n e r a l advantages t o u s i n g t h i s method, some of which are l i s t e d below. B r e a d t h : These d a t a — c o l l e c t i v e l y — h a v e b r e a d t h i n t h a t t h e y were a r r i v e d a t by d i f f e r e n t r e s e a r c h e r s working i n d i f f e r e n t systems. C u r r e n c y : U s i n g s c h o l a r l y l i t e r a t u r e as a data source b u i l d s knowledge on the r e s e a r c h f r o n t . I t makes r e s e a r c h c u m u l a t i v e , growing out o f m a t e r i a l i n the f i e l d , so t h a t advances o f t h e pa s t are i n c o r p o r a t e d i n c u r r e n t u n d e r s t a n d i n g and new a n a l y s i s . G e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y : The br e a d t h o f the s e d a t a may support t h e i r g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y . I n f l u e n c e : These d a t a a re a l l i n a p o s i t i o n t o have i n f l u e n c e because they are p u b l i s h e d — a n d , by h a v i n g i n f l u e n c e , t h e y a re more l i k e l y t o reproduce themselves. I t i s e a s i e r f o r someone t o name t h a t which has a l r e a d y been named th a n t o r e c o g n i z e the p r e v i o u s l y un-named e x p e r i e n c e . S i m i l a r l y , t h e s e a r t i c l e s shape the debates i n t h e f i e l d , and c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a d i s c o u r s e . Openness: These data are open t o s c r u t i n y and are r e l a t i v e l y s t a b l e : a person who wishes t o do so now or i n the f u t u r e may c o n s u l t o r i g i n a l d ata sources from the p r e s e n t study. Parsimony: These data have a l r e a d y been d i s t i l l e d i n a number o f ways. The l i t e r a t u r e has encoded raw e x p e r i e n c e s ( o f t e n n o n - v e r b a l as w e l l as v e r b a l ) i n the l i n e a r s yntax of E n g l i s h so comparison i s f a c i l i t a t e d . Relevance: P u b l i s h e d s c h o l a r l y w r i t i n g s have been screene d by e d i t o r s and sometimes by j u r i e s , so o t h e r r e a d e r s have judged them t o have v a l u e and c o n s i d e r e d them t o be r e l e v a n t . U t i l i t y : S y n t h e s i z i n g l i t e r a t u r e i n any f i e l d h e l p s p r a c t i t i o n e r s o r o t h e r r e s e a r c h e r s . While these advantages may r e s u l t from t h e use o f s c h o l a r l y l i t e r a t u r e as a d a t a source, the q u a l i t y o f the r e s e a r c h i s more dependent on t h e r i g o r o f i t s a n a l y s i s than i t i s on the o r i g i n o f i t s d a t a . There a r e , o f course, drawbacks t o the use o f l i t e r a t u r e as d a t a . S e v e r a l o f the most s i g n i f i c a n t are l i s t e d below. Ac c e s s : The r e s e a r c h e r m a i n l y has access t o p u b l i s h e d p r o d u c t s ; meta-research i s not o n l y dependent on p r i m a r y r e s e a r c h , i t i s r e s t r i c t e d t o a c c e s s i b l e p r i m a r y r e s e a r c h . Language: Another r e s t r i c t i o n on a c c e s s i b i l i t y i s language of p u b l i c a t i o n . Q u a l i t y : The most c a r e f u l and i n s i g h t f u l secondary a n a l y s i s cannot improve t h e q u a l i t y of p r i m a r y r e s e a r c h t h a t i s s l i p s h o d . Purpose: A more s u b t l e problem d e r i v e s from a t t e m p t i n g t o use data c o l l e c t e d f o r one purpose t o serve a n o t h e r — i n t h i s case, t o d e r i v e i n f o r m a t i o n about the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p from s t u d i e s t h a t were not undertaken w i t h t h a t concept i n mind. 15 A. I n t e g r a t i v e Reviews The r e s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n t o which t h i s study belongs i n c l u d e s the range o f approaches from a s i m p l e l i t e r a t u r e r e v i e w t o s o p h i s t i c a t e d s t a t i s t i c a l m e t a - a n a l y s i s . A simple l i t e r a t u r e r e v i e w aggregates i n f o r m a t i o n . I n t e g r a t i v e reviews t a k e t h e common l i t e r a t u r e r e v iew at l e a s t one s t e p f u r t h e r — an i n t e g r a t i v e r e view not o n l y aggregates and a n a l y s e s the l i t e r a t u r e , i t a l s o s y n t h e s i z e s something new from t h a t a n a l y s i s . The da t a may o r may not be q u a n t i t a t i v e i n n a t u r e . Research on s t a t i s t i c a l r e s e a r c h , o f t e n c a l l e d m e t a - a n a l y s i s , can s t i l l be r e f e r r e d t o by the broader term o f i n t e g r a t i v e r e s e a r c h r e view. P r o b a b l y the be s t name f o r the k i n d o f i n t e g r a t i v e review undertaken i n t h e p r e s e n t study i s meta-research (Sork, 1982). Sork d e f i n e d i t as " s y s t e m a t i c study o f t h e pr o c e s s e s and p r o d u c t s o f i n q u i r y which c h a r a c t e r i z e a d i s c i p l i n e or f i e l d o f study, o r , more s i m p l y , r e s e a r c h on r e s e a r c h " (1982, p. 1 ) . He suggested a t y p o l o g y o f meta-research. The pre s e n t study would f i t under h i s Type I I I , " C r i t i c a l Reviews on S p e c i f i c T o p i c s " (pp. 10-12). M e t a - r e s e a r c h d i f f e r s from m e t a - a n a l y s i s i n t h a t i t makes no attempt t o combine s t a t i s t i c s from i t s source documents i n a .secondary s t a t i s t i c a l a n a l y s i s . M e t a - r e s e a r c h i s q u a l i t a t i v e r a t h e r than q u a n t i t a t i v e . As such, the r e l e v a n c e of i t s d a t a i s o f p r i m a r y importance; i n m e t a - a n a l y s i s , i t i s the q u a l i t y o f the da t a which i s c r u c i a l . 16 Cooper (1982) c o n c e p t u a l i z e d the p r o c e s s of d o i n g an i n t e g r a t i v e r e v i e w i n f i v e s tages t h a t are s i m i l a r t o those o f p r i m a r y r e s e a r c h : "(1) problem f o r m u l a t i o n ; (2) data c o l l e c t i o n ; (3) e v a l u a t i o n o f data p o i n t s ; (4) d a t a a n a l y s i s and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ; and (5) p r e s e n t a t i o n o f r e s u l t s . " The p r e s e n t study went through such a p r o c e s s and adopted Cooper's (1984) s u g g e s t i o n s f o r the data c o l l e c t i o n p a r t of t h i s p r o c e s s . The f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n addresses the need f o r t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s as a b a s i c requirement i n a l l q u a l i t a t i v e a n a l y s i s , and shows how the p r e s e n t study has responded t o t h i s need. B. E s t a b l i s h i n g Trustworthiness R i g o r — a n d t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s — i n q u a l i t a t i v e a n a l y s i s has t o do w i t h c r e d i b i l i t y , t r a n s f e r a b i l i t y , d e p e n d a b i l i t y and c o n f i r m a b i l i t y (Guba, 1985) . C r e d i b i l i t y may a r i s e from t r i a n g u l a t i o n : the use of s e v e r a l s o u r c e s . Data i n t h i s study were drawn from many sources and a number of c o n t e x t s . The c o n t e x t s i n c l u d e d : 1. c e n t r a l i z e d systems of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n 2. d e c e n t r a l i z e d systems o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n 3. European d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n s t i t u t i o n s 4. North /American d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n s t i t u t i o n s 5. A u s t r a l i a n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n s t i t u t i o n s 6. A s i a n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n s t i t u t i o n s 7. a South American d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n system 17 T r a n s f e r a b l i t y a l l o w s a reader t o compare one c o n t e x t w i t h another and determine whether the f i n d i n g s i n the f i r s t might be t r a n s f e r r e d t o t h e second. T r a n s f e r a b i l i t y i s f a c i l i t a t e d when the r e s e a r c h r e p o r t r e l a t e s i t s f i n d i n g s t o a t h i c k d e s c r i p t i o n o f the c o n t e x t from which they emerge (Geertz, 1973). The p r e s e n t study documents the l i t e r a t u r e s used as i t s d a t a s o u r c e s . As w e l l , t o ensure the comprehensiveness of i t s d a t a and thus i n c r e a s e t h e number of c o n t e x t s t o which t h e y might be t r a n s f e r a b l e , e x p e r t s from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n systems i n v a r i o u s p a r t s of the w o r l d were asked t o supplement th e working b i b l i o g r a p h y (see Appendix 1) w i t h r e f e r e n c e s t o s i g n i f i c a n t t h e o r e t i c a l and r e s e a r c h l i t e r a t u r e t h a t had been missed. T h e i r a d d i t i o n s were few i n number, but v a l u a b l e (see Appendix B). L i k e t r a n s f e r a b i l i t y , d e p e n d a b i l i t y i s b u i l t by thoroughness. I f the l o g i c c o n n e c t i n g a c h a i n o f evidence d e r i v e d from m u l t i p l e sources i s made c l e a r , o t h e r s can f o l l o w i t and i d e n t i f y i t s s t r e n g t h or weakness. D e p e n d a b i l i t y i s o f t e n e s t a b l i s h e d by an i n q u i r y a u d i t (Guba, 1985)—by a s k i n g f o r a second o p i n i o n on judgments. By c o n s u l t i n g e x p e r t s , t h e p r e s e n t study enhanced i t s d e p e n d a b i l i t y as w e l l as i t s t r a n s f e r a b i l i t y . C o n f i r m a b i l i t y i s a l s o a s s o c i a t e d w i t h what Guba and L i n c o l n (1982) c a l l e d the a u d i t p r o c e s s . T h i s p r o c e s s makes the procedures of r e s e a r c h v i s i b l e so t h a t t h e i r c o n s i s t e n c y and c r e d i b i l i t y may be c o n f i r m e d by independent a u d i t o r s . For t h i s reason, Chapter I I d e l i n e a t e s the r e s e a r c h method i n 18 d e t a i l . The means f o r e s t a b l i s h i n g c r e d i b i l i t y , d i s c u s s e d above, a l s o enhance the d e p e n d a b i l i t y o f the r e s e a r c h and i t s c o n f i r m a b i l i t y . R i gorous q u a l i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h i s c l e a r , open, a c c e s s i b l e and r e p l e t e w i t h s p e c i f i c d e t a i l . I t t a k e s t h e reader r i g h t i n t o the c o n t e x t . At the same tim e , i t reduces the c o n f u s i o n of a l a r g e body o f d a t a by i d e n t i f y i n g common themes and e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . The p r e s e n t study has been w r i t t e n w i t h t h e s e o b j e c t i v e s i n mind. 2. D a t a C o l l e c t i o n T h i s s e c t i o n d e s c r i b e s t h e p r o c e s s o f c o l l e c t i n g and e v a l u a t i n g the d a t a . I t employs Cooper's (1984, pp. 38-57) t e r m i n o l o g y . He p r o v i d e s a u s e f u l d i s c u s s i o n o f methods f o r d a t a c o l l e c t i o n f o r i n t e g r a t i v e reviews which has served as a guide f o r the pre s e n t study. A_, Informal Channels Cooper (1984, p. 55) warned t h a t " i n f o r m a t i o n c o n t a i n e d i n i n f o r m a l channels i s not l i k e l y t o r e f l e c t i n f o r m a t i o n g l e aned from a l l p o t e n t i a l s o u r c e s " but acknowledged t h a t i n f o r m a t i o n from i n f o r m a l channels i s l i k e l y t o be more re c e n t than t h a t a c q u i r e d through f o r m a l c h a n n e l s . The p r e s e n t study drew data from the s e v e r a l i n f o r m a l channels 19 Cooper i d e n t i f i e d : p e r s o n a l r e s e a r c h , " i n v i s i b l e c o l l e g e , " and p r o f e s s i o n a l meetings. P e r s o n a l r e s e a r c h on r e l a t i o n s h i p s between a d u l t e d u c a t o r s and l e a r n e r s as d e p i c t e d i n a work o f f i c t i o n (Munro, 1987) l e d t o a p r e l i m i n a r y a n a l y s i s o f e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n (Munro, 1989) and t o the focus o f the p r e s e n t study. Over t h e pa s t s e v e r a l years a t l e a s t t h i r t y o r f o r t y p e o p l e — a c a d e m i c s and d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n p r a c t i t i o n e r s — h a v e s e r v e d as a k i n d o f " i n v i s i b l e c o l l e g e " f o r the p r e s e n t s t u d y . T h i s c o l l e g e i n c l u d e s people on s e v e r a l c o n t i n e n t s w i t h a wide range of e x p e r i e n c e . They have shared t h e i r knowledge, suggested d a t a , and r e f l e c t e d on i d e a s . D i s c u s s i o n s w i t h some of t h e s e people took p l a c e at p r o f e s s i o n a l meetings. These i n c l u d e d l o c a l , n a t i o n a l and i n t e r n a t i o n a l c onferences and t e l e c o n f e r e n c e s f o r groups such as the Canadian A s s o c i a t i o n o f D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n , Canadian A s s o c i a t i o n f o r S t u d i e s i n A d u l t E d u c a t i o n , A d u l t E d u c a t i o n Research Conference and a j o i n t meeting of SCUTREA/ AERC/ CASAE. As w e l l , v i s i t s were made t o d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n f a c i l i t i e s i n Canada and abroad, i n c l u d i n g one t o I n d i r a Gandhi N a t i o n a l Open U n i v e r s i t y i n New D e l h i . These i n f o r m a l channels have been a s t i m u l a n t and source f o r t h e p r e s e n t study and have complemented the f o r m a l s e a r c h . 20 B . F o r m a l Channels F o l l o w i n g Cooper's (1984) s u g g e s t i o n , the f o r m a l s e a r c h f o r d a t a began w i t h books and j o u r n a l s (Cooper's p r i m a r y f o r m a l channels) and i n v o l v e d what he c a l l e d t h e a n c e s t r y approach, where one source l e a d s t o o t h e r s . The f o r m a l search i n v e s t i g a t e d t h e h o l d i n g s on d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n two l i b r a r i e s : The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia (UBC), and the Open L e a r n i n g Agency (OLA). The Open L e a r n i n g Agency ( B r i t i s h Columbia's Open U n i v e r s i t y , Open C o l l e g e , and Knowledge Network) s u b s c r i b e s t o a dozen o r more j o u r n a l s d e a l i n g w i t h d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , i n c l u d i n g Distance Education, Open Learning ( p r e v i o u s l y Teaching at a Distance), Epistolodidaktika, American Journal of Distance Education, Journal of Distance Education, and Research in Distance Education. As w e l l , t he OLA l i b r a r y i s a good source of E n g l i s h - l a n g u a g e books and conference p r o c e e d i n g s on t o p i c s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n p u b l i s h e d i n the l a s t decade. These books and j o u r n a l s l e d t o o t h e r works c i t e d i n t h e i r r e f e r e n c e l i s t s . The OLA l i b r a r y has a t l e a s t two l i m i t a t i o n s : i t o r i g i n a t e d about t e n years ago and so h o l d s m o s t l y r e c e n t works, and i t has v e r y few works t h a t are not i n E n g l i s h , but i t s t i l l has a l a r g e r and more up-to-date c o l l e c t i o n on d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n than does UBC, or any o t h e r l i b r a r y i n B r i t i s h Columbia. UBC does h o l d some e a r l i e r p u b l i c a t i o n s , a r t i c l e s on m i c r o f i c h e , and government documents not 21 a v a i l a b l e a t OLA, and UBC 1s l i b r a r y has a w e a l t h of what Cooper c a l l s secondary channels. The i n t e r l i b r a r y l o a n s e r v i c e made some f u r t h e r m a t e r i a l , not i n t h e OLA or UBC l i b r a r i e s , a v a i l a b l e . As Cooper (1984, p. 42) recommends, what he c a l l s secondary channels formed the backbone o f t h e l i t e r a t u r e s e a r c h . He suggests going t o : b i b l i o g r a p h i e s , government documents, i n d e x i n g and a b s t r a c t i n g s e r v i c e s such as ERIC, Dissertation Abstracts, Social Sciences Citation Index, and computer se a r c h e s . A r t i c l e s i n e d u c a t i o n a l e n c y c l o p e d i a s and a number o f e d u c a t i o n a l b i b l i o g r a p h i e s p r o v i d e d s t a r t i n g p o i n t s f o r b r a n c h i n g b i b l i o g r a p h i e s l e a d i n g t o books and j o u r n a l s . B i b l i o g r a p h i e s s p e c i f i c t o d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n (Holmberg, 1977 and 1985b) were e s p e c i a l l y h e l p f u l . One o f the e a r l i e s t t a s k s was an attempt t o i d e n t i f y s e m i n a l works i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n based on r e f e r e n c e s i n the Social Sciences Citations Index. T h i s d i d not y i e l d c o n v i n c i n g r e s u l t s because the l i t e r a t u r e has burgeoned r e c e n t l y and o f t e n appears i n sources not indexed, but a l s o because t h e co n v e n t i o n o f c i t i n g p r e v i o u s r e s e a r c h has not been w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d i n t h i s f i e l d . That s e a r c h f o r seminal works l e d t o the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of a c o l l e c t i o n o f essays, Distance education: International perspectives, e d i t e d by Sewart, Keegan and Holmberg (1983) as p o s s i b l y the most i n f l u e n t i a l s i n g l e book, c o n t a i n i n g as i t d i d a c r o s s - s e c t i o n of h i s t o r i c a l and re c e n t work. The few aut h o r s and works which d i d appear i n the SSCI tended t o be i n c l u d e d ( i f 22 excerpted) i n t h a t c o l l e c t i o n . As w e l l , the conference p r o c e e d i n g s from the I n t e r n a t i o n a l C o u n c i l o f D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n seemed c e n t r a l t o the f i e l d and were q u i t e o f t e n the source o f papers c i t e d i n r e f e r e n c e l i s t s . Government documents and the p u b l i c a t i o n s of UNESCO and The World Bank y i e l d e d o c c a s i o n a l m a t e r i a l . Dissertation Abstracts gave i n f o r m a t i o n about s e v e r a l r e l e v a n t d i s s e r t a t i o n s . Harry and I s m a i l ' s promised computerized data base of r e s e a r c h i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n ( l o c a t e d a t the B r i t i s h Open U n i v e r s i t y ) kept looming on the t h r e s h o l d o f a v a i l a b i l i t y d u r i n g the s e a r c h . T h i s s e r v i c e s h o u l d be v a l u a b l e i n the f u t u r e . Perhaps the s i n g l e most f r u i t f u l secondary channel was E R I C — t h e Educational Resources Information Center. A number of computer searches were run through the ERIC s y s t e m — o n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n t h e o r y , dropout i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , dropout i n a d u l t and h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n , meta-research and i n t e g r a t i v e r e v i e w s . The most s u c c e s s f u l o f these was t h e one on dropout i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . I t s d e s c r i p t o r s were "DISTANCE EDUCATION.AND.(DROPOUT RESEARCH.OR.DROPOUT CHARACTERISTICS.OR.DROPOUT ATTITUDES.OR.ACADEMIC PERSISTENCE.OR.PARTICIPANT SATISFACTION)." T h i s s e a r c h r e s u l t e d i n 11 ED ( e d u c a t i o n a l document) h i t s and 10 E J ( e d u c a t i o n a l j o u r n a l ) h i t s , a l l of which seemed worth r e a d i n g , and the s e i n t u r n l e d t o f u r t h e r m a t e r i a l . Some o t h e r ERIC searches were l e s s f r u i t f u l , p r o d u c i n g many h i t s but m o s t l y d i s c a r d a b l e a b s t r a c t s . I n t e r e s t i n g l y , a s e a r c h 23 which had p r e v i o u s l y drawn a b l a n k was re p e a t e d i n June, 1989, but t h i s time run o n l i n e . The d e s c r i p t o r s were DISTANCE EDUCATION. AND. (THEORIES'. OR. THEORY PRACTICE RELATIONSHIP). T h i s s e a r c h r e s u l t e d i n no ED h i t s and 1 E J h i t which had a l r e a d y been d i s c o v e r e d . C. Confirming Comprehensiveness The f i n a l s t e p i n the d a t a s e a r c h and an important s t e p i n d a t a e v a l u a t i o n was t o send t h e working o u t l i n e and b i b l i o g r a p h y f o r t h i s study t o e x p e r t r e s e a r c h e r s i n the f i e l d and ask f o r t h e i r comments and notes r e g a r d i n g any major s t u d i e s t h a t were m i s s i n g . L e t t e r s went t o l e a d i n g E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g educators and r e s e a r c h e r s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n Canada, the U n i t e d S t a t e s , the U n i t e d Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Norway, H o l l a n d , Kenya, I n d i a , A u s t r a l i a and Hong Kong. In s e l e c t i n g t h e s e e x p e r t s an e f f o r t was made t o get r e p r e s e n t a t i o n from a v a r i e t y of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n systems and c e n t r e s . These i n c l u d e d t h e new Commonwealth o f L e a r n i n g ; the c e n t r a l i z e d B r i t i s h Open U n i v e r s i t y (OUUK) and German F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t ; t h e d e c e n t r a l i z e d systems i n A u s t r a l i a and Sweden; I n d i r a Gandhi N a t i o n a l Open U n i v e r s i t y i n I n d i a ; the Open C o l l e g e of t h e U n i v e r s i t y of East A s i a , Macau, i n Hong Kong; t h e American Journal of Distance Education; and u n i v e r s i t i e s i n N o r t h America. Appendix A c o n s i s t s of a copy of the l e t t e r sent out, a l i s t of the r e s e a r c h e r s c o n s u l t e d , and c o p i e s of t h e i r l e t t e r s . 24 T h e i r r e p l i e s were h e l p f u l and s u p p o r t i v e . S e v e r a l people sent papers and even books, r e c o g n i z i n g t h a t they would not be a v a i l a b l e here. Most had no major c r i t i c i s m s o f the r e s e a r c h d e s i g n . The two most i n t e r e s t i n g c r i t i q u e s c o u l d be s e t a s i d e , a f t e r r e f l e c t i o n . The f i r s t o f t h e s e was t h a t the p r e s e n t study s h o u l d "look at dropout and r e t e n t i o n r a t e s i n c o n v e n t i o n a l p a r t - t i m e e d u c a t i o n a l o n g s i d e t h o s e f o r d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . " Chapter V does p r e s e n t some d a t a on t h i s t o p i c , but t h e p r e s e n t study r e a l l y f ocuses on the impact of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p on dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . The accompanying s u g g e s t i o n , t h a t dropout s h o u l d be i n v e s t i g a t e d i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the n a t u r e o f the e d u c a t i o n a l m a t e r i a l s used, a l s o seemed o u t s i d e t h e scope of t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n . Both t h e s e i s s u e s have been d i s c u s s e d , i n a l i m i t e d way, i n the p r e s e n t study. The second p r o v o c a t i v e s u g g e s t i o n was t h a t i t would be b e t t e r t o i n v e s t i g a t e " i n s t i t u t i o n - l e a r n e r " i n s t e a d o f " e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r " r e l a t i o n s h i p s . The p r e s e n t study makes i t v e r y c l e a r t h a t the e d u c a t o r i t speaks of i s o f t e n a d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n s t i t u t i o n . The f o c a l term has been l e f t as "educator-l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p " because t h a t i s what was i n v e s t i g a t e d here. T h i s s u g g e s t i o n has much t o recommend i t however, and c o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d f o r a f o l l o w - u p study. H, Pata foxmi-tatijons A major l i m i t a t i o n t o t h i s s tudy was language. L u c k i l y , E n g l i s h tends t o serve as a l i n g u a - f r a n c a f o r d i s t a n c e 25 e d u c a t i o n r e s e a r c h , but t h e r e are documents p u b l i s h e d o n l y i n German o r i n Spanish ( f o r example) which are not i n c l u d e d . Time posed another problem. The l a g between r e s e a r c h and p u b l i c a t i o n , and the l a p s e between d a t a c o l l e c t i o n and the c o m p l e t i o n o f t h i s study, means t h a t not a l l c u r r e n t r e s e a r c h c o u l d be r e p r e s e n t e d i n the a c c e s s i b l e p o p u l a t i o n , l e t alone i n t h e sample o f i t drawn f o r t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n . January 1, 1989 was the c u t - o f f date f o r d a t a c o l l e c t i o n , a l t h o u g h a number o f l a t e r p u b l i c a t i o n s and s e v e r a l which were then i n p r e s s have been i n c l u d e d . S i n c e the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i s c e n t r a l t o e d u c a t i o n , i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t a s p e c t s of i t appear under a number of t o p i c s . The l i t e r a t u r e o f dropout may w e l l p r o v i d e t h e most e x t e n s i v e d i s c o u r s e r e l a t e d t o t h e e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t e x i s t s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . However, by c h o o s i n g t o l o o k a t the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n the c o n t e x t of dropout, the p r e s e n t study o b v i o u s l y missed data i n o t h e r a r e a s . 3. Data An a l y s i s Data e v a l u a t i o n and a n a l y s i s has gone on from the b e g i n n i n g o f t h e p r e s e n t study i n a p r o c e s s r e s e m b l i n g the c o n s t a n t comparative method ( G l a s e r & S t r a u s s , 1967), which i s used when d e v e l o p i n g grounded t h e o r y . The s e a r c h f o r data n e c e s s i t a t e d s e v e r a l stages o f e v a l u a t i o n . Judgments had t o 26 be made about whether a c i t a t i o n i n a b i b l i o g r a p h y o r an a b s t r a c t sounded l i k e something worth r e a d i n g . Of those s t u d i e s read, f u r t h e r e v a l u a t i o n determined what the m a t e r i a l had t o o f f e r t o the p r e s e n t study. As more work was examined, i t was n e c e s s a r y t o r e - r e a d t e x t s t o see i f something had been missed or i f the o r i g i n a l assessment had changed. T h i s p r o c e s s a l l o w s the r e s e a r c h e r t o l e a r n as t h e study p r o g r e s s e s , and i t l e a d s t o the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f o v e r a l l p a t t e r n s . The c r i t e r i a f o r j u d g i n g grounded t h e o r y — t h a t i t must b o t h f i t and work i n p r a c t i c e ( G l a s e r & S t r a u s s , 1 9 6 7 ) — u n d e r l a y the p r o c e s s of on-going e v a l u a t i o n . Keeping a p r a c t i t i o n e r ' s eye w h i l e r e a d i n g meant c o n s i d e r i n g t h e o r e t i c a l i s s u e s from the p e r s p e c t i v e s o f d i f f e r e n t s i t u a t i o n s i n which d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n o c c u r s . A l t h o u g h the a n a l y s i s was c u m u l a t i v e — b e g u n w i t h the f i r s t r e a d i n g o f each p i e c e o f l i t e r a t u r e i n the data base and c o n t i n u e d as t h a t data i n c r e a s e d — a n d r e q u i r e d on-going r e v i s i o n , r e f l e c t i o n and r e o r g a n i z a t i o n , two stages might be i d e n t i f i e d . They were not d i s c r e t e ; the study e v o l v e d h o l i s t i c a l l y . • The f i r s t stage of a n a l y s i s c u l m i n a t e d i n i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of a c o n c e p t u a l framework and the p r o d u c t i o n of a model. • The second stage o f a n a l y s i s i n v o l v e d the use of t h a t model and c o n c e p t u a l framework. 27 The p r o g r e s s towards a b s t r a c t i o n l e d , i n the end, t o c o n n e c t i n g the a b s t r a c t i o n s t o problems met i n a c t u a l p r a c t i c e . S e v e r a l t o o l s f o r a b s t r a c t i o n were employed d u r i n g p a r t s o f the d a t a a n a l y s i s . These i n c l u d e d Keegan's (1980; 1986) d e f i n i t i o n o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , s e v e r a l m i n i - t h e o r i e s from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , T i n t o ' s t h e o r y of dropout from h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n (1987), p l u s the c o n c e p t u a l framework o f e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and t h e model developed i n t h e p r e s e n t study. W r i t i n g the r e s e a r c h r e p o r t was i t s e l f a stage o f data a n a l y s i s s i n c e i t e n t a i l e d f u r t h e r r e f l e c t i o n and the a r t i c u l a t i o n o f f i n d i n g s i n a l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e . Jackson w r i t e s : I t i s a w i d e l y h e l d p r e c e p t i n a l l the s c i e n c e s t h a t r e p o r t s of r e s e a r c h ought t o i n c l u d e enough i n f o r m a t i o n about the study t h a t the r e a d e r can c r i t i c a l l y examine th e e v i d e n c e . T h i s p r e c e p t p r o b a b l y a l s o s h o u l d a p p l y t o i n t e g r a t i v e r e v i e w s , s i n c e such reviews are a form of r e s e a r c h . (1980, p. 456) Cooper (1984, pp. 114-124) emphasizes t h a t the r e p o r t of an i n t e g r a t i v e r e view s h o u l d f o l l o w the same s t r u c t u r e as would a r e p o r t o f p r i m a r y r e s e a r c h — t h a t i s , i t s h o u l d have s e c t i o n s devoted t o i n t r o d u c t i o n , methods, r e s u l t s and d i s c u s s i o n . G l a s e r and S t r a u s s (1967, pp. 223-230) t a k e a d i f f e r e n t t a c k . They t a l k about how the r e s e a r c h i s brought t o a c l o s e when the r e s e a r c h e r , who knows the d a t a s y s t e m a t i c a l l y , " b e l i e v e s i n h i s own k n o w l e d g e a b i l i t y and sees no reason t o 28 change t h a t b e l i e f . " They ask, "Why does the r e s e a r c h e r t r u s t what he knows?" and they see the r e p o r t i n g o f what the r e s e a r c h e r knows as a t a s k o f conveying c r e d i b i l i t y . The r e s e a r c h e r ' s t a s k o f conveying c r e d i b i l i t y i s a c t u a l l y much l i k e t h a t o f the r e a l i s t i c n o v e l i s t , though the l a t t e r ' s a n a l y t i c f r a m e w o r k — h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n — i s g e n e r a l l y much more i m p l i c i t , (p. 22 9) These t h r e e p i e c e s o f a d v i c e p r o v i d e d c r i t e r i a f o r w r i t i n g t h e p r e s e n t study. 4. Summary Chapter I I , "Method," d e s c r i b e s the r e s e a r c h d e s i g n (the i n t e g r a t i v e r e v i e w ) , i t s t r a d i t i o n , i t s advantages, and i t s methods. As w e l l , t h i s c h a p t e r has e x p l a i n e d how the p i e c e s o f l i t e r a t u r e were chosen, the d a t a e v a l u a t e d , a n a l y z e d , and r e p o r t e d . Chapter I I I , "Understanding D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n , " i s the f i r s t o f t h r e e c h a p t e r s devoted t o d a t a a n a l y s i s and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , and t o the p r e s e n t a t i o n o f r e s u l t s . 29 CHAPTER I I I UNDERSTANDING DISTANCE EDUCATION Chapter I I I addresses i m p o r t a n t background i s s u e s f o r the pr e s e n t study. The c o n n e c t i o n between d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and open l e a r n i n g i s c l a r i f i e d and d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s d e f i n e d . An overview o f s c h o l a r l y l i t e r a t u r e i n the f i e l d l e a d s t o the p r e s e n t a t i o n o f r e s e a r c h b e a r i n g on p a r t i c u l a r components of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . A number o f " m i n i - t h e o r i e s " are then i n t r o d u c e d and the c h a p t e r ends w i t h a summary. 1. D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n i n the Context o f Open L e a r n i n g c The n o t i o n o f openness has become a meta-concept i n the s c h o l a r l y l i t e r a t u r e o f the f i e l d ; i t a l s o p l a y s an important r o l e i n the p r e s e n t study. The f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n p r e s e n t s some o f the t h i n k i n g a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the concept o f openness and c l a r i f i e s t he c o n n e c t i o n between " d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n " and "open l e a r n i n g " — a p a i r o f terms which are sometimes used as i f t hey were synonymous. Understanding the c o n n e c t i o n between d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and o t h e r modes of e d u c a t i o n , e s p e c i a l l y w i t h i n t h e c o n t e x t of open l e a r n i n g , h e l p s t o c l a r i f y the 30 frame o f ci r c u m s t a n c e s about the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . When p r o p e r l y used, the term " d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n " r e f e r s t o the method by which i n s t r u c t i o n i s o f f e r e d , and the term "open l e a r n i n g " r e f e r s t o the g o a l s and p o l i c i e s of an e d u c a t i o n a l system. Rumble (1989) e x p l a i n s t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s a mode o f e d u c a t i o n on a continuum w i t h c o n t i g u o u s e d u c a t i o n . He argues t h a t courses and programs can be p l a c e d on a continuum from t h e h i g h l y c o n t i g u o u s t o the p u r e l y d i s t a n c e - b a s e d . D i s t a n c e t e a c h i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s o f t e n p r o v i d e f o r some con t i g u o u s i n t e r a c t i o n ; t r a d i t i o n a l systems may make use of r e s o u r c e c e n t r e s (language l a b s , f o r i n s t a n c e ) o r independent d i r e c t e d study courses which depend on r e a d i n g l i s t s . Open l e a r n i n g , on the o t h e r hand, r e f e r s t o an e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i c y . ...the two concepts d e a l w i t h d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s , the former [ d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n ] s t r e s s i n g t h e means by which e d u c a t i o n i s a c h i e v e d , the l a t t e r [open l e a r n i n g ] the objectives and character o f the e d u c a t i o n a l p r o c e s s . (Rumble, 1989, p. 30) H i s t o r i c a l l y , t r a d i t i o n a l Western e d u c a t i o n has been t e a c h e r - c o n t r o l l e d and a t t a c h e d t o geographic l o c a t i o n s . Open l e a r n i n g e n t a i l s a r e c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n o f the h i s t o r i c a l e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . Because d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s an important mode o f p r o v i s i o n f o r open l e a r n i n g , i t may i n c o r p o r a t e these developments. I d e a l l y , open l e a r n i n g a l l o w s any l e a r n e r access t o a l l e d u c a t i o n . And, a g a i n i d e a l l y , open l e a r n i n g l e v e l s the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p by g i v i n g the l e a r n e r more c o n t r o l : she or he might study when and where i t i s convenient, combine e d u c a t i o n a l c r e d i t s from v a r i o u s s o u r c e s , d e s i g n and r e d e s i g n a p e r s o n a l e d u c a t i o n a l program. Most l e a r n e r s i n v o l v e d w i t h open l e a r n i n g are a d u l t s , a f a c t which a l s o works t o l e v e l e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s . However, d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s t u d e n t s are not n e c e s s a r i l y p a r t i c i p a n t s i n an open l e a n i n g system, a l t h o u g h open l e a r n i n g u s u a l l y i n c l u d e s d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . The e d u c a t i o n a l modes p r e s e n t i n open l e a r n i n g can be shown on o r t h o g o n a l axes o f " f a c e - t o - f a c e " < > "mediated communication" and " l o c a t i o n f i x e d " < > " l o c a t i o n f r e e . " F i g u r e 1 i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s . f a c e - t o - f a c e traditional mode 1. l o c a t i o n f i x e d -i n t e g r a t e d instruction 4 . itinerant mode 2 . • l o c a t i o n f r e e distance education 3. mediated communication F i g u r e 1. Modes o f i n s t r u c t i o n i n an open l e a r n i n g system. 1 The t r a d i t i o n a l mode, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f s c h o o l s and most u n i v e r s i t i e s , o c c u p i e s the f i r s t quadrant. x F i g u r e 1 i s based on F a r r e l l ' s (1990) diagram of the e v o l u t i o n of open l e a r n i n g . The i t i n e r a n t mode, i n the second quadrant, oc c u r s when i n s t i t u t i o n s o f f e r f a c e - t o - f a c e e x t e n s i o n programs at s i t e s d i s t a n t from t h e i r home campus. D i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , i n the t h i r d quadrant, came i n t o b e i n g a f t e r p o s t a l systems p r o v i d e d a r e l i a b l e exchange of correspondence. I t s growth has been l i n k e d t o advances i n communications t e c h n o l o g y and t h e i n c r e a s i n g demand f o r e d u c a t i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s by a d u l t l e a r n e r s . I n t e g r a t e d i n s t r u c t i o n , i n the f o u r t h quadrant, emerged as c e n t e r s were e s t a b l i s h e d w i t h a mix o f e d u c a t i o n a l r e s o u r c e s such as f a c e - t o - f a c e a d v i s o r s o r t u t o r s w i t h d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n course packages, group t e l e c o n f e r e n c i n g w i t h independent study, c l o s e d c i r c u i t t e l e v i s i o n i n s t r u c t i o n a t more than one s i t e , computer c o n f e r e n c i n g at l e a r n i n g c e n t r e s , and so on. The numbering o f these quadrants does not imply a h i e r a r c h y o f v a l u e s ; an open l e a r n i n g system may i n c l u d e a l l forms o f i n s t r u c t i o n i n o r d e r t o meet the spectrum o f l e a r n e r s ' needs. 2. D e f i n i t i o n of Distance Education U n l i k e open l e a r n i n g , d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s not a p h i l o s o p h y of o r p o l i c y f o r e d u c a t i o n but r a t h e r a means of e d u c a t i o n — " a f a m i l y of t r a n s a c t i o n s between t e a c h e r s and l e a r n e r s " (Moore, 1989, p. 4 ) . There have been a number of 33 attempts t o d e f i n e d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Major p o i n t s o f v a r i a n c e i n v o l v e the presence or absence o f f a c e - t o - f a c e t e a c h i n g and/or o f p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r group l e a r n i n g . Holmberg, who has been a l e a d e r i n the development o f the concept o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , says: . . . w h i l e d i s t a n c e study may w e l l be supplemented by f a c e - t o - f a c e s e s s i o n s , o n l y mediated c o n t a c t , i . e . non-contiguous communication, i s taken t o be a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n per se. (Holmberg, 1989, p. I D Hi s d e f i n i t i o n of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n below i g n o r e s , but does not exc l u d e , the p o s s i b i l i t y f o r d i a l o g u e among l e a r n e r s : D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n covers the v a r i o u s forms o f study a t a l l l e v e l s which are not under the co n t i n u o u s , immediate s u p e r v i s i o n o f t u t o r s p r e s e n t w i t h t h e i r s t u d e n t s i n l e c t u r e rooms o r on t h e same premises, but which, n e v e r t h e l e s s , b e n e f i t from the p l a n n i n g , guidance and t u i t i o n o f a s u p p o r t i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n . (Holmberg, 1977, p. 9) A somewhat d i f f e r e n t a t t i t u d e i s ex p r e s s e d by Keegan (1980; 1986) i n another well-known d e f i n i t i o n o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . He a n a l y z e d " g e n e r a l l y a c c e p t e d d e f i n i t i o n s " o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and compiled t h e i r common c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n t o s i x c r i t e r i a (1980, p. 14). In response t o c r i t i c s , Keegan (1986, pp. 42-52; 115) l a t e r made a number of r e v i s i o n s and dropped one c r i t e r i o n — " p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n an i n d u s t r i a l i z e d form o f e d u c a t i o n which . . . c o n t a i n s the genus o f r a d i c a l s e p a r a t i o n of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n from o t h e r forms w i t h i n the e d u c a t i o n a l spectrum" (1980, p. 34) . Keegan's e v o l v i n g s y n t h e s i s a l l o w s f o r the c o m p l e x i t y o f 34 e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s found i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and was c r e a t e d i n d i a l o g u e w i t h o t h e r s c h o l a r s and p r a c t i t i o n e r s i n the f i e l d , and so has been s e l e c t e d f o r use i n t h e p r e s e n t study. The simple form of h i s updated d e f i n i t i o n f o l l o w s . • quasi-permanent s e p a r a t i o n o f t e a c h e r and' l e a r n e r throughout the l e n g t h of the t e a c h i n g p r o c e s s . • quasi-permanent s e p a r a t i o n o f a l e a r n e r from the l e a r n i n g group throughout th e l e n g t h o f t h e l e a r n i n g p r o c e s s . • p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a b u r e a u c r a t i z e d form of e d u c a t i o n a l p r o v i s i o n . • u t i l i z a t i o n o f mechanical or e l e c t r o n i c means of communication t o c a r r y the content o f the c o u r s e . • p r o v i s i o n of means f o r two-way communication so t h a t t h e l e a r n e r can b e n e f i t from o r i n i t i a t e d i a l o g u e . (Keegan, 1986, p. 115) While Holmberg (1989) p r e f e r s t o t h i n k o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n as e n t a i l i n g o n l y mediated c o n t a c t between educator and l e a r n e r , Keegan's (1986) d e f i n i t i o n a l l o w s f o r some f a c e -t o - f a c e and group c o n t a c t as p a r t o f the d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n mode . I t may be h e l p f u l t o v i s u a l i z e d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n on a continuum w i t h contiguous e d u c a t i o n . F i g u r e 2, which has f a c e - t o - f a c e , group e d u c a t i o n a t one end and mediated, i n d i v i d u a l e d u c a t i o n at the o t h e r , i l l u s t r a t e s t h a t g r a d a t i o n s e x i s t w i t h i n what i s commonly c a l l e d d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . 35 f a c e - t o - f a c e group < mediated i n d i v i d u a l > C E 0 D N U T C <-A--D--E F-C E-D-F--B-> A = t r a d i t i o n a l c l a s s r o o m i n s t r u c t i o n B = t r a d i t i o n a l correspondence course C = i n t e g r a t e d media course by computer/ a u d i o / v i d e o D-D = d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n course w i t h summer s c h o o l E-E = t e l e c o n f e r e n c e d course a t l e a r n i n g c e n t r e s F-F = d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n course w i t h t e l e p h o n e t u t o r F i g u r e 2. Examples o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n on a continuum between f a c e - t o - f a c e group i n s t r u c t i o n and mediated i n d i v i d u a l i n s t r u c t i o n . F i n a l l y , Moore (1989) says " t h e r e i s d i s t a n c e i n a l l e d u c a t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , w i t h d i s t a n c e measured by the e x t e n t o f d i a l o g u e between l e a r n e r and i n s t r u c t o r , and the s t r u c t u r e o f t h e t e a c h i n g program" (p. 4 ) . What we n o r m a l l y r e f e r t o as d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , where the geographic s e p a r a t i o n between l e a r n e r and i n s t r u c t o r i s such t h a t e l e c t r o n i c o r p r i n t communications media have t o be employed t o t r a n s m i t the d i a l o g u e are those programs t h a t are c h a r a c t e r i z e d by g r e a t e r d i s t a n c e . What we are n o r m a l l y r e f e r r i n g t o as D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n i s a subset o f a l l e d u c a t i o n a l programmes, t h e subset c h a r a c t e r i z e d by g r e a t e r s t r u c t u r e , lower d i a l o g u e and thus g r e a t e r t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e . (Moore, 1989, p. 4) S t r u c t u r e , d i a l o g u e and t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e w i l l be c o n s i d e r e d f u r t h e r i n Chapter IV, "The Ed u c a t o r - L e a r n e r R e l a t i o n s h i p i n D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n . " The next f i v e s e c t i o n s • I A G T U I 0 O S N < DISTANCE EDUCATION- > 3 6 o f t h i s c h a p t e r take up and d i s c u s s the c r i t e r i a o f Keegan's d e f i n i t i o n . A. Separation of Teacher an,fl ^earner There are q u e s t i o n s about the n a t u r e and q u a l i t y o f e d u c a t i o n t h a t i s p o s s i b l e a t a d i s t a n c e . By some d e f i n i t i o n s , t e a c h i n g i s "a r e c i p r o c a l a c t t h a t i s i m p o s s i b l e i n the absence of a l e a r n e r " (Keegan, 1986, p. 117). The i m p a r t i n g o f i n f o r m a t i o n i s f e a s i b l e , but t h e s o c i a l a s p e c t s o f e d u c a t i o n are not e x p e r i e n c e d i n the same w a y — i f at a l l — as t hey are i n f a c e - t o - f a c e e d u c a t i o n . T h i s f a c t w i l l come up a g a i n i n Chapter V i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h T i n t o ' s (1987) t h e o r y o f dropout. The s e p a r a t i o n of t e a c h e r and l e a r n e r i s the most d i s t i n c t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and has a p e r v a s i v e impact on the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . B. Separation of Learner from Learning Group When d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s t u d e n t s v i s i t a l e a r n i n g c e n t r e o r a t t e n d a summer s c h o o l or a weekend l a b they may meet o t h e r l e a r n e r s s t u d y i n g the same course, but most of the time t h e y study on t h e i r own. T e l e c o n f e r e n c i n g courses u s u a l l y i n v o l v e group l e a r n i n g at d i s p e r s e d l o c a t i o n s . Students may meet f a c e - t o - f a c e w i t h those who share the same l e a r n i n g c e n t r e and have mediated communication w i t h the e d u c a t o r and o t h e r members of the l e a r n i n g group who are g e o g r a p h i c a l l y d i s t a n t . In some c o u r s e s , the use of a computer s c r e e n and 37 " t e l e w r i t e r s " — w h i c h d i g i t i z e markings by student or i n s t r u c t o r — p e r m i t v i s u a l as w e l l as v o i c e i n t e r a c t i o n a c r o s s t h e t e l e p h o n e l i n e . Thus, a s t a t i s t i c s p r o f e s s o r at the U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l g a r y c o u l d ask a student i n High R i v e r t o complete a formu l a on the scr e e n and another student i n Me d i c i n e Hat t o use t h e fo r m u l a t o s o l v e a problem (Shale & G a r r i s o n , 1988). The c r i t e r i o n of quasi-permanent s e p a r a t i o n o f l e a r n e r from l e a r n i n g group, l i k e t he f i r s t c r i t e r i o n , r a i s e s the i s s u e o f the r e l a t i v e independence o r dependence o f the l e a r n e r i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . T h i s q u e s t i o n i s c e n t r a l t o d i s c u s s i o n s about the n a t u r e o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p and i t w i l l reappear i n Chapter IV and Chapter V of t h e p r e s e n t study. C. Bureaucratic Form of Educational P r o v i s i o n " I n t r a d i t i o n a l e d u c a t i o n a t e a c h e r t e a c h e s . In d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n an i n s t i t u t i o n t e a c h e s " (Keegan, 1980, p. 13). The OUUK i s t y p i c a l of q u i t e a few d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n s t i t u t i o n s i n i t s method o f u s i n g a "course team" i n the p r e p a r a t i o n o f l e a r n i n g m a t e r i a l s (Mason & Goodenough, 1981, p. I l l ) . There may be s e v e r a l academic s u b j e c t e x p e r t s as w e l l as an e d u c a t i o n a l t e c h n o l o g i s t , a s t a f f t u t o r , a course c o o r d i n a t o r , an e d i t o r and a BBC producer i n v o l v e d i n the development of a course". At the o t h e r end o f the spectrum i s the " i n t e g r a t e d mode" of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n p r a c t i c e d by U n i v e r s i t y of New England 38 i n A u s t r a l i a (Smith, 1983) . UNE e n r o l l s e x t e r n a l s t u d e n t s and i n t e r n a l s t u d e n t s i n the same co u r s e s . Here, the i n f l u e n c e of an e d u c a t i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n seems t o d i f f e r l i t t l e f o r i n t e r n a l and e x t e r n a l s t u d e n t s . D. Content Carrie d bv Mechanical Q_£ E l e c t r o n i c Media The use o f t e c h n i c a l media r e f l e c t s a s i g n i f i c a n t focus i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n on the n e c e s s i t y f o r o b j e c t i v e p r i n t -making. There i s a d i f f e r e n c e between the c o n s c i o u s and complex p r e p a r a t i o n s r e q u i r e d t o r e c o r d b r o a d c a s t q u a l i t y t e l e v i s i o n o r make an i n s t r u c t i o n a l a u diotape and the p r e p a r a t i o n r e q u i r e d t o g i v e a l e c t u r e . D i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , w i t h i t s emphasis on t e c h n i c a l media, makes d i f f e r e n t demands upon both i t s e d u c a t o r s and i t s l e a r n e r s . Those p r a c t i c i n g d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n tend t o be h e a v i l y i n f l u e n c e d by the impact and requirements o f the media they employ. The l i t e r a t u r e i s f u l l o f a r t i c l e s d e s c r i b i n g ways of u s i n g new t e c h n o l o g y . The i n s t a n t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n u n i v e r s i t y i n I n d o n e s i a , which opened i t s doors t o some 60,000 s t u d e n t s i n 1984 and a n t i c i p a t e d an e n r o l l m e n t o f 250,000 by 1987 r e l i e s on computers t o mark every exam. No course may i n c l u d e an assignment or e v a l u a t i o n which cannot be s c o r e d by computer. The U n i v e r s i t y o f the South P a c i f i c uses s a t e l l i t e communications t o reach s t u d e n t s s c a t t e r e d over many i s l a n d s . D i s t a n c e s t u d e n t s must l e a v e t h e i r v i l l a g e s on s e t dates and go t o l e a r n i n g c e n t r e s t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n e l e c t r o n i c seminars (U.S.P., 1983 v i d e o t a p e ) . 39 These are but two examples o f how the use o f t e c h n i c a l media has d i c t a t e d the concept o f what k i n d of e d u c a t i o n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n p r o v i d e s . E_. Means f o r Dialogue The s t u d e n t ' s needs f o r two-way and group c o m m u n i c a t i o n — f o r c o u r s e - r e l a t e d d i a l o g u e , c o n v e r s a t i o n , seminars, group meetings and s o c i a l i z a t i o n — a r e r e l a t e d . The s t a n d a r d t e a c h i n g package, however w e l l s t r u c t u r e d , cannot p r o v i d e an i n d i v i d u a l i z e d l e a r n i n g system f o r s t u d e n t s . I t i s o n l y the i n t r o d u c t i o n of a human element which can adapt t o t he almost i n f i n i t e v a r i e t y o f student needs (Sewart, 1983, p. 56). Sewart's p o i n t o f view i s r a r e l y c o n t r a d i c t e d i n w r i t i n g s on d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , but not everyone p l a c e s as much emphasis as he does on the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f the human element. I t i s t y p i c a l of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n s t i t u t e s t o employ t u t o r s . T u t o r s u s u a l l y are not r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t r a n s m i t t i n g the course content s i n c e t h a t i s c o n t a i n e d i n the p r i n t m a t e r i a l s . T h e i r job i s t o f a c i l i t a t e t he s t u d e n t s ' l e a r n i n g by answering q u e s t i o n s , marking assignments and exams, and h e l p i n g t h e student a d j u s t t o d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . T u t o r s may communicate w i t h t h e i r s t u d e n t s on the te l e p h o n e , i n l e a r n i n g c e n t r e s , a t s p e c i a l summer s c h o o l s , by l e t t e r , by a u d i o - v i d e o s a t e l l i t e c onference, o r through computer networks. In c o u n t r i e s l i k e Columbia o r M a l a y s i a , v i l l a g e s c h o o l t e a c h e r s may a c t as important p r o c e s s a d v i s o r s even though these l o c a l t u t o r s may not have content e x p e r t i s e . 40 Yet, some u n i v e r s i t i e s , such as the F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t i n Hagen, w i t h l i m i t e d two-way communication between educators and l e a r n e r s , have not i n c l u d e d t e l e p h o n e t u t o r i n g o r f a c e -t o - f a c e i n s t r u c t i o n i n t h e i r d i s t a n c e t e a c h i n g programs, and have not had an i n t e g r a t e d student support system (Sewart, . 1983, p. 53). And t h e r e remain p r i v a t e , p r o p r i e t a r y correspondence s c h o o l s which p e r m i t o n l y l i m i t e d two-way, w r i t t e n communication but who have made " l o n g and v a l u a b l e c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o t h i s f i e l d of e d u c a t i o n s i n c e t h e l a s t c e n t u r y " (Keegan, 1983, p. 18). The p r e v i o u s s e c t i o n s have d e f i n e d d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and d e s c r i b e d i t s components and some of i t s c o n t e x t s . The f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n sketches a g e n e r a l overview o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s c h o l a r l y l i t e r a t u r e . T h i s i s t o i n t r o d u c e more l i m i t e d d i s c u s s i o n s o f r e s e a r c h and t h e o r y t h a t address s p e c i f i c components o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . 3. R esearch i n D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n Research i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n has been d e s c r i b e d as "amateur, u n s y s t e m a t i c and b a d l y d e s i g n e d " (Moore, 1985, p. 3 6 ) . Moore ass e s s e d the r e s e a r c h done i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n f o r the European Home Study C o u n c i l . He was v e r y c r i t i c a l of t h e c a l i b e r of work. We have t o admit t o o n l y a h a n d f u l o f good p r o j e c t s which produce r e l i a b l e , g e n e r a l i z a b l e and u s e f u l i n f o r m a t i o n , a f a i r amount of work worth g i v i n g a t t e n t i o n t o (but o n l y w i t h g r e a t c a u t i o n because of i t s weak method), and a 41 massive volume of amateur, u n s y s t e m a t i c and b a d l y designed r e s e a r c h p r o d u c i n g i n f o r m a t i o n o f v e r y l i t t l e g e n e r a l v a l u e . (Moore, 1985, p. 36) Holmberg, whose b i b l i o g r a p h y o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n r e s e a r c h was f i r s t p u b l i s h e d i n 1972, p a i n t s a more o p t i m i s t i c p i c t u r e and argues t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n c o u l d now be c o n s i d e r e d a d i s c i p l i n e (1986b). By the b e g i n n i n g o f the 1980s the p r e v i o u s d e a r t h of r e s e a r c h on d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n had been r e p l a c e d by a we a l t h o f s t u d i e s . . . . The r e s e a r c h a c t i v i t i e s were and are g e o g r a p h i c a l l y w i d e l y spread and a number o f d i v e r s e areas are b e i n g i n v e s t i g a t e d w i t h i n the framework o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Some are concerned e x c l u s i v e l y w i t h d i d a c t i c s and methodology, some w i t h c o g n i t i v e psychology and so f o r t h , whereas o t h e r pay s p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n t o s o c i o l o g i c a l t o p i c s , and so on. . . . When such d i v e r s e s t u d i e s c o n c e n t r a t e on the concerns o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and emerge as consequences o f a d e s i r e t o a t t a i n e x p e r t i s e i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , i t i s p o s s i b l e t o d e s c r i b e these u n i t e d e f f o r t s as the b e g i n n i n g s of a new d i s c i p l i n e , t h a t o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . ' (pp. 25-2 6) While Holmberg i s r i g h t t h a t both the q u a n t i t y and the q u a l i t y o f r e s e a r c h on d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n have i n c r e a s e d , Moore's c r i t i c i s m s are s t i l l , a l l too o f t e n , a p p r o p r i a t e : " c u r r e n t r e s e a r c h shows weak methodology and f a i l s t o r e l a t e t o p r e v i o u s r e s e a r c h and t o t h e o r e t i c a l frameworks" (1985, p. 38). He complains: In r e c e n t years t h e r e has been an enormous i n c r e a s e i n s o - c a l l e d i n s t i t u t i o n a l r e s e a r c h ( i . e . a re c e n t p r o j e c t r e p o r t s t h e r a t i o o f Open U n i v e r s i t y a p p l i c a n t s t o p o p u l a t i o n by each county i n Great B r i t a i n ) , and v a s t q u a n t i t i e s o f d e s c r i p t i v e s t a t i s t i c s are a v a i l a b l e on hundreds of thousands of s t u d e n t s . However, t h e s e data r a r e l y answer any q u e s t i o n which i s d e r i v e d from or c o n t r i b u t e s t o any k i n d o f t h e o r y . (Moore, 1985, p. 36) 42 L u c k i l y , some d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n r e s e a r c h has been c a r e f u l l y d e s i g n e d w i t h c l e a r c o n n e c t i o n s t o t h e o r e t i c a l frameworks and p r e v i o u s r e s e a r c h , has been r e p o r t e d i n d e t a i l , and has c o n t r i b u t e d t o an u n d e r s t a n d i n g which might be g e n e r a l i z a b l e . For example, Rekkedal, a t N K I - s k o l e n , has worked w i t h o t h e r Norwegian r e s e a r c h e r s on v a l u a b l e s t u d i e s — i n c l u d i n g e x p e r i m e n t s — w h i c h have c o n s i s t e n t l y e x p l o r e d q u e s t i o n s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h improvements t o d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n t e a c h i n g . H i s experiment on t u r n - a r o u n d time showed t h a t s h o r t e n i n g the time between submission and r e t u r n o f assignments had a p o s i t i v e e f f e c t on student p e r s i s t e n c e . These r e s u l t s were not c o n f i r m e d by a world-wide study sponsored by t h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l C o u n c i l f o r D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n , but t h a t may be i n p a r t a consequence of the c o m p l e x i t y of the i n t e r n a t i o n a l study and t h e d i f f i c u l t y i t met i n d a t a c o l l e c t i o n . Turn-around time may a l s o v a r y c u l t u r a l l y . More r e c e n t l y , Rekkedal's experiment on the use o f the p e r s o n a l t u t o r / c o u n s e l o r i n the system of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n (Rekkedal, 1985) produced p e r s u a s i v e f i n d i n g s i n support o f t h i s i n n o v a t i o n and a number o f p r a c t i c a l s u g g e s t i o n s . These s t u d i e s w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n Chapter V. E f f o r t s have been made t o advance p r a c t i c e , t h e o r y and u n d e r s t a n d i n g i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n by r e f e r r i n g t o r e s e a r c h from the r e l a t e d f i e l d s of a d u l t e d u c a t i o n , e d u c a t i o n a l p s y c h o l o g y , e d u c a t i o n a l t e c h n o l o g y , h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n and communications (Baath, 1979; Hough, 1984, pp. 7-23; Thompson, 1984, pp. 286-293; Saba, 1988). Baath has a p p l i e d 43 contemporary t e a c h i n g models (among them S k i n n e r ' s b e h a v i o u r i s m , Ausubel's c o g n i t i v i s m , Bruner's d i s c o v e r y l e a r n i n g , and Roger's f a c i l i t a t i o n o f l e a r n i n g ) t o the d e s i g n o f correspondence m a t e r i a l s (1979). The l i t e r a t u r e on d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n has i n c l u d e d many essays and c o l l e c t i o n s o f e s s a y s — a n a l y s e s o f i s s u e s w i t h s u g g e s t i o n s d i r e c t e d towards b u i l d i n g t h e o r y and good courses ( D a n i e l & Marquis, 1979; G a r r i s o n , 1989; Holmberg, 1977 t h r o u g h 1989; Keegan, 1980, 1988; Moore, 1983, 1986; P e r r a t o n , 1983; P e t e r s , 1971; Sewart, 1983; van E n c k e v o r t , Harry, M o r i n & Schutze, 1986; Wedemeyer, 1971, 1981, t o note j u s t a few). One i m p o r t a n t focus i n the l i t e r a t u r e i s on the use o f media. Many au t h o r s have d i s c u s s e d the advantages of d i f f e r e n t t e c h n o l o g i e s a v a i l a b l e t o d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Bates (1984) p r o v i d e s a v a l u a b l e a n a l y s i s of the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of d i f f e r e n t t e c h n o l o g i e s f o r d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and suggests g u i d e l i n e s f o r media s e l e c t i o n . The e x t r a o r d i n a r y v a r i e t y — o f types o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n s t i t u t i o n s , p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l environments i n the c o u n t r i e s where they are l o c a t e d , and r e s t r i c t i o n s of c o s t , e d u c a t i o n a l background (and even employment) on s t u d e n t s s e e k i n g admittance t o t h e m — l i m i t s the g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y o f most d a t a . One i n t e r e s t i n g change s i n c e 1985, however, i s t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n r e s e a r c h does appear t o be a t t r a c t i n g more a t t e n t i o n both i n the f i e l d i t s e l f and i n a d j a c e n t f i e l d s . A 44 number o f new j o u r n a l s devoted t o r e s e a r c h i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n have appeared i n r e c e n t y e a r s , p r o f e s s i o n a l a s s o c i a t i o n s are growing, the Commonwealth of L e a r n i n g has been e s t a b l i s h e d , r e s e a r c h networks have been formed and i n t e r n a t i o n a l c o n f e r e n c e s are w e l l - a t t e n d e d . As w e l l , t o p i c s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n r e s e a r c h have been a p p e a r i n g w i t h g r e a t e r frequency on the agendas of a d u l t e d u c a t i o n r e s e a r c h c o n f e r e n c e s . As d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s c h o l a r s h i p i s p u b l i s h e d more w i d e l y and develops a more comprehensive d i s c o u r s e and t h e o r y around i t s e l f , Holmberg's (1986b) a s s e r t i o n t h a t i t i s a s e p a r a t e d i s c i p l i n e may seem l e s s s t r a i n e d . The f a c t t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n has become an academic t e a c h i n g s u b j e c t i s a l s o l i k e l y t o r a i s e r e s e a r c h s t a n d a r d s . A theme common t o much of the r e s e a r c h i n the f i e l d i s the s e a r c h f o r an i n c l u s i v e t h e o r y of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Keegan s t a t e d i t as f o l l o w s : A f i r m l y based t h e o r y of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n w i l l be one which can p r o v i d e the touchstone a g a i n s t which d e c i s i o n s — p o l i t i c a l , f i n a n c i a l , e d u c a t i o n a l , s o c i a l — w h e n they have t o be t a k e n , can be t a k e n w i t h c o n f i d e n c e . Such a t h e o r e t i c a l b a s i s would r e p l a c e the ad hoc way o f r e s p o n d i n g t o s c r i s i s ' s i t u a t i o n s which n o r m a l l y c h a r a c t e r i z e s t h i s f i e l d o f e d u c a t i o n . (Keegan, 1986, p. 6) Keegan i s here assuming a h i g h l e v e l o f r a t i o n a l i t y . Not w i t h s t a n d i n g the p o l i t i c a l dimension o f d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g , such t h e o r y would r e q u i r e t e s t i n g i n the wide v a r i e t y o f s e t t i n g s and c u l t u r e s where d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s p r a c t i c e d . At p r e s e n t , though d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n has no f i r m l y based i n c l u s i v e t h e o r y , t h e r e are a number o f what C a l v e r t (1988) 45 c a l l e d " m i n i - t h e o r i e s " i n the f i e l d , s e v e r a l of which are d e s c r i b e d below. A. An I n d u s t r i a l i z e d Form o f Education P e t e r s ' (1971; 1983) concept of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n as the most i n d u s t r i a l i z e d form of e d u c a t i o n i s mentioned f r e q u e n t l y by o t h e r w r i t e r s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , but h i s major works remain u n t r a n s l a t e d from t h e German and so t h e q u e s t i o n must be asked as t o how w i d e l y h i s books have been read by A u s t r a l i a n , B r i t i s h , American and Canadian r e s e a r c h e r s and p r a c t i t i o n e r s . The p r e s e n t study draws on a t r a n s l a t i o n o f an essay by P e t e r s and on Keegan's d e s c r i p t i o n o f P e t e r s ' work. P e t e r s o u t l i n e s h i s argument t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t from forms of ( p r e - i n d u s t r i a l ) e d u c a t i o n ( P e t e r s , 1983, pp. 95-113). The s e p a r a t i o n of educator and l e a r n e r l e a d s t o what he (1983, p. 98) c a l l e d the r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n o f the t e a c h i n g p r o c e s s . By r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n he meant d i v i s i o n of l a b o r so t h a t output i n q u a n t i t y and q u a l i t y o f m a t e r i a l s i s i n c r e a s e d and i n p u t o f time and money reduced. P e t e r s c h a r a c t e r i z e d the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n as " o b j e c t i f i e d . " By t h i s he meant t h a t i t i s u n l i k e the f a m i l i a r r e l a t i o n s h i p between a p r o f e s s o r and student i n which the i n s t r u c t o r i s f r e e t o respond t o i n d i v i d u a l student needs and t o express a s u b j e c t i v e p o i n t of view i n d i s c u s s i o n s (1983, p. 109). P e t e r s b a l a n c e d the l o s s o f s u b j e c t i v i t y w i t h the advantages he saw i n 46 o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n : i t p e r m i t s r e p r o d u c t i o n of the t e a c h i n g p r o c e s s / i t a l l o w s courses t o be manipulated and c o n s t a n t l y improved; courses may t a k e p l a c e anywhere and at any time; i t f r e e s the t e a c h i n g p r o c e s s from the h i e r a r c h i c a l s t r u c t u r e of a s u p e r i o r and a s u b o r d i n a t e and i s thus p a r t i c u l a r l y s u i t a b l e f o r the f u r t h e r e d u c a t i o n o f a d u l t s (1983, p. 109). The major weakness i n P e t e r s ' t h e o r y o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s t h a t h i s concept of o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n i g n o r e s the p o s s i b i l i t y o f s i g n i f i c a n t two-way communication, e i t h e r mediated or f a c e - t o - f a c e . T h i s i s how Keegan (1983, p. 66) summarized the p o i n t s i n P e t e r s ' t h e o r y : ( i ) the attempt t o show a h i s t o r i c a l p a r a l l e l between th e emergence of e d u c a t i o n a t a d i s t a n c e 130 years ago and a growing i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n of s o c i e t y ; ( i i ) the c h o i c e o f elements i n i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n t h a t are s a i d t o have p a r a l l e l s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n : •the importance of the p l a n n i n g phase; •success due t o s c i e n t i f i c p l a n n i n g ; • n o r m a l i s a t i o n of procedures and n o r m a l i z a t i o n of p r o d u c t ; • o b j e c t i v i z a t i o n o f p r o c e s s e s ; •mechanization i n t r o d u c i n g f u n c t i o n a l change; • c e n t r a l i z a t i o n and monopoly l e a d i n g t o e l i m i n a t i o n of s m a l l o p e r a t i o n s ; and ( i i i ) dependence on t h e B e r l i n s c h o o l o f e d u c a t i o n a l p h i l o s o p h y of P a u l Heimann and W a l t e r S c h u l t z . (Keegan, 1983, p. 66) Another c r i t i c i s m o f P e t e r s i s t h a t not a l l d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n v o l v e s the same degree of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n . The p o s s i b i l i t y of almost s i m u l t a n e o u s , two-way communication removes some of the need f o r making an e d u c a t i o n a l p r i n t i n advance. S t i l l , P e t e r s ' f o r m u l a t i o n s seem j u s t i f i e d when 47 viewed i n the con t e x t o f the way l a r g e , c e n t r a l i z e d d i s t a n c e t e a c h i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s such as the F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t , the Open U n i v e r s i t y o f the U n i t e d Kingdom, or B r i t i s h Columbia's Open L e a r n i n g Agency o p e r a t e . P e t e r s ' a n a l y s i s may indeed h e l p e d u c a t o r s r e c o g n i z e and b e n e f i t from t h e "deep s t r u c t u r a l changes i n academic t e a c h i n g " (1983, p. I l l ) which are o c c u r r i n g everywhere i n t h e w o r l d today. B. D i d a c t i c C o n v e r s a t i o n and Empathy Two-way communication i n t r a d i t i o n a l e d u c a t i o n i s o f t e n c o n v e r s a t i o n a l . D a n i e l and Marquis (1979) r e p o r t : In what i s p r o b a b l y t h e most g e n e r a l t h e o r y of human l e a r n i n g t o appear t o date, Pask h o l d s t h a t a l l l e a r n i n g i s based on c o n v e r s a t i o n s . However, these c o n v e r s a t i o n s are o f t e n i n t e r n a l i z e d as when a s o l i t a r y and s i l e n t s t udent m u l l s over the 'knowables' i n a t e x t he i s r e a d i n g . C l e a r l y i n t h i s sense a l l l e a r n i n g i n v o l v e s i n t e r a c t i o n ( D a n i e l & Marquis, 1979, p. 29) . C o n v e r s a t i o n has become a key word i n the d e s i g n of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n m a t e r i a l s , l a r g e l y as the r e s u l t of Holmberg's c a l l f o r " g u i d e d . d i d a c t i c c o n v e r s a t i o n . " He observed, " I n d i v i d u a l l e a r n i n g i s seen as o c c u r r i n g p a r t l y t h r ough . . . i n t e r n a l i z e d c o n v e r s a t i o n . . . p a r t l y w i t h the a s s i s t a n c e o f r e a l communication w i t h the t e a c h i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n " (Holmberg, 1977, p. 95). H i s t h e o r y o f d i d a c t i c c o n v e r s a t i o n s t a t e s : 48 I f a d i s t a n c e - s t u d y course c o n s i s t e n t l y r e p r e s e n t s a communication p r o c e s s f e l t t o have the c h a r a c t e r o f a c o n v e r s a t i o n , then the st u d e n t s w i l l be more m o t i v a t e d and more s u c c e s s f u l than i f the course s t u d i e d has an im p e r s o n a l textbook c h a r a c t e r . (Holmberg, 1989, p.18) By d i d a c t i c c o n v e r s a t i o n Holmberg means a p e r s o n a l s t y l e of w r i t t e n d i s c o u r s e u s i n g the f i r s t and second person pronouns (I/you; my/your) i n which i n f o r m a t i o n i s p r e s e n t e d a t a c o m f o r t a b l e and r e a d i l y a s s i m i l a b l e d e n s i t y , the student i s addressed d i r e c t l y , o f f e r e d support and encouragement, g i v e n e x p l i c i t a d v i c e , i n v i t e d t o exchange views or judgments, and encouraged t o ta k e a p e r s o n a l and em o t i o n a l i n t e r e s t i n the s u b j e c t and i t s problems (Holmberg, 1983, p. 117) . Holmberg t e s t e d t h i s t h e o r y "through f a l s i f i c a t i o n r a t h e r t h a n v e r i f i c a t i o n a ttempts" (1983, p. 119). He used q u e s t i o n n a i r e s , c o l l e c t e d o p i n i o n s , and d i d one experiment u s i n g random assignment and a c o n t r o l group t o see i f t h e r e was e i t h e r a p r e f e r e n c e f o r m a t e r i a l s i n the s t y l e of guided d i d a c t i c c o n v e r s a t i o n , or h i g h e r a t t a i n m e n t s when st u d e n t s used them r a t h e r than s t a n d a r d correspondence m a t e r i a l s . The e m p i r i c a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n s gave no c o n c l u s i v e e v i d e n c e . However, the tendency apparent i n a l l the t h r e e s t u d i e s f a v o r s t h e t h e o r y a l t h o u g h no c o n s i s t e n t , s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r o b o r a t i o n has emerged (Holmberg, 1983, p. 119) . Holmberg (1986b) extended h i s i d e a o f d i d a c t i c c o n v e r s a t i o n i n t o something he c a l l e d a " t e a c h i n g t h e o r y " 49 which w i l l be r e f e r r e d t o a number o f times i n l a t e r c h a p t e r s . D i s t a n c e t e a c h i n g w i l l support student m o t i v a t i o n , promote l e a r n i n g p l e a s u r e and e f f e c t i v e n e s s i f o f f e r e d i n a way f e l t t o make the study r e l e v a n t t o the i n d i v i d u a l l e a r n e r and h i s / h e r needs, c r e a t i n g f e e l i n g s of r a p p o r t between the l e a r n e r and t h e d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n s t i t u t i o n ( i t s t u t o r s , c o u n s e l o r s , e t c . ) / ' f a c i l i t a t i n g access t o course c o n t e n t , engaging th e l e a r n e r i n a c t i v i t i e s , d i s c u s s i o n s , and d e c i s i o n s , and g e n e r a l l y c a t e r i n g f o r h e l p f u l r e a l and s i m u l a t e d communication t o and from the l e a r n e r , (p. 36) Holmberg (1986b, p. 36) c l a i m e d t h a t t h i s t h e o r y "has gene r a t e d e l e v e n t e s t a b l e — a n d , i n f a c t , p a r t l y t e s t e d — hypotheses." S i n c e then, he has i d e n t i f i e d b o t h h i s t e a c h i n g t h e o r y and d i d a c t i c c o n v e r s a t i o n t h e o r y w i t h an "empathy approach" (Holmberg, 1989, pp. 17-20). Empathy i n D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n i m p l i e s more than u n d e r s t a n d i n g conducive t o h e l p i n g s t u d e n t s t o master d i f f i c u l t i e s . I submit t h a t i n s e r i o u s study most of us f e e l a need t o share d i s c o v e r i e s and i n t e l l e c t u a l e x p e r i e n c e s w i t h someone e l s e , t o exchange views and through t h i s exchange l e a r n c o n f i d e n t l y t o work w i t h the i n t e l l e c t u a l matter concerned. T h i s e v i d e n t l y i m p l i e s a need f o r d i a l o g u e . . . . we must f i n d ways n o n - c o n t i g u o u s l y t o c a t e r f o r something f u n c t i o n i n g i n the way t h a t d i a l o g u e does. (p. 17) I f we b e l i e v e t h a t d i a l o g u e and human c o n t a c t g e n e r a l l y are at the core of e d u c a t i o n a l endeavor, we may be i n c l i n e d t o r e g a r d empathy not o n l y as a d e s i r a b l e but as a ne c e s s a r y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n , (p. 19) Holmberg's " m i n i - t h e o r i e s " may seem t o c o n t r a d i c t P e t e r ' s concept o f i n d u s t r i a l i z e d e d u c a t i o n , but th e y can a l s o be seen as complementary t o i t . Holmberg's b e l i e f t h a t " d i a l o g u e and human c o n t a c t g e n e r a l l y are a t the core o f e d u c a t i o n a l 50 endeavor" i s congruent w i t h the u n d e r l y i n g assumption of the p r e s e n t s t u d y ; i t a l s o f i t s w e l l w i t h the model of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n developed i n Chapter IV. I n t e r e s t i n g l y , Holmberg's " t e a c h i n g t h e o r y " r e c a l l s t h e words of one o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n ' s e a r l y l e a d e r s . L i g h t y , w r i t i n g i n 1915 about t e a c h i n g at a d i s t a n c e , d i d not use the term "empathy" but he d i d c a l l f o r an i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p between educator and l e a r n e r . In e x t r a m u r a l t e a c h i n g must be c r e a t e d t h e method, the t e c h n i q u e , the atmosphere which s h a l l g i v e the u n i v e r s i t y a new meaning i n democracy. [The e x t r a m u r a l t e a c h e r must]. . . s o l v e the d i f f i c u l t problems connected w i t h l o n g d i s t a n c e i n s t r u c t i o n . . . He must be a b l e t o do more than c o r r e c t e r r o r s and communicate i n f o r m a t i o n . He must put i n t o h i s i n s t r u c t i o n h i s p e r s o n a l i t y , h i s i n s p i r a t i o n , h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , as t h e p a i n t e r p u t s h i s on the canvas, o r as the m u s i c i a n puts h i s i n t o the c o m p o s i t i o n . . . Thus, the t e a c h e r - p u p i l r e l a t i o n i n c orrespondence s t u d y becomes v e r y r e a l , v e r y p e r s o n a l , and i n d e e d v e r y i n t i m a t e [emphasis added]. ( L i g h t y , 1915/1971, pp. 19-21) L i g h t y ' s request f o r the development of a more democratic k i n d o f u n i v e r s i t y e d u c a t i o n connects w i t h P e r r a t o n ' s (1987) . proposed second key q u e s t i o n f o r a s s e s s i n g d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n : does i t i n c r e a s e s o c i a l e q u i t y ? C. Three I n t e r r e l a t e d Systems P e r r a t o n (1987) observed t h a t the development of t h e o r y w i t h i n t h e f i e l d o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s f u r t h e r a l o n g i n the "system" of t e a c h i n g and l e a r n i n g than i t i s i n the two o t h e r " s y s t e m s " — a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and a s s e s s m e n t — w i t h i n which 51 he would a n a l y z e d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . P e r r a t o n ' s monograph, "The r o l e s o f t h e o r y and g e n e r a l i z a t i o n i n t h e p r a c t i c e of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n : Three r e l a t e d systems f o r a n a l y z i n g d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , " covers many t o p i c s . Of i n t e r e s t t o the p r e s e n t s t u d y a re h i s f i v e t h e o r e t i c a l statements about d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n t e a c h i n g : • communications media do not d i f f e r i n t h e i r e d u c a t i o n a l e f f e c t i v e n e s s ; • d i s t a n c e - t e a c h i n g programmes which use a comb i n a t i o n o f media are l i k e l y t o have a h i g h e r s u c c e s s f u l c o m p l e t i o n r a t e than those which use a s i n g l e medium; • a combination o f immediate and d e l a y e d feedback can l e a d t o e f f e c t i v e l e a r n i n g but t h e r e i s a s i g n i f i c a n t n e g a t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n between measures of e f f e c t i v e l e a r n i n g and t h e l e n g t h o f the d e l a y ; • f a c e - t o - f a c e t u t o r i n g , o r an a l t e r n a t i v e form o f simultaneous two-way communication, i n c r e a s e s the e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n ; • l e a r n i n g a t a d i s t a n c e can be made more e f f e c t i v e by the use of p r e s e n t a t i o n a l d e v i c e s w i t h i n t h e t e x t and by a coherent s t r u c t u r e of the the s u b j e c t c o n t e n t . ( P e r r a t o n , 1987, pp. 9-12) P e r r a t o n generated t h e s e t h e o r e t i c a l statements by g e n e r a l i z i n g from s p e c i f i c f i n d i n g s he c o n s i d e r e d sound i n the r e s e a r c h l i t e r a t u r e . They seem congruent w i t h Holmberg's t e a c h i n g t h e o r y and empathy approach and complementary t o P e t e r ' s t h e o r y of i n d u s t r i a l i z e d e d u c a t i o n . When i t comes t o a s s e s s m e n t — o r e v a l u a t i o n o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n — P e r r a t o n makes two c o n t r i b u t i o n s . The f i r s t r e l a t e s i n c r e a s e d numbers o f s t u d e n t s , decreased 52 s o p h i s t i c a t i o n of media, and l e s s f a c e - t o - f a c e t u i t i o n t o reduced c o s t s p e r student ( P e r r a t o n , 1987, f i g u r e 2, p. 24). The second c o n s i s t s o f "two key q u e s t i o n s " which he would ask when e v a l u a t i n g any d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n program: F i r s t , does the programme l e a d t o open-minded e n q u i r y and not merely t o r o t e l e a r n i n g and sometimes examination s u c c e s s . . . The second q u e s t i o n concerns s o c i a l e q u i t y . . .On the f a c e o f i t , programmes of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n which widen e d u c a t i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t y would seem t o promote e q u i t y . . . The q u e s t i o n i s not easy: by o f f e r i n g an i n f e r i o r e d u c a t i o n ( i f t h a t i s what we are doing) t o people o u t s i d e s c h o o l who might o t h e r w i s e get none, we are do i n g something t o widen e d u c a t i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t y , even i f we are not r e s t r u c t u r i n g an e d u c a t i o n a l system i n a way which makes i t more e g a l i t a r i a n as a whole and may be h e l p i n g t o l e g i t i m i z e a system s t r a t i f i e d on c l a s s l i n e s . Thus, my f i n a l q u e s t i o n f o r a d i s t a n c e t e a c h i n g programme i s t o ask whether i t i s i n c r e a s i n g , o r has the p o t e n t i a l t o i n c r e a s e , s o c i a l e q u i t y . ( P e r r a t o n , 1987, pp. 22-23) Even though the p r e s e n t study has argued t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s not a p h i l o s o p h y , P e r r a t o n ' s t h e o r e t i c a l approach i n s i s t s e d u c a t i o n i s always normative and asks t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n ' s v a l u e s be a r t i c u l a t e d . He r e c o g n i z e s t h a t the s e l e c t i o n o f t e a c h i n g methods and a d m i n i s t r a t i v e p o l i c i e s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n must be d r i v e n by "a p o l i t i c a l o r p h i l o s o p h i c a l judgment." H i s two key q u e s t i o n s s e t the e n t e r p r i s e o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n the c o n t e x t o f open l e a r n i n g and remind p r a c t i t i o n e r s and s c h o l a r s t h a t c o m p l e t i o n r a t e s are a narrow focus when a s s e s s i n g e d u c a t i o n . 53 D_. I n d e p e n d e n c e There i s an ongoing debate i n the s c h o l a r l y l i t e r a t u r e of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n as t o how much support l e a r n e r s need. On one hand, the a d u l t s t u d e n t i s seen as capable and autonomous; on the o t h e r hand, the d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n student i s o f t e n someone who may have l i m i t e d e x p e r i e n c e w i t h study and who may be s e l e c t i n g t h i s mode o f e d u c a t i o n as a second c h o i c e . Moore has been an i n f l u e n t i a l advocate on the s i d e o f l e a r n e r autonomy. He drew on r e s e a r c h conducted w i t h Wedemeyer i n p r o p o s i n g a t h e o r e t i c a l c o n s t r u c t of independent l e a r n i n g and " t e l e m a t h i c " e d u c a t i o n (Moore 1972, 1977, 1983). He a l s o i d e n t i f i e d " t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e " as the c r i t i c a l measure i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , and d e f i n e d i t as a f u n c t i o n o f two v a r i a b l e s , d i a l o g u e and s t r u c t u r e . D i a l o g u e r e f e r r e d t o "the e x t e n t t o which, i n any e d u c a t i o n a l programme l e a r n e r and e d u c a t o r are a b l e t o respond t o each o t h e r , " and s t r u c t u r e was "a measure o f an e d u c a t i o n a l programme's r e s p o n s i v e n e s s t o l e a r n e r ' s i n d i v i d u a l needs" (1983, p. 157). He c a t e g o r i z e d types of independent study programs a l o n g the dimensions o f d i s t a n c e — a s u p e r - v a r i a b l e he c o n s t r u c t e d from h i s v a r i a b l e s o f d i a l o g u e and s t r u c t u r e — a n d l e a r n e r autonomy. Chapter IV, "Educator-Learner R e l a t i o n s h i p s i n Di s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n " b e g i n s w i t h a d i s c u s s i o n of Moore's t y p o l o g y and c e n t r a l concepts. W i l l e n and B a r t e l s (1985) are among those engaged i n the debate around l e a r n e r autonomy. W i l l e n a n a l y z e d d i s t a n c e 54 s t u d e n t s ' need f o r support (1981; 1985) and found t h a t means f o r " o v e r b r i d g i n g " d i s t a n c e were v a l u e d by l e a r n e r s . G a r r i s o n and Baynton (1987) suggested t h a t independence was not i t s e l f t h e c r u c i a l i s s u e but r a t h e r a subset o f a v a r i a b l e they c a l l e d c o n t r o l . Q uestions and a s s e r t i o n s about the r e l a t i v e independence of the d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n l e a r n e r occur i n s e v e r a l p l a c e s i n the d i s c u s s i o n of e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s and dropout i n the next t h r e e c h a p t e r s o f t h e p r e s e n t study. Keegan's d e f i n i t i o n o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n a l o n g w i t h the m i n i - t h e o r i e s o f Holmberg, P e t e r s , P e r r a t o n and Moore h e l p t o form the c o n c e p t u a l framework used i n a d d r e s s i n g the f i r s t r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n of the p r e s e n t study, "What c h a r a c t e r i z e s e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n ? " Chapter IV w i l l answer t h a t q u e s t i o n . 4. Summary Chapter I I I e x t r a c t e d background i n f o r m a t i o n from the s c h o l a r l y l i t e r a t u r e o f the f i e l d i n o r d e r t o c l a r i f y the b a s i c concepts o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . I t sket c h e d an overview o f r e s e a r c h i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and p r e s e n t e d a number o f " m i n i - t h e o r i e s " from the f i e l d . T h i s background p r o v i d e s a co n t e x t f o r the next c h a p t e r ' s a n a l y s i s of the e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . C H A P T E R I V T H E E D U C A T O R - L E A R N E R R E L A T I O N S H I P I N D I S T A N C E E D U C A T I O N Chapter IV answers the f i r s t r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n : "What c h a r a c t e r i z e s e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n ? " I t begins w i t h a re v i e w and s y n t h e s i s o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p based on Keegan's d e f i n i t i o n of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and on m i n i - t h e o r i e s p r e s e n t e d i n Chapter I I I . Moore's t h e o r y o f t e l e m a t h i c t e a c h i n g and h i s t y p o l o g y o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n programs a r e then o u t l i n e d and d i s c u s s e d . Saba's diagram o f Moore's v a r i a b l e o f t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e i s extended t o c r e a t e a composite diagram o f elements i n the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . D i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s c h o l a r l y l i t e r a t u r e b e a r i n g on elements i n the diagram o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i s p r e s e n t e d and d i s c u s s e d . A f t e r f u r t h e r d i s c u s s i o n s of the composite diagram, i t i s proposed as a model f o r the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . The ch a p t e r f i n i s h e s w i t h a r e v i e w o f the r e s u l t s and a summary. 56 1. Review and S y n t h e s i s o f C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the E d u c a t o r - L e a r n e r R e l a t i o n s h i p i n D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n The s e p a r a t i o n o f t e a c h e r and l e a r n e r c h a r a c t e r i z e s d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . S e v e r a l e f f e c t s , i n c l u d e d i n Keegan's d e f i n i t i o n o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , f o l l o w from t h i s s e p a r a t i o n . Because educator and l e a r n e r are a t a d i s t a n c e , e l e c t r o n i c or mechanical media are used t o convey and p r e s e n t course content. S p e c i a l means f o r two-way i n t e r a c t i o n s must be d e v i s e d and o f f e r e d i n o r d e r t o enhance the r e l e v a n c e o f t h e mediated p r e s e n t a t i o n and a s s i s t s t u d e n t s i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Not o n l y are e d u c a t o r and l e a r n e r s e p a r a t e d from each o t h e r , but the l e a r n e r i s o f t e n s e p a r a t e d from the group o f o t h e r l e a r n e r s , f u r t h e r r e d u c i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r d i a l o g u e and peer support. The student may become a consumer o f courseware and c a n d i d a t e f o r c e r t i f i c a t i o n ; the r o l e o f t h e e d u c a t o r i s f r e q u e n t l y — e s p e c i a l l y i n l a r g e s c a l e , c e n t r a l i z e d s y s t e m s — assumed by an i n s t i t u t i o n . P e t e r s p o i n t s out t h a t the t e a c h i n g i n s t i t u t i o n i s a b l e t o manufacture i n s t r u c t i o n a l p r o d u c t s i n ways t h a t may be c o s t e f f e c t i v e and which emphasize p l a n n i n g . I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n o f e d u c a t i o n means t h a t a b u r e a u c r a t i c i n s t i t u t i o n i n f l u e n c e s the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p ; i n p a r t i c u l a r , the i n f l u e n c e o f i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n tends t o o b j e c t i f y the course content and reduce p e r s o n a l i z a t i o n . I t a l s o tends t o equate e v a l u a t i o n 57 of l e a r n i n g w i t h c o m p l e t i o n of s t a n d a r d i z e d examinations and assignments. To c o u n t e r b a l a n c e these t e n d e n c i e s , i n s t i t u t i o n s t r y t o p r o v i d e o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r feedback from s t u d e n t s through d i a l o g u e , and o f t e n employ t u t o r s who may meet w i t h s t u d e n t s f a c e - t o - f a c e , or t a l k w i t h them on the t e l e p h o n e , as w e l l as mark t h e i r assignments. I n s t i t u t i o n s , i n an attempt t o i n c r e a s e s o c i a l e q u i t y and reduce t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e , may a l s o p e r m i t open a c c e s s , a l l o w f l e x i b i l i t y i n p a c i n g o f course work, and encourage stud e n t i n f l u e n c e on course s t r u c t u r e , thus i n c r e a s i n g t h e openness o f t h e i r p o l i c i e s . R e c o g n i z i n g the v a l u e o f l i f e l o n g l e a r n i n g , i n s t i t u t i o n s may a c t as c r e d i t b r o k e r s and c o u n s e l s t u d e n t s i n e d u c a t i o n a l p l a n n i n g . C o u n s e l l i n g may h e l p s t u d e n t s a s s e s s t h e i r a b i l i t i e s and s e l e c t p e r s o n a l e d u c a t i o n a l g o a l s , a s s i s t s t u d e n t s s e e k i n g f i n a n c i a l a i d , or h e l p them improve study s k i l l s . Because the student i s i n an e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h an i n d u s t r i a l i z e d e d u c a t o r , the e f f e c t s of i n s t i t u t i o n a l p o l i c i e s may be as i n f l u e n t i a l i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p as are the more p e r s o n a l q u a l i t i e s e v i d e n t i n i n t e r a c t i o n s w i t h t u t o r s and c o u n s e l o r s . Independence r e s u l t i n g from the i n d u s t r i a l i z e d n a t u r e of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n can c h a r a c t e r i z e e d u c a t o r s as w e l l as l e a r n e r s . The i n d i v i d u a l e d u c a t o r — c o u r s e w r i t e r , i n s t r u c t i o n a l d e s i g n e r , t e l e v i s i o n p roducer, program s u p e r v i s o r — w i t h i n a c e n t r a l i z e d d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n s t i t u t i o n may never meet a l e a r n e r s t u d y i n g the course 58 b e i n g p r e p a r e d . P r e p a r a t i o n and p r o d u c t i o n o f courseware may be a c complished w i t h o u t feedback from the s t u d e n t s who use i t . J u s t as the l e a r n e r i n t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p may engage w i t h an i m a g i n a r y or v i r t u a l educator through i n t e r n a l i z e d c o n v e r s a t i o n s , so educators may o n l y engage w i t h h y p o t h e t i c a l l e a r n e r s . S m a l l s c a l e , d e c e n t r a l i z e d d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n s t i t u t i o n s s i m p l i f y the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n t h a t the educator who p repares the course m a t e r i a l i s commonly the t u t o r who d i s c u s s e s i t w i t h the l e a r n e r . The e f f e c t s o f i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n , b u r e a u c r a t i c o r g a n i z a t i o n , and the p o l i c i e s o f the t e a c h i n g i n s t i t u t i o n , shape the educator-l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . O p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r feedback through two-way c o m m u n i c a t i o n s — m e d i a t e d or f a c e - t o - f a c e d i a l o g u e — p r o v i d e support t o e d u c a t o r s as w e l l as t o l e a r n e r s i n c e n t r a l i z e d i n s t i t u t i o n s . D i a l o g u e w i t h the l e a r n e r s i t i s mandated t o s e r v e — n e e d s assessments and community-based r e s e a r c h — m a y guide the i n s t i t u t i o n i n program development and course d e s i g n as w e l l as i n p o l i c i e s o f access and openness. Holmberg suggests t h a t empathy i s t h e c r u c i a l q u a l i t y needed i n e d u c a t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . I t i s thus p o s s i b l e t o t h i n k o f a b a l a n c e i n the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n : e m p a t h y - p e r s o n a l i z a t i o n - s u p p o r t b a l a n c i n g i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n - o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n - i n d e p e n d e n c e . The terms h i g h l i g h t e d i n the p r e c e d i n g s e c t i o n emerge from th e d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s c h o l a r l y l i t e r a t u r e and p r o v i d e 59 a - b a s i c framework f o r the examination of r e s e a r c h b e a r i n g on t h e e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n : t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e , c o u r s e s t r u c t u r e , m e d i a t e d p r e s e n t a t i o n , c o u r s e c o n t e n t , r e l e v a n c e , l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s , e v a l u a t i o n , c o u n s e l l i n g , c e r t i f i c a t i o n , s o c i a l e q u i t y , openness, d i a l o g u e , s u p p o r t , independence. The f i r s t o f t h e s e t e r m s — t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e — l e a d s t o the p r e s e n t a t i o n of Moore's t h e o r y o f t e l e m a t h i c t e a c h i n g and h i s t y p o l o g y o f e d u c a t i o n a l programs i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Moore's work i s d i s c u s s e d i n d e t a i l because i t p r o v i d e d a t h e o r e t i c a l s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r the p r e s e n t s t u d y . 2 . Moore ' s Work S i n c e t h e e a r l y 1970s Moore has p u b l i s h e d c o n c e p t u a l a n a l y s i s and r e s e a r c h f o c u s e d on the q u a l i t y of d i s t a n c e i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . D i s t a n c e o f one s o r t or another i s p a r t o f every e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p , contiguous or mediated; the s e p a r a t i o n o f educator and l e a r n e r i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n e xaggerates t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c . As s t a t e d i n Chapter I I I , Moore developed a t h e o r y o f " t e l e m a t h i c t e a c h i n g " t o d e s c r i b e t h e e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . D i s t a n c e , or T e l e m a t h i c Teaching i s a t e a c h i n g programme i n which, because of the p h y s i c a l separatedness [ s i c ] o f l e a r n e r s and t e a c h e r s , the i n t e r a c t i o n s between them are conducted through p r i n t , mechanical o r e l e c t r o n i c d e v i c e s . 60 . . . What makes a programme more d i s t a n t than another, making one programme o f i n s t r u c t i o n more t e l e m a t h i c than another, i s a f u n c t i o n o f two v a r i a b l e s i n the l e a r n e r - t e a c h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p , which are the e x t e n t of d i a l o g u e i n t h e i r communication, and the e x t e n t of s t r u c t u r e i n the t e a c h i n g programme. (1983a, pp. 79-80) These two v a r i a b l e s , d i a l o g u e and s t r u c t u r e , produce the v a r i a b l e he c a l l s " t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e " — a n d which he sometime s h o r t e n s t o " d i s t a n c e " — a term i n t r o d u c e d i n Chapte I I I . Moore's r e c o g n i t i o n o f the l e a r n e r - t e a c h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n the t h e o r y of t e l e m a t h i c t e a c h i n g s u p p o r t s the p r e s e n t study's i n t e r e s t i n the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r e l a t i o n s h i p . H i s d e f i n i t i o n o f d i a l o g u e , which f o l l o w s , p l a c e s i t a t the core of t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p . D i a l o g u e d e s c r i b e s t h e e x t e n t t o which, i n any e d u c a t i o n a l programme, l e a r n e r and educator a re a b l e t o respond t o each o t h e r . T h i s i s determined by the content or s u b j e c t - m a t t e r which i s s t u d i e d , by the e d u c a t i o n a l p h i l o s o p h y o f the educator and l e a r n e r , and by en v i r o n m e n t a l f a c t o r s , the most important of which i s the medium o f communication. (1983b, p. 157) Moore's o p e r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n o f h i s second v a r i a b l e , s t r u c t u r e i s l e s s c l e a r . He seems t o be concerned w i t h r e s p o n s i v e n e s s and p e r s o n a l i z a t i o n o f course s t r u c t u r e r a t h e r than w i t h s t r u c t u r e i t s e l f . S t r u c t u r e i s a measure of an e d u c a t i o n a l programme's r e s p o n s i v e n e s s t o l e a r n e r s ' i n d i v i d u a l needs. I t expresses the e x t e n t t o which e d u c a t i o n a l o b j e c t i v e s , t e a c h i n g s t r a t e g i e s , and e v a l u a t i o n methods are p r e p a r e d f o r , o r can be adapted t o , the o b j e c t i v e s o f the l e a r n e r . In a h i g h l y s t r u c t u r e d e d u c a t i o n a l programme, the o b j e c t i v e s and t h e methods t o be used are determined f o r the l e a r n e r , and are i n f l e x i b l e . (1983b. p. 158) 61 So, a h i g h r e a d i n g on Moore's v a r i a b l e o f s t r u c t u r e i s not a h i g h measure o f r e s p o n s i v e n e s s — w h i c h i s what he says " s t r u c t u r e " measures. Low s t r u c t u r e i s h i g h r e s p o n s i v e n e s s . Another way o f d e s c r i b i n g Moore's concern here w i t h p e r s o n a l i z a t i o n and r e s p o n s i v e n e s s would be t o c a l l i t supp o r t . He c a l l s f o r a dynamic of s u p p o r t i v e n e s s t h a t has t o do w i t h course s t r u c t u r e and d i a l o g u e (even though he i s , as i n d i c a t e d i n Chapter I I I , a l e a d i n g advocate o f t h e independent l e a r n e r ) . In a programme i n which t h e r e i s l i t t l e s t r u c t u r e , and d i a l o g u e i s easy, i n t e r a c t i o n between t e a c h e r and l e a r n e r p e r m i t s v e r y p e r s o n a l and i n d i v i d u a l l e a r n i n g and t e a c h i n g . . . However, among correspondence programmes g r e a t v a r i a b i l i t y i n d i s t a n c e w i l l be found, w i t h some b e i n g more d i a l o g i c than o t h e r s , and o t h e r s b e i n g no more d i a l o g i c o r u n s t r u c t u r e d than programmed i n s t r u c t i o n . (1983b, p. 158) Here, Moore b r i n g s h i s v a r i a b l e s of d i a l o g u e and s t r u c t u r e t o g e t h e r through the v e h i c l e o f t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e , which i s a form of support. The i s s u e o f support r a i s e s t h e q u e s t i o n o f independence.. As p a r t o f h i s t h e o r y of t e l e m a t h i c t e a c h i n g , Moore designed a t y p o l o g y of e d u c a t i o n a l programs i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n on the dimensions of [ t r a n s a c t i o n a l ] d i s t a n c e ( d i a l o g u e and s t r u c t u r e ) and l e a r n e r autonomy. T h i s t y p o l o g y i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n F i g u r e 3. Moore d e f i n e d autonomy as: . . .the e x t e n t t o which the l e a r n e r i n an e d u c a t i o n a l programme i s a b l e t o determine the s e l e c t i o n o f o b j e c t i v e s , r e s o u r c e s and pro c e d u r e s , and the e v a l u a t i o n d e s i g n . (1983a, p. 82) 62 I t would seem t h a t autonomy, l i k e d i s t a n c e , thus measures s t r u c t u r a l r e s p o n s i v e n e s s ; Moore's two v a r i a b l e s are not d i s c r e t e . Moore goes on from h i s d e f i n i t i o n o f autonomy t o d i s c u s s i n s t r u m e n t a l and e m o t i o n a l independence i n l e a r n e r s — i n s t r u m e n t a l , meaning " c o n d u c t i n g a c t i v i t i e s and.coping w i t h problems w i t h o u t s e e k i n g h e l p , " and e m o t i o n a l independence meaning "the absence of needs f o r r e a s s u r a n c e , a f f e c t i o n , o r a p p r o v a l i n p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n s " (1983a, p. 85). Although he d e s c r i b e s a complex k i n d o f independence as d e s i r a b l e f o r the d i s t a n c e l e a r n e r , Moore o p e r a t i o n a l i z e d l e a r n e r autonomy i n h i s t y p o l o g y as one of e i g h t cases, i n v o l v i n g d i f f e r e n t d i s t r i b u t i o n s o f d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g power between the educator and the l e a r n e r over the s e t t i n g o f o b j e c t i v e s , the i m p l e m e n t a t i o n o f the study program, and the s e t t i n g of c r i t e r i a f o r e v a l u a t i o n . In F i g u r e 3, "A" means autonomous or l e a r n e r s e t and "N" means non-autonomous or t e a c h e r s e t . K.. Moore ' s Typology D i a l o g u e and s t r u c t u r e i n the dimension o f d i s t a n c e are measured i n a more r e l a t i v e way than autonomy i s measured. The f o u r c a t e g o r i e s o f d i s t a n c e are +D-S (high d i a l o g u e , low s t r u c t u r e ) ; +D+S (high d i a l o g u e , h i g h s t r u c t u r e ) ; -D+S (low d i a l o g u e , h i g h s t r u c t u r e ) ; and -D-S (low d i a l o g u e , low s t r u c t u r e ) . Moore p l o t t e d the dimensions of d i s t a n c e and autonomy as shown i n F i g u r e 3: 63 Fio-ure 3. Moore's t y p o l o g y o f e d u c a t i o n a l programs (Moore, 1983a, p. 89) B. Moore's Contribution A b a s i c problem w i t h t h e g r a p h i c used t o p r e s e n t Moore's t y p o l o g y i s the number o f i t s dimensions. He draws i t as a cube but a cube has t h r e e dimensions and s i x s i d e s . Moore's t y p o l o g y has two dimensions, a l t h o u g h each o f tho s e c o n s i s t s o f two or t h r e e sub-dimensions. I t would be cumbersome but more a c c u r a t e t o d e p i c t Moore's t y p o l o g y i n two dimensions as a wide g r i d o f squar e s . R e c e n t l y (1989) he has come t o r e f e r t o h i s t y p o l o g y and t h e o r y o f t e l e m a t h i c t e a c h i n g as t h e "two-dimensional t h e o r y . " Another problem w i t h t h i s t y p o l o g y was r a i s e d e a r l i e r and l i e s i n t h e o v e r l a p between Moore's v a r i a b l e o f s t r u c t u r e and h i s v a r i a b l e o f l e a r n e r autonomy. These shortcomings l i m i t the u t i l i t y o f h i s t y p o l o g y as a t o o l f o r a n a l y s i s . However, 64 s e v e r a l a s p e c t s o f Moore's work have been v a l u a b l e t o the p r e s e n t study. 1. H i s focus on e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s . 2. H i s emphasis on d i a l o g u e . 3. H i s d e f i n i t i o n o f t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e . 4. H i s emphasis on l e a r n e r independence. C. Control Two p r o j e c t s t h a t b u i l d on Moore's work a l s o i n f l u e n c e d the p r e s e n t study. The f i r s t i s G a r r i s o n and Baynton's (1987) and G a r r i s o n ' s (1989) attempt t o get beyond a focus on l e a r n e r independence by l o o k i n g a t c o n t r o l . Many r e s e a r c h e r s have p o i n t e d t o problems w i t h the b e l i e f i n l e a r n e r autonomy o r independence (Baath, 1984; W i l l e n & B a r t e l s , 1985; G a r r i s o n . & Baynton, 1987; Burge, 1988). In an a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "Beyond independence i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n : The concept o f c o n t r o l , " G a r r i s o n and Baynton suggest t h a t r e s e a r c h e r s g i v e up t h e i r concern w i t h independence and begin t o a n a l y z e c o n t r o l . They i d e n t i f i e d t h r e e components of c o n t r o l : p h i l o s o p h i c a l independence, p s y c h o l o g i c a l power, and s t r u c t u r a l support. By t h i s they meant "To be f u l l y i n c o n t r o l o f the l e a r n i n g p r o c e s s , the s t u d e n t must have the freedom t o e x p l o r e p o s s i b l e l e a r n i n g o b j e c t i v e s , the power t o handle a l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y , and the support necessary t o complete the e d u c a t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e " (p. 9 ) . C o n t r o l belongs w i t h i n t h e area of course content and i s embedded i n the 65 communication between student and t e a c h e r . G a r r i s o n and Baynton con c l u d e : The most important a t t r i b u t e o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s not the independence a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the non-contiguous n a t u r e o f the t r a n s a c t i o n . I t i s the e d u c a t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e i t s e l f , t he complex i n t e r a c t i o n between t e a c h e r and student which goes beyond s i m p l y d e c i d i n g what i s t o be l e a r n e d . The c r u c i a l and c e n t r a l concept i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s , t h e r e f o r e , c o n t r o l — t h e product o f a s e r i e s o f complex i n t e r a c t i o n s t h a t i n f l u e n c e and determine t h e e d u c a t i o n a l outcome, (p. 14) G a r r i s o n (1989) has taken t h i s f u r t h e r , changing the dimension of "power" t o " p r o f i c i e n c y " — t h e a b i l i t y t o l e a r n i n d e p e n d e n t l y . He i n s i s t s t h a t c o n t r o l i s c o l l a b o r a t i v e and has t o do w i t h communication, e d u c a t o r , l e a r n e r , and content; t h a t c o n t r o l i s dependent on bo t h e d u c a t o r and l e a r n e r though i t e x i s t s s e p a r a t e l y from them. What he d e s c r i b e s as c o n t r o l seems t o be the r e l a t i o n s h i p i t s e l f , not the c h e c k i n g o f t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p . G a r r i s o n ' s work here suggests an attempt t o under s t a n d the dynamics of a r e s p o n s i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p which i n v o l v e s l e a r n i n g o b j e c t i v e s , l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s , i n s t r u c t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s and c o n t e n t . D. Saba's Work 0_fl T r a n s a c t i o n a l PJStance Saba (1988, pp. 17-24) i s a l s o i n t e r e s t e d i n the dynamics of a r e s p o n s i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p between ed u c a t o r and l e a r n e r . He uses t e c h n i q u e s from systems dynamics t o expand t h e concept o f t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e . H i s o b s e r v a t i o n s and c o n c l u s i o n s are based on two years of e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n w i t h the M e r i d i a n DV-1 system o f i n t e g r a t e d t e l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s . H i s d i s c u s s i o n 66 o f the t e c h n i c a l e f f e c t s o f i n t e g r a t e d t e l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s (concurrent v o i c e , computer, v i s u a l s i g n a l s ) on t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e l e a d s t o a c o n c e p t u a l a n a l y s i s o f the c y b e r n e t i c f u n c t i o n of d i a l o g u e and s t r u c t u r e . Saba argues t h a t i n t e g r a t e d t e l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s " i n t e n s i f y v o i c e and s i g h t d i a l o g u e beyond f a c e - t o - f a c e communication" (1988, p. 21) but i t h i s a n a l y s i s o f how t h i s happens which i s o f p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t . H i s d i s c u s s i o n and diagram p r o v i d e a b u i l d i n g b l o c k i n the p r e s e n t study's c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a composite diagram r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . I n t e g r a t e d systems p r o v i d e a f l e x i b l e means f o r d e c r e a s i n g s t r u c t u r e t h r o u g h i n c r e a s e d d i a l o g u e . They a l s o e x p e d i t e i n c r e a s e d s t r u c t u r e so d i a l o g u e can be kept t o a d e s i r a b l e l e v e l . T h i s d e f i n e s a dynamic r e l a t i o n s h i p between the l e v e l of d e s i r e d d i a l o g u e and t h e l e v e l o f r e q u i r e d s t r u c t u r e . T h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p can be d i s p l a y e d as a n e g a t i v e feedback l o o p i n a system dynamics c a u s a l loop diagram. V . J F i g u r e 4: Saba's c a u s a l l o o p diagram o f t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e (Saba, 1988, p. 2 2 ) . The diagram d e p i c t s the c y b e r n e t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p between t e a c h e r and l e a r n e r and shows how t h e y can v a r y and c o n t r o l l e v e l s o f d i a l o g u e and s t r u c t u r e i n a p u r p o s e f u l i n s t r u c t i o n a l s e t t i n g . (Saba, 1988. p. 22) 67 A l t h o u g h Saba's r e s e a r c h focuses on i n t e g r a t e d t e l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n systems, h i s c o n c e p t u a l a n a l y s i s of t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e would seem t o f i t e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n o t h e r k i n d s o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n where t h e r e i s an o p p o r t u n i t y f o r d i a l o g u e around the s t r u c t u r a l d e s i g n o f a course. More d i a l o g u e a l l o w s b o t h more s t r u c t u r e , and more a p p r o p r i a t e s t r u c t u r e . T h i s s e c t i o n has p r e s e n t e d and d i s c u s s e d Moore's t h e o r e t i c a l work and two c o n c e p t u a l developments t h a t began w i t h h i s work. The next s e c t i o n diagrams elements i n the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n an attempt t o i l l u s t r a t e t h e i r b a l a n c e s . I t assumes t h a t c a u s a l l o o p i n t e r a c t i o n s , s i m i l a r t o Saba's, are a t work among o t h e r elements i n the c o n c e p t u a l framework i d e n t i f i e d i n the f i r s t s e c t i o n o f t h i s c h a p t e r . 3. Composite Diagram of the Educator-Learner Re l a t i o n s h i p i n Distance Education F i g u r e .5 schematizes elements which have been d e s c r i b e d d i s c u r s i v e l y and produces an image of t h e i r i n t e g r a t i o n as a s i n g l e , but complex, r e l a t i o n s h i p . Such a diagram i s e s p e c i a l l y v a l u a b l e when t h i n k i n g about the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s i n c e i t s many m i c r o -f u n c t i o n s , and a s s o c i a t e d m i n i - t h e o r i e s , may obscure the 68 LEARNING ACTIVITIES OPENNESS Figure 5. Composite diagram o f t h e e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . 69 b a s i c shape. O b v i o u s l y , any g e n e r a l i z a t i o n o f a complex set o f i n t e r a c t i o n s s i m p l i f i e s r e a l i t y . T h i s diagram p o r t r a y s t h e e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n as a wheel w i t h f o u r quadrants. I t s elements i n c l u d e an a x l e o f d i a l o g u e , f o u r spokes o f support, and a r i m o f independence. A l l the p a r t s o f the diagram c a r r y motion; not o n l y does the wheel r o l l a l o n g as a whole, but each of i t s elements r e p r e s e n t s an i n t e r a c t i v e t r a n s a c t i o n . The a x l e o f d i a l o g u e a t t h e c e n t r e o f the diagram connects v i a spokes o f support w i t h f o u r p o i n t s — s t r u c t u r e , c o n t e n t , e v a l u a t i o n , and a c c e s s — o n the r i m o f independence. These spokes r e p r e s e n t c y b e r n e t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p s ( s i m i l a r t o Saba's d e p i c t i o n o f t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e ) . The f o u r spokes o f support a r e t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e , r e l e v a n c e , c o u n s e l l i n g , and s o c i a l e q u i t y . L i k e w i s e , areas on t h e r i m o f independence r e p r e s e n t i n t e r a c t i o n s . For example, openness i s here shown as an i n t e r a c t i o n between access and s t r u c t u r e . Arrows and the + and - s i g n s on the diagram suggest these dynamics, but a d e t a i l e d e x p l o r a t i o n o f them i s beyond the scope of the p r e s e n t study. For now, the important t h i n g i s t o understand the b a s i c c h a r a c t e r o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n : t h a t , i n i t s e l f , i s q u i t e c o m p l i c a t e d . S p e c i f i c e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s may emphasize d i f f e r e n t elements i n the diagram. For example, h i g h l y i n d u s t r i a l i z e d d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n may o f f e r o n l y imaginary or v i r t u a l d i a l o g u e , and so the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p might e x i s t p r i m a r i l y on t h e r i m of independence (access, 70 openness, s t r u c t u r e , mediated p r e s e n t a t i o n , c o n t e n t , l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s , e v a l u a t i o n and c e r t i f i c a t i o n ) . One h a l f of the wheel, c e r t i f i c a t i o n and openness, tends t o have more c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the educator as an i n s t i t u t i o n and t h e l e a r n e r a p a r t i c i p a n t i n an o u t s i d e community s i n c e i t d e a l s w i t h p u b l i c p o l i c y and o t h e r frame f a c t o r s a f f e c t i n g the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . The o t h e r h a l f o f the wheel, mediated p r e s e n t a t i o n and l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s , i s more connected t o t h e educator and t h e l e a r n e r as i n d i v i d u a l s , a l t h o u g h even i n t h i s a rea the educator may be t h e i n s t i t u t i o n . The c a u t i o n which must be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h i s f i g u r e i s t h a t i t i s o n l y a c o n c e p t u a l d e v i c e f o r o r g a n i z i n g i n f o r m a t i o n and f o r t h i n k i n g about the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . The f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n s o f t h i s c h a p t e r p r e s e n t r e s e a r c h and s c h o l a r s h i p a s s o c i a t e d w i t h each quadrant o f the diagram i n o r d e r t o a m p l i f y t h e i r meanings. Chapter V w i l l then use t h i s diagram as a s c r e e n i n a n a l y z i n g the l i t e r a t u r e on dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . 4. I n s t r u c t i o n i n Distance Education The f i r s t quadrant of the diagram t o be d i s c u s s e d i s the p a r t a s s o c i a t e d w i t h i n s t r u c t i o n , an area of r e s e a r c h c o n c e n t r a t i o n i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . 71 A. Diagram D I F i g u r e 6. The quadrant o f i n s t r u c t i o n i n t h e e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . The components o f i n s t r u c t i o n i n t h e diagram a r e d i a l o g u e , as Moore d e f i n e d i t : "the e x t e n t t o which, i n any e d u c a t i o n a l programme, l e a r n e r and educator are a b l e t o respond t o each o t h e r " ; s t r u c t u r e , d e f i n e d as Saba m o d i f i e d Moore: "a measure o f an e d u c a t i o n a l programme's r e s p o n s i v e n e s s t o l e a r n e r s ' i n d i v i d u a l needs" (1988, p. 17); t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e , d e f i n e d by Saba a s : "the c y b e r n e t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p between t e a c h e r and l e a r n e r which a l l o w s them t o v a r y and c o n t r o l l e v e l s o f d i a l o g u e and s t r u c t u r e i n a p u r p o s e f u l i n s t r u c t i o n a l s e t t i n g " (1988, p. 72 22 ) ; mediated presentation, d e f i n e d here as the i n s t r u c t i o n a l p r e s e n t a t i o n conveyed by mechanical or e l e c t r o n i c media; content, d e f i n e d here as the s u b j e c t m a t t e r p r e s e n t e d f o r l e a r n i n g ; relevance, d e f i n e d here as the c y b e r n e t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p between educator and l e a r n e r which a l l o w s them t o va r y and c o n t r o l l e v e l s o f d i a l o g u e and co n t e n t t o a c h i e v e c o g n i t i v e o r a f f e c t i v e p e r t i n e n c e . B. The Use of Media to Convey Content Keegan says t h a t "An e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s t h a t the t e a c h i n g a c t s a re s e p a r a t e d i n time and p l a c e from the l e a r n i n g a c t s " (1986, p. 119). Moore, i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of t e l e m a t h i c t e a c h i n g (1977, p.15) e x p l a i n e d t h a t i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n the i n t e r a c t i v e stage of t e a c h i n g as w e l l as the p r o a c t i v e ( p r e p a r a t o r y ) stage i s conducted a p a r t from the l e a r n e r s . Keegan i s concerned w i t h the r e i n t e g r a t i o n o f the t e a c h i n g a c t s and the l e a r n i n g a c t s (pp. 120-127). He says t h i s can o n l y be ac c o m p l i s h e d by means of a l i n k . T h i s l i n k w i l l be d i s c u s s e d l a t e r i n the s e c t i o n on r e l e v a n c e , and a l s o i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h dropout i n Chapter V. The mediated p r e s e n t a t i o n i t s e l f i n v o l v e s b oth s t r u c t u r e and c o n t e n t . Even when educ a t o r s are p r e p a r i n g s i m p l e p r i n t -based m a t e r i a l s , they o f t e n f i n d the s t r u c t u r a l demands of t e a c h i n g at a d i s t a n c e r i g o r o u s . The way the i n s t r u c t i o n i s o r g a n i z e d becomes more apparent and a l s o more r i g i d when the p r e s e n t a t i o n i s set i n a r e p r o d u c i b l e p r i n t form than when i t i s ephemeral and spoken. Course m a t e r i a l s t h a t r e l y on 73 e l e c t r o n i c media p r e s e n t a t i o n s — a u d i o , v i d e o , c o m p u t e r — u s u a l l y r e q u i r e the a s s i s t a n c e o f media s p e c i a l i s t s f o r t h e i r p r e p a r a t i o n . There are some d i f f e r e n c e s between c e n t r a l i z e d and the d e c e n t r a l i z e d systems of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n r e g a r d i n g the use o f media t o convey c o n t e n t . In c e n t r a l i z e d systems (the OUUK or IGNOU f o r example) a course team might i n c l u d e a v a r i e t y o f s p e c i a l i s t s and produce a s o p h i s t i c a t e d media p r o d u c t . An a r t i s t , a u d i o - v i s u a l d i r e c t o r , page-makeup t e c h n i c i a n , sound e n g i n e e r , t . v . camera o p e r a t o r , c o p y r i g h t c l e a r a n c e s p e c i a l i s t , copy e d i t o r , producer, and e d u c a t i o n a l d e s i g n e r as w e l l as the course w r i t e r and the c o n t e n t c o n s u l t a n t might work on t h e mediated p r e s e n t a t i o n . In d e c e n t r a l i z e d systems, such as the UNE i n A u s t r a l i a , i n d i v i d u a l i n s t r u c t o r s may p r e p a r e t h e i r course guides w i t h a minimum o f t e c h n i c a l a s s i s t a n c e . Q uestions have been asked about the r e l a t i v e p e d a g o g i c a l e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f d i f f e r e n t media. Keegan (1986, p. 189) r e i t e r a t e s the g e n e r a l i z a t i o n t h a t "any media i s a l l r i g h t i f w e l l used." Research has a l s o examined the c o n n e c t i o n between media and c o g n i t i v e s t y l e and the e f f e c t o f d i f f e r e n t media on l e v e l s of l e a r n i n g . Some of t h i s work w i l l be mentioned i n the s e c t i o n o f t h i s c h a p t e r t h a t d e a l s w i t h l e a r n i n g . Baath r e p o r t s on e x p e r i m e n t a l r e s e a r c h t o do w i t h c o m p u t e r - a s s i s t e d d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Students i n Baath's experiment d i d w e l l w i t h an " i n d u s t r i a l i z e d " form of t e a c h i n g — w h e r e h i g h l y r e p e t i t i v e t u t o r f u n c t i o n s were handed over t o a computer. 74 The outcome of the two f i e l d experiments has c l e a r p r a c t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s . Correspondence e d u c a t i o n w i t h c o m p u t e r - a s s i s t e d two-way communications o f f - l i n e , a r r a n g e d as i n t h e s e experiments, appears t o y i e l d e d u c a t i o n a l e f f e c t s t h a t are i n s e v e r a l r e s p e c t s more f a v o r a b l e than those o f t r a d i t i o n a l correspondence e d u c a t i o n . (Baath, 1982, p. 305) Baath f e e l s t h a t h i s r e s e a r c h s u p p o r t s P e t e r s ' t h e o r y o f i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , and, once a g a i n , suggests t h a t e f f e c t i v e t e a c h i n g can t a k e many forms. Baath's (1982) f i n d i n g i s i n keeping w i t h o t h e r r e s e a r c h t h a t suggests, as P e r r a t o n put i t i n h i s f i r s t and second t h e o r e t i c a l a s s e r t i o n s : 1. communications media do not d i f f e r i n t h e i r e d u c a t i o n a l e f f e c t i v e n e s s . 2. d i s t a n c e - t e a c h i n g programmes which use a c o m b i n a t i o n of media are l i k e l y t o have a h i g h e r s u c c e s s f u l c o m p l e t i o n r a t e than those which use a s i n g l e medium. (1987, p. 9) Research by Bates (1982) t a k e s t h i s f u r t h e r , s u g g e s t i n g t h a t combinations of lower c o s t media (audio c a s s e t t e s and p r i n t and telephone) can do the job w i t h o u t r e l i a n c e on c o s t l y b r o a d c a s t , v i d e o and computer t e c h n o l o g i e s . Keegan (1985, p. 190-191) suggests t h a t p r i n t p l u s telephone s h o u l d be chosen as the most reasonable and e f f e c t i v e media c o m b i n a t i o n . P r i n t , which i s r a t h e r i n f l e x i b l e and not i m m e d i a t e l y i n t e r a c t i v e , can be complimented w i t h the use of the t e l e p h o n e t o c a r r y d i a l o g u e . Bates' (1982) f i v e - p o i n t g u i d e l i n e — a c c e s s i b i l i t y , convenience, academic c o n t r o l , •*human' touch, and a v a i l a b i l i t y — f o r the c h o i c e o f media 75 i n d i c a t e s s e n s i b l e l i m i t a t i o n s i n media s e l e c t i o n . For i n s t a n c e , i n some c o u n t r i e s , telephone i s not a c c e s s i b l e — i s not a v a i l a b l e i n most s t u d e n t s ' homes—and i s t h e r e f o r e a poor c h o i c e f o r d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . In t h e s e c i r c u m s t a n c e s , p r i n t , when not combined w i t h the t e l e p h o n e t o c a r r y d i a l o g u e , becomes a weaker medium, but i t may s t i l l be the b e s t c h o i c e p o s s i b l e . However, much d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s not o n l y dependent upon p r i n t m a t e r i a l s but i s a l s o d r i v e n by b e h a v i o r a l o b j e c t i v e s . T h i s combination w o r r i e s P e r r a t o n (1987), who has a number of t h i n g s t o say about the e d u c a t i o n a l d e s i g n o f p r i n t m a t e r i a l s i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e o r y and g e n e r a l i z a t i o n i n the p r a c t i c e o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . . . . d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n f a c e s the danger t h a t i t w i l l encourage r o t e l e a r n i n g , w i l l r e l y on e x t r i n s i c r a t h e r than i n t r i n s i c rewards, and w i l l d e p r i v e i t s s t u d e n t s of some of t h e most v a l u a b l e p a r t s o f the e d u c a t i o n a l p r o c e s s . ... An e x c e s s i v e r e l i a n c e on e x t r i n s i c rewards i s not i n h e r e n t t o d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . But i n p r a c t i c e the widespread use of an o b j e c t i v e s - l e d model of course development may l e a d towards t h i s and towards the dangerous assumption t h a t what i s e a s i l y a s s e s s e d i s n e c e s s a r i l y worth l e a r n i n g , (p. 20) T h i s concern g i v e s r i s e t o the f i r s t o f two key q u e s t i o n s ( r e p o r t e d i n Chapter I I I ) P e r r a t o n would ask i n e v a l u a t i n g any d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n system: "Does the programme l e a d t o open-minded e n q u i r y and not merely t o r o t e l e a r n i n g and sometimes exa m i n a t i o n s u c c e s s ? " (p. 22). I t a l s o r a i s e s the q u e s t i o n of how the t e a c h i n g a c t s i n f l u e n c e the l e a r n i n g a c t s . 76 £_ R e levance D i a l o g u e — f a c e - t o - f a c e o r mediated—between educator and l e a r n e r " r e i n t e g r a t e s " t e a c h i n g and l e a r n i n g i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . As d i a l o g u e i n c r e a s e s (assuming an empathetic c o n n e c t i o n between the educator and the l e a r n e r ) , so may the c o g n i t i v e and a f f e c t i v e r e l e v a n c e o f the i n s t r u c t i o n ; as the c o n t e n t decreases i n r e l e v a n c e , l e s s d i a l o g u e about i t i s l i k e l y t o o c c u r , u n l e s s educator o r l e a r n e r e l e c t s t o i n c r e a s e d i a l o g u e i n o r d e r t o i n c r e a s e the c o n t e n t ' s r e l e v a n c e . The c o n n e c t i o n between content and d i a l o g u e — r e l e v a n c e — i s thus s i m i l a r t o the c o n n e c t i o n between s t r u c t u r e and d i a l o g u e — t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e . T h i s i n t e r a c t i o n c o u l d be thought o f as c o l l a b o r a t i v e r e f l e c t i o n , and i t might c o n c e i v a b l y f o l l o w one o f Schon's models o f c o a c h i n g : " j o i n t e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n , " or " h a l l o f m i r r o r s " (Schon, 1987, pp. 212-216). Baath (1979) a n a l y z e d seven contemporary t e a c h i n g models r e l a t e d t o p s y c h o l o g i c a l t h e o r i e s o f l e a r n i n g or p e r s o n a l i t y t o determine what they i n d i c a t e d about p o s s i b l e t e a c h i n g models f o r d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . He found t h a t they a l l gave a r o l e t o two-way communication, a l t h o u g h models w i t h s t r i c t e r c o n t r o l o f l e a r n i n g towards f i x e d g o a l s tended t o i m p l y , i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , a g r e a t e r emphasis on the t e a c h i n g m a t e r i a l than on the two-way communication between student and t u t o r / i n s t i t u t i o n . 77 In a l l o f these cases i t i s e s s e n t i a l t h a t the correspondence t u t o r p r o v i d e s i n d i v i d u a l h e l p . In o r d e r t o a c t i v a t e a p a r t i c u l a r s t u d e n t ' s m o t i v a t i o n as e f f i c i e n t l y as p o s s i b l e , the t u t o r s h o u l d l i n k up w i t h h i s individual e x p e c t a t i o n s and o f f e r i n d i v i d u a l l y adapted support (encouragement, p r a i s e , e t c . ) . The t u t o r s h o u l d , f u r t h e r m o r e , t r y t o f i n d out the s t u d e n t ' s individual p r e v i o u s knowledge and e x p e r i e n c e s , i n o r d e r t o be a b l e t o work out his, individualized guidance and feedback t o t h e s t u d e n t . (Baath, 1979, p. 113) 7Another Swedish r e s e a r c h e r , W i l l e n , agrees w i t h Baath's emphasis on t h e need f o r i n d i v i d u a l i z e d guidance and feedback. In her summary of r e s u l t s from a major study of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n at Swedish u n i v e r s i t i e s , W i l l e n c o n c l u d e s : The g e n e r a l i m p r e s s i o n was t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n had f u n c t i o n e d w e l l and t h a t the s t u d e n t s were s a t i s f i e d w i t h t h e i r s t u d i e s . . . The g r e a t e s t problem seems t o l i e i n t h e feedback a s p e c t , i . e . the need o f a b e t t e r c o n t a c t between t e a c h e r and student when i t comes t o i n t e r p r e t i n g , a n a l y z i n g and d i s c u s s i n g the content o f the c o u r s e . . . The problems a r i s e a t c o m p l e t e l y d i f f e r e n t p o i n t s i n t i m e , as the s t u d e n t ' s p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f s t u d y i n g are l i m i t e d by o t h e r a c t i v i t i e s c o n c e r n i n g e.g. work and the f a m i l y . . . Thus, i t i s a q u e s t i o n o f i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n o f t e a c h i n g and we would l i k e t o make i t c l e a r t h a t t h i s need cannot be met by TV or r a d i o programmes, however e x c e l l e n t they may be ( W i l l e n , 1981, p. 251) W i l l e n ' s study surveyed e d u c a t o r s and l e a r n e r s i n v o l v e d w i t h d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n : 120 t e a c h e r s and a d m i n i s t r a t o r s and 797 s t u d e n t s . The r e p o r t a l s o p r e s e n t s a f o l l o w - u p study of the d i s t a n c e s t u d e n t s (N=571) f i v e y ears a f t e r t h e y s t a r t e d . In r e f l e c t i n g on W i l l e n ' s c o n c l u s i o n t h a t i t i s feedback around course c o n t e n t — t h a t c y b e r n e t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p c a l l e d r e l e v a n c e i n the present, s t u d y — w h i c h i s the g r e a t e s t l a c k i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , i t i s necessary t o r e a l i z e t h a t the 78 u n i v e r s i t y c o u r s e s she a s s e s s e d employed s m a l l - s c a l e , d e c e n t r a l i z e d forms o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . These courses o r i g i n a t e d w i t h the d i f f e r e n t l o c a l departments and were o f t e n an e x t e r n a l form of a p a r a l l e l course o f f e r e d on campus. Students sometimes met w i t h i n s t r u c t o r s (who were a l s o the course w r i t e r s ) and some a l s o met w i t h o t h e r s t u d e n t s ; over t h r e e - q u a r t e r s o f the s t u d e n t s c a l l e d t h e i r i n s t r u c t o r s on the tele p h o n e ( W i l l e n , 1981, p. 234). Almost h a l f (47%) o f the t e a c h e r s surveyed r e p o r t e d t h a t they had b e t t e r c o n t a c t w i t h t h e i r d i s t a n c e s t u d e n t s than w i t h o t h e r s , and "the r e s u l t s c l e a r l y and unambiguously show t h a t the m a j o r i t y of t e a c h e r s were q u i t e s a t i s f i e d w i t h student c o n t a c t i n t h i s form of e d u c a t i o n " ( W i l l e n , 1981, p. 150). D e s p i t e t h e s e f i n d i n g s and d e s p i t e the r e l a t i v e l y g r e a t e r o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r p e r s o n a l i z e d c o n t a c t between educator and l e a r n e r around content i n a d e c e n t r a l i z e d system, W i l l e n makes a s t r o n g demand f o r i n c r e a s e d i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n and d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n even i n the Swedish system. A s y s t e m a t i c network o f i n f o r m a t i o n has emerged from our e v a l u a t i o n and o t h e r s t u d i e s t o g e t h e r w i t h t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n a l l p o i n t i n the same d i r e c t i o n , namely t h a t the weak l i n k i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n l i e s i n the feedback a s p e c t . The c o n c l u s i o n we can draw from t h i s , i s t h a t however good t h e t e a c h i n g m a t e r i a l may be, some st u d e n t s are bound t o f a i l i n t h e i r s t u d i e s u n l e s s we can a l s o guarantee p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t between t h e d i s t a n c e o r g a n i z a t i o n and the s t u d e n t , and t h a t t h i s c o n t a c t g i v e s s t u d e n t s s e c u r i t y both i n t h e i r work and s o c i a l l y . ( W i l l e n , 1981, p. 259) 79 D i s c u s s i n g f i n d i n g s made by Dichanz (197 9) about the F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t , a c e n t r a l i z e d i n s t i t u t i o n , W i l l e n says: The a n a l y s i s made by Dichanz w i t h the h e l p o f r e s e a r c h and o t h e r e x p e r i e n c e s l e a d s him t o draw the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t many r e s e a r c h workers i n the f i e l d of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n w i l l not admit t h a t : " I n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n and d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of the study by media have not been a c h i e v e d i n most ca s e s ! " . . . For our p a r t , the most imp o r t a n t p o i n t o f Dichanz' argument, i s t h a t he u n d e r l i n e s t h a t the l e a r n e r h i m s e l f has been l o s t i n t h e j u n g l e o f t e a c h i n g - l e a r n i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n s . ( W i l l e n , 1981, p. 257) Of c o u r s e , j u s t o f f e r i n g t he o p p o r t u n i t y f o r two-way i n t e r a c t i o n or d i a l o g u e does not ensure t h a t i t w i l l be r e l e v a n t and s u p p o r t i v e of i n s t r u c t i o n and l e a r n i n g , or even t a k e p l a c e . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , not a l l t e a c h e r s or t u t o r s handle such d i a l o g u e e f f e c t i v e l y . Another a r e a o f r e s e a r c h , t h i s t i m e from I n d i a , has i n v e s t i g a t e d the i n c o n s i s t e n c y , and p e d a g o g i c a l impact on l e a r n e r s , of t u t o r ' s w r i t t e n comments made when marking assignments. K o u l (1984b, 1985) argues "a t e a c h e r drawn from the f a c e - t o - f a c e c u l t u r a l background . . . has t o be purged of h i s unconscious c u l t u r a l l y induced b i a s e s and t r a i n e d t o d i s t a n c e t e a c h " (1985, p. 1 ) . Ko u l ' s work i n v e s t i g a t e s the i n t e r a c t i o n o f ego, i n s e c u r i t y , l a c k o f t r a i n i n g , m o t i v a t i o n and b i a s found i n d i s t a n c e t e a c h e r s on the comments th e y w r i t e , and demonstrates t h a t grades from u n t r a i n e d d i s t a n c e t e a c h e r s ranged from A t o E on the same p i e c e o f work. A p r a c t i c a l outcome of h i s study i s i t s c l a r i f i c a t i o n o f typ e s of comments ( p e d a g o g i c a l l y d e v a s t a t i n g , n e g a t i v e and h o l l o w v e r s u s m u l t i p l i e r , o r e f f e c t i v e f o r t e a c h i n g ) and the d e s c r i p t i o n of a t r a i n i n g 80 program f o r d i s t a n c e t e a c h e r s around comment-writing. I t i s l i k e l y t h a t s i m i l a r programs might a s s i s t e d u c a t o r s w i t h spoken as w e l l as w r i t t e n responses t o student work. The computer-generated, i n d i v i d u a l i z e d t e a c h i n g l e t t e r s composed of preproduced comments b e i n g used at F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t are another way of h e l p i n g e d u c a t o r s who t e a c h a t a d i s t a n c e i n c r e a s e the r e l e v a n c e o f t h e i r d i a l o g u e w i t h l e a r n e r s . In the p r e s e n t study, r e l e v a n c e r e f e r s t o the a b i l i t y t o i n d i v i d u a l i z e i n s t r u c t i o n , r e i n t e g r a t e the t e a c h i n g and l e a r n i n g a c t s , and o f f e r p e r s o n a l i z e d c o g n i t i v e and a f f e c t i v e support t o the l e a r n e r . T r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e , which has come up a number of times a l r e a d y , behaves i n a s i m i l a r f a s h i o n . I t s u p p o r t s i n s t r u c t i o n by a l l o w i n g course s t r u c t u r e t o respond t o d i a l o g u e . Because the r e s e a r c h a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e has been p r e s e n t e d , i t w i l l not be r a i s e d a g a i n here. 5. Learning i n Distance Education To date, d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n r e s e a r c h seems t o have been l e s s i n t e r e s t e d i n i n v e s t i g a t i n g l e a r n i n g than i t has been i n s t u d y i n g t e a c h i n g . Some r e s e a r c h about i n s t r u c t i o n has i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r l e a r n i n g , and v i c e v e r s a . The p r e v i o u s d i s c u s s i o n o f r e l e v a n c e a p p l i e s t o l e a r n i n g as w e l l as t o i n s t r u c t i o n . 81 The components of the l e a r n i n g quadrant of the composite diagram i n c l u d e : d i a l o g u e and r e l e v a n c e and content, each d e f i n e d i n the p r e v i o u s s e c t i o n ; l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s , d e f i n e d as p r a c t i c e , problem-solving and r e f l e c t i o n engaged i n by the l e a r n e r , a s s o c i a t e d with the course content and with p e r s o n a l d i s c o v e r y , demonstration and e v a l u a t i o n of l e a r n i n g ; e v a l u a t i o n , d e f i n e d on one s i d e as the assessment of l e a r n i n g , and on the other as assessment of the l e a r n e r ' s needs, p o t e n t i a l and p o s s i b i l i t i e s ; and c o u n s e l l i n g , d e f i n e d as the c y b e r n e t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p between educator and l e a r n e r which allows them to vary and c o n t r o l l e v e l s of d i a l o g u e and e d u c a t i o n a l , v o c a t i o n a l or personal guidance or advice, not d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to course content, o f f e r e d to the l e a r n e r . A. Diagram D I F i g u r e 7. The quadrant of l e a r n i n g i n the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e education. 82 B. L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t y : P r a c t i c e . R e f l e c t i o n . E v a l u a t i o n How l e a r n i n g t a k e s p l a c e i n any e d u c a t i o n a l program i s something o f a mystery. T h i s study found v e r y l i t t l e r e s e a r c h t h a t s p e c i f i c a l l y addressed l e a r n i n g i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . The i n t e r e s t i n g book e d i t e d by Marton, H o u n s e l l and E n t w i s t l e (1984), The experience of learning, r e p o r t s on r e s e a r c h u s i n g a phenomenographic approach i n t o such q u e s t i o n s as how s t u d e n t s l e a r n from r e a d i n g , e s s a y - w r i t i n g , and problem-s o l v i n g . The e n t i r e book seems r e l e v a n t t o d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , e s p e c i a l l y s i n c e some of the s u b j e c t s i n a couple of i t s c h a p t e r s were OUUK s t u d e n t s . Based on those s t u d i e s , i t can be s a i d t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s t u d e n t s come t o l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s w i t h a number of o r i e n t a t i o n s ( v o c a t i o n a l , academic, p e r s o n a l ) and a v a r i e t y o f l e a r n i n g s t y l e s , but t h a t they are f a i r l y r a t i o n a l i n s i z i n g up the requirements of the s i t u a t i o n and engaging i n an a c t i v i t y - -and a l e v e l o f t h a t a c t i v i t y — w h i c h they judge t o be a p p r o p r i a t e ( L a u r i l l a r d , pp. 124-143; Gibbs, Morgan & T a y l o r , pp. 165-188). The l e a r n i n g which r e s u l t s may be o f d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s as w e l l as o f d i f f e r e n t domains ( c o g n i t i v e , a f f e c t i v e , psychomotor). K o l b (1984, p. 30), w r i t i n g about l e a r n i n g i n g e n e r a l , proposed a now f a m i l i a r f o u r - s t a g e model of the l e a r n i n g c y c l e t h a t goes from c o n c r e t e e x p e r i e n c e , t o o b s e r v a t i o n and r e f l e c t i o n , t o g e n e r a l i z a t i o n and a b s t r a c t c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n , t o a c t i v e e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n and back t o c o n c r e t e e x p e r i e n c e . J a r v i s (1987)—who has had e x p e r i e n c e w i t h d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n 83 but does not mention t h i s i n h i s a r g u m e n t — c r i t i c i z e s K o l b 1 s l e a r n i n g c y c l e and model o f l e a r n i n g f o r b e i n g o v e r -s i m p l i f i e d , e x p e r i e n t i a l , and c o n s e q u e n t l y l i m i t e d (pp. 16-24). J a r v i s ' s own ( a d u l t e d ucation) model o f the l e a r n i n g p r o c e s s e s arose from h i s r e s e a r c h ; i n i t he proposes n i n e d i f f e r e n t paths o r responses t o a p o t e n t i a l l e a r n i n g e x p e r i e n c e . Some paths are more c o m p l e t e l y c o g n i t i v e — d o not i n v o l v e p r a c t i c e e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n but do i n v o l v e r e a s o n i n g and r e f l e c t i n g and e v a l u a t i n g — t h a n K olb's model. The v a l u e of J a r v i s 1 work here i s t h a t the k i n d of p r a c t i c e o r a c t i v e e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n i n v o l v e d w i t h l e a r n i n g w h i l e r e s e a r c h i n g f o r and w r i t i n g an essay does d i f f e r from the k i n d of p r a c t i c e i n v o l v e d w i t h l e a r n i n g new s k i l l s i n d e n t a l a s s i s t i n g by work i n a d e n t a l o f f i c e . The f i r s t tends t o r e q u i r e c o n s i d e r a b l e c o g n i t i o n and r e f l e c t i o n , w h i l e the second tends t o i n v o l v e some c o g n i t i o n but f a r more complex psychomotor a c t i v i t y , a l o n g w i t h a c e r t a i n amount o f l e a r n i n g i n t he a f f e c t i v e domain because the p r a c t i c e i s on o t h e r p e o p l e . C o g n i t i v e r e f l e c t i o n , p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g and w r i t t e n p r a c t i c e are more common as l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o r d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s t u d e n t s than are p r a c t i c e o f s o p h i s t i c a t e d psychomotor s k i l l s , a f f e c t i v e l e a r n i n g , or the a c t i v e e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n of " e x p e r i e n t i a l " l e a r n i n g . However, content l i k e d e n t a l a s s i s t i n g o r n u r s i n g has been l e a r n e d s u c c e s s f u l l y through combinations of mediated i n s t r u c t i o n and s u p e r v i s e d p r a c t i c e . In f a c t , i t i s rumored t h a t much S o v i e t 84 d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n o c c u r s i n the workplace and i n v o l v e s a v a s t system c o n n e c t i n g employment w i t h academic i n s t r u c t i o n . Indeed, v o c a t i o n a l courses i n s u b j e c t s l i k e e l e c t r o n i c s o r even heavy duty mechanics are taught i n c o u n t r i e s l i k e Norway, England and Canada by d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , so the need t o master psychomotor content i n i t s e l f does not appear t o p r e c l u d e the use of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n as a r o u t e t o l e a r n i n g . Some r e s e a r c h has i n v e s t i g a t e d how, and even how w e l l , s t u d e n t s l e a r n from d i f f e r e n t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n m a t e r i a l s . D a n i e l s o n , S e i l e r and F r i e d r i c h (1981, pp. 371-381) d i d an experiment which found no s i g n i f i c a n t i n t e r a c t i o n between media and c o g n i t i v e s t y l e , but showed t h a t t h e r e was a c o n n e c t i o n between c h o i c e o f media and l e v e l o f l e a r n i n g : S u b j e c t s r e c e i v i n g the p r i n t treatment s c o r e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y h i g h e r on the r o t e l e v e l q u e s t i o n s than they d i d on the u n d e r s t a n d i n g l e v e l q u e s t i o n s . S u b j e c t s r e c e i v i n g t h e t e l e v i s i o n t reatment s c o r e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y h i g h e r on the u n d e r s t a n d i n g l e v e l q u e s t i o n s than on the r o t e l e v e l . I t was a l s o found t h a t f i e l d dependent • s u b j e c t s d i f f e r e d from f i e l d independent s u b j e c t s f o r the r o t e l e v e l but not f o r the u n d e r s t a n d i n g l e v e l . ( D a n i e l s o n , S e i l e r & F r i e d r i c h , 1981, p. 371) Marland et al d i d a l i m i t e d study o f " s t u d e n t s ' m e d i a t i n g r e s p o n s e s " i n l e a r n i n g from course m a t e r i a l s . Twenty d i f f e r e n t t y p e s of mental p r o c e s s e s were i d e n t i f i e d , seven of which were used more f r e q u e n t l y than o t h e r s . Furthermore, t e x t u a l f e a t u r e s which a c t i v a t e d mental p r o c e s s e s were i d e n t i f i e d u s i n g the s t i m u l a t e d - r e c a l l t e c h n i q u e , and p r o m i s i n g s u g g e s t i o n s f o r t e x t u a l d e s i g n were gleaned from t h e d a t a . (Marland e t a l , 1984, p. 215) 85 Only f o u r s t u d e n t s were observed, but the r e s e a r c h suggests t h a t s t u d e n t s can l e a r n a t deep l e v e l s from p r i n t m a t e r i a l s . T h i s i s borne out by s t u d i e s done i n a d u l t e d u c a t i o n on s t u d e n t s ' e x p e r i e n c e s of l e a r n i n g i n c o n n e c t i o n t o r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g (Marton, H o u n s e l l & E n t w i s t l e , 1984). Some r e s e a r c h from a d u l t e d u c a t i o n h e l p s t o p r o v i d e a p i c t u r e o f the independent l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s of a d u l t s which might i l l u m i n a t e ways i n which d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s t u d e n t s manage t h e i r l e a r n i n g . A d u l t e d u c a t o r s have begun t o study the l e a r n i n g e f f o r t s of a d u l t s o u t s i d e f o r m a l s e t t i n g s . While t h e i r f i n d i n g s are not d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , they support the assumption t h a t a d u l t s are and can be independent i n t h e i r l e a r n i n g e f f o r t s . A d u l t s spend a remarkable amount of time each year a t t h e i r major e f f o r t s t o l e a r n . In f a c t , a t y p i c a l l e a r n i n g e f f o r t r e q u i r e s 100 hours. And the t y p i c a l a d u l t conducts f i v e o f them a y e a r : 500 hours a l t o g e t h e r . Some of thes e l e a r n i n g p r o j e c t s r e l y on i n s t r u c t o r s and c l a s s e s , but over 70% are s e l f - p l a n n e d and o t h e r s r e l y on f r i e n d s and peer groups. (Tough, 1978, p. 250) Some d i s t a n c e t e a c h i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s have c o l l e c t e d d ata about the backgrounds and p r o g r e s s o f t h e i r s t u d e n t s . While i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o g e n e r a l i z e from t h e s e , the " s t a t i s t i c which i s w i d e l y r e p o r t e d i n r e l a t i o n t o i n s t i t u t i o n s engaged i n f u r t h e r o r h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n " i s t h a t "the g r e a t m a j o r i t y of a d u l t s l e a r n i n g at a d i s t a n c e are i n the 20-40 age range and a re s t u d y i n g on a p a r t - t i m e b a s i s from t h e i r homes" (Sewart, 1983, pp. 166-68). Another t y p i c a l f i n d i n g i s t h a t 86 "correspondence s t u d e n t s o f t e n came from urban areas where t r a d i t i o n a l e d u c a t i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s were o f f e r e d " (Rekkedal, 1983a, p. 219). Geographic i s o l a t i o n i s thus not the p r i m a r y reason f o r the c h o i c e o f l e a r n i n g by d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Students r e p o r t s e l e c t i n g t h i s mode because of the independence and f l e x i b i l i t y i t o f f e r e d ( G l a t t e r & Wedell, 1971, pp. 7-9). Because o f t h e i r work commitments d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s the o n l y form of e d u c a t i o n which p r o v i d e s r e a s o n a b l e openings f o r them and i t i s h a r d l y s u r p r i s i n g , t h e r e f o r e , t h a t t hey o f f e r as reasons f o r c h o o s i n g i t t h e f a c t t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n a l l o w s them t o p l a n t h e i r own study programme, asse s s t h e i r p r o g r e s s and e s t a b l i s h t h e i r own pace of work. (Sewart, 1983, p. 166) C. Relevance In a d d i t i o n t o the r e s e a r c h mentioned i n the d i s c u s s i o n about r e l e v a n c e i n the s e c t i o n on i n s t r u c t i o n , t h e r e has been some work done on l e a r n i n g s t y l e s and d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s t u d e n t s . These s t u d i e s t e n d t o focus on the c o g n i t i v e c o n s t r u c t of f i e l d dependence and f i e l d independence ( D a n i e l s o n , S e i l e r & F r i e d r i c h , 1981, pp. 371-382; Moore, 1983a, pp. 90-93; Thompson, 1984, pp. 286-293). The r e s e a r c h we conducted i n Canada and the U.S.A. from 1974 t o 1976 i n v e s t i g a t e d the c o g n i t i v e s t y l e s and the a t t i t u d e s t o independent study of s t u d e n t s i n one programme s e l e c t e d from the High [ l e a r n e r ] Autonomy/Low D i s t a n c e s e c t o r o f the t y p o l o g y , and i n another from the High Distance/Low [ l e a r n e r ] Autonomy s e c t o r . . . Students i n t h e more D i s t a n t form of Independent Study were s i g n i f i c a n t l y more f i e l d independent than the norm, (.99 l e v e l of s i g n i f i c a n c e ) , but the s t u d e n t s i n the more Autonomous programme were not. . .Thus f i e l d 87 independence might not be used as a p r e d i c t o r of s u c c e s s f u l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n autonomous l e a r n i n g , but might be used as a p r e d i c t o r i n d i s t a n c e study. (Moore, 1983a, pp. 90-92) Two d i f f e r e n t k i n d s o f "independence" seem a t o p p o s i t e ends of the spectrum i n how l e a r n i n g o c c u r s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . The independence of autonomy (freedom t o o r g a n i z e a l e a r n i n g e x p e r i e n c e f o r o n e s e l f ) does not n e c e s s a r i l y c o i n c i d e w i t h f i e l d independence of c o g n i t i v e s t y l e ( a b i l i t y t o d i s t i n g u i s h a f i g u r e from i t s m a t r i x or ground). Thompson p o i n t s out t h a t i f f i e l d dependent persons are more l i k e l y t o drop out of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n programs i t might be worth w h i l e t o p r o v i d e " a d j u n c t i v e support systems t o such p e r s o n s " (Thompson, 1984, p. 290). Does t h i s mean t h a t a l l incoming d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s t u d e n t s s h o u l d be t e s t e d f o r f i e l d independent or f i e l d dependent l e a r n i n g s t y l e ? O ' N e i l l ' s (1989) i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f f i r s t year u n i v e r s i t y s t u d e n t s ' l e a r n i n g e x p e r i e n c e s w i t h P s y c h o l o g y and E n g l i s h courses a t the OLA and at N o r t h I s l a n d C o l l e g e i n B r i t i s h Columbia suggests t h a t some p r e f e r r e d t o s i m p l y read the t e x t and found a d d i t i o n a l media a b o t h e r and q u i t e unnecessary, w h i l e o t h e r s f e l t t h ey c o u l d understand t h i n g s f a r b e t t e r when they saw and heard them p r e s e n t e d on t e l e v i s i o n . These p r e f e r e n c e s may i n d i c a t e p e r c e p t u a l l e a r n i n g s t y l e s . C o g n i t i v e l e a r n i n g s t y l e may a l s o a f f e c t the way s t u d e n t s i n t e r a c t w i t h course m a t e r i a l . Some o f the b e s t r e s e a r c h done on l e a r n i n g and t e a c h i n g i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s the work of Rekkedal. He, and o t h e r s 88 from the Norwegian N K I - s k o l e n , have s y s t e m a t i c a l l y s t u d i e d t h e e f f e c t s o f v a r i o u s i n n o v a t i o n s i n t h e i r system o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Rekkedal (1973, 1983a, 1983b) r e p o r t s on an experiment done at NKI-Skolen, Norway on the e f f e c t t u r n - a r o u n d times f o r assignments had on course c o m p l e t i o n r a t e s . He randomly a s s i g n e d s t u d e n t s t o two groups, one whose assignments were r e t u r n e d immediately and one whose assignments were h e l d back b e f o r e t h e i r r e t u r n . "The t e a c h e r r e c e i v e d no i n f o r m a t i o n about which of the s t u d e n t s belonged t o e i t h e r of the groups, and t h e s t u d e n t s d i d not even know t h a t they were t a k i n g p a r t i n an experiment" (p. 217). We found at the time of data c o l l e c t i o n , the percentage' of c o m p l e t i o n s i n the two groups were 91 and 69 r e s p e c t i v e l y . The d i f f e r e n c e was found t o be h i g h l y s i g n i f i c a n t s t a t i s t i c a l l y . Consequently, we may conclude t h a t q u i c k e r h a n d l i n g of the s t u d e n t s ' assignments seems t o r e s u l t i n h i g h e r c o m p l e t i o n r a t e s . (Rekkedal, 1983a, p. 217) T h i s f i n d i n g may seem even more d r a m a t i c when i t i s p o i n t e d out t h a t the q u i c k e r t u r n - a r o u n d time was o n l y t h r e e days s h o r t e r than the l o n g e r one, and t h a t b o t h groups r e c e i v e d t h e i r marked assignments sooner than was the normal s i t u a t i o n b e f o r e the experiment was s t a r t e d (Rekkedal, 1983a, p. 217). T a y l o r e t a l (1986) undertook a l a r g e , c r o s s - c u l t u r a l and m u l t i - i n s t i t u t i o n a l study sponsored by the I n t e r n a t i o n a l C o u n c i l f o r D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n t o f o l l o w up on Rekkedal's f i n d i n g s . The r e s u l t s were mixed, but were not g e n e r a l l y 89 s u p p o r t i v e of a r e l a t i o n s h i p between feedback i n t e r v a l and p e r s i s t e n c e . I t i s l i k e l y t h a t student e x p e c t a t i o n s p l a y a r o l e i n t h e i r t o l e r a n c e of t u r n - a r o u n d t i m e . In another of Rekkedal's s t u d i e s , t u r n - a r o u n d time was h e l d t o one day f o r the e x p e r i m e n t a l group. T h i s would be i m p o s s i b l e i n many c o u n t r i e s . In o r d e r t o speed up and p e r s o n a l i z e e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r correspondence, the F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t i s now u s i n g an " i n d u s t r i a l i z e d " i n n o v a t i o n i n i t s correspondence which p e r m i t s i n d i v i d u a l i z e d commentary t o be sent t o s t u d e n t s by means o f computer-generated l e t t e r s . The Z I F F - P r o j e c t : Tutor Marked Assignments w i t h the A i d o f Computers ( F r i t s c h , 1989; K l u t e , 1989; K u f f n e r , 1989) uses e r r o r - o r i e n t e d t u t o r i n g t o generate a p a r t - p e r s o n a l , p a r t - c o m p u t e r i z e d l e t t e r as a way of r e s p o n d i n g t o student assignments. D. Evaluation of Learning; The p r e s e n t study assumes t h a t q u i t e a v a r i e t y of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s may ta k e p l a c e w i t h i n e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . A l l o f these would i n v o l v e b oth the i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n of content and the e v a l u a t i o n o f l e a r n i n g , a l t h o u g h t h a t e v a l u a t i o n i s f r e q u e n t l y i n f o r m a l and c a r r i e d out by the l e a r n e r through g u i d e d s e l f - e v a l u a t i o n and p e r s o n a l r e f l e c t i o n . At p o i n t s d u r i n g t h e e d u c a t i o n a l program, e v a l u a t i o n o f l e a r n i n g w i l l be conducted by the e d u c a t o r — p e r h a p s the educator as i n s t i t u t i o n when i t comes t o f i n a l e x a m i n a t i o n s , advanced 90 placement, and so on, but more f r e q u e n t l y t h e educator as t u t o r when i t comes t o marking course assignments, s e t t i n g and g r a d i n g midterm t e s t s , making s u g g e s t i o n s f o r re v i e w or r e v i s i o n . K o u l 1 s (1985) r e s e a r c h on t u t o r comments d i s c u s s e d i n the p r e v i o u s s e c t i o n o f t h i s c h a p t e r can a l s o be connected t o the d i s c u s s i o n of e v a l u a t i o n o f l e a r n i n g . G r a f f and Holmberg (1988) found t h a t o f the 194 i n s t i t u t i o n s r e s p o n d i n g t o t h e i r survey, almost t w o - t h i r d s have assessments i n every course u n i t , 85% r e q u i r e s t u d e n t s t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n f i n a l e x a m i n a t i o n s , and more than h a l f the i n s t i t u t i o n s award course c e r t i f i c a t e s and f i n a l marks on the b a s i s o f both f i n a l e x a m i n a t i o n grades and marks awarded f o r assignments. Predominant t y p e s o r formats of assessment items on e x a m i n a t i o n s and assignments were s h o r t open-ended q u e s t i o n s , s h o r t essay on a set s u b j e c t , and m u l t i p l e - c h o i c e ( G r a f f & Holmberg, 1988, p. 81). T h i s data may not be i n d i c a t i v e o f the o v e r a l l p i c t u r e , but i t r a i s e s some q u e s t i o n s about the p e r f u n c t o r y n a t u r e of f o r m a l e v a l u a t i o n s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , about the p r o c l i v i t y of b e h a v i o r a l o b j e c t i v e s l e a d i n g t o the d e s i g n of e a s i l y c o r r e c t e d t e s t s , and about the c o g n i t i v e l e v e l of l e a r n i n g such assessments can e v a l u a t e . E v a l u a t i o n o f l e a r n i n g , and e v a l u a t i o n o f student p o t e n t i a l , needs and p o s s i b i l i t i e s has not been much i n v e s t i g a t e d i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n r e s e a r c h . 91 EL. CPUngeJLJUng C o u n s e l l i n g may guide and a d v i s e the l e a r n e r i n a number of ways. I n c r e a s e d d i a l o g u e between the l e a r n e r and the e d u c a t o r o f f e r s i n c r e a s e d o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r e v a l u a t i o n of the l e a r n e r ' s a b i l i t i e s , p o s s i b i l i t i e s and needs, and i n c r e a s e d o p p o r t u n i t y f o r the c o u n s e l o r t o a s s i s t the l e a r n e r w i t h study s k i l l s , time-management a d v i c e , f i n a n c i a l a i d o r e d u c a t i o n a l p l a n n i n g — w h i l e a l s o f o s t e r i n g a p r o g r e s s i v e s o c i a l i z a t i o n t o b e i n g a d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n l e a r n e r . More p e r s o n a l g u i d a n c e — r e l a t e d t o s e l f - e s t e e m , f a m i l y c o n f l i c t s , f e a r s o f f a i l u r e or s u c c e s s , and so on—may a l s o be v a l u a b l e , but t h e r e must f i r s t be a c l i m a t e o f t r u s t e s t a b l i s h e d i n the c o u n s e l l i n g dynamic. An experiment conducted by Rekkedal at NKI-Skolen i n Norway l o o k e d a t the impact of i n t r o d u c i n g a p e r s o n a l t u t o r / c o u n s e l o r i n the system of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n (1985) . I n s t e a d o f h a v i n g a number of d i f f e r e n t s u b j e c t t u t o r s and i n s t i t u t i o n a l a d v i s e r s , s t u d e n t s i n the e x p e r i m e n t a l group were a s s i g n e d t o j u s t one p e r s o n a l t u t o r who f o l l o w e d them c l o s e l y d u r i n g the f i r s t t h r e e t o e l e v e n c o u r s e s . The experiment has demonstrated t h a t by i n t r o d u c i n g the p e r s o n a l t u t o r / c o u n s e l o r as d e f i n e d i n the experiment, the q u a l i t y of d i s t a n c e t e a c h i n g can be c o n s i d e r a b l y improved. T h i s i s i l l u s t r a t e d by b o t h study p e r s e v e r a n c e v a r i a b l e s and by the a t t i t u d e s e x p r e s s e d by the s t u d e n t s towards a s p e c t s o f d i s t a n c e study i n f l u e n c e d d i r e c t l y by the new t u t o r r o l e . (Rekkedal, 1985, p. 91) T h i s was a complex experiment i n v o l v i n g not o n l y the p e r s o n a l t u t o r / c o u n s e l o r but a l s o a g e n e r a l upgrading o f NKI-92 s k o l e n ' s u s u a l (good) t u t o r i n g / c o u n s e l l i n g p r a c t i c e s f o r the e x p e r i m e n t a l group, so t h a t what was t e s t e d was a system of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n based on the use o f a p e r s o n a l t u t o r / c o u n s e l o r . The r e s u l t s are p e r s u a s i v e . E s s e n t i a l l y , t h e y suggest t h a t more and prompter c o n t a c t s w i t h one p e r s o n a l t u t o r / c o u n s e l o r are s u p p o r t i v e of p e r s i s t e n c e i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . T h i s i s e s p e c i a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g because d i a l o g u e w i t h one person over a number of courses was more s u p p o r t i v e than d i a l o g u e w i t h a v a r i e t y o f t u t o r s who are c o n t e n t - e x p e r t s . Many d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n s t i t u t i o n s employ s e p a r a t e t u t o r s f o r each course, so s t u d e n t s n o r m a l l y engage w i t h d i f f e r e n t people f o r d i f f e r e n t s u b j e c t s . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note t h a t n e a r l y a l l the 283 s u b j e c t s were male (264). NKI-skolen o f f e r s t e c h n i c a l courses and few women e n r o l l . I t would be i n t e r e s t i n g t o repeat t h i s experiment w i t h female s t u d e n t s . W i l l e n (1981) found t h a t women were more i n s e c u r e about d i s t a n c e study than were men and i t might be expected t h a t women, even more than men, would respond t o the o p p o r t u n i t y t o have a p e r s o n a l t u t o r / c o u n s e l o r w i t h whom i t was p o s s i b l e t o develop a sense of s e c u r i t y . Herrmann (1988) employs the pr o c e s s e s o f s o c i a l i z a t i o n and p r o f e s s i o n a l i z a t i o n as c o n c e p t u a l frameworks f o r h i s ex a m i n a t i o n o f t r a n s i t i o n s i n s t u d e n t s ' p e r c e p t i o n s about t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s as d i s t a n c e l e a r n e r s . H i s study suggests t h a t a s t u d e n t ' s s o c i a l i z a t i o n t o b e i n g a student and a st u d e n t ' s p r o f e s s i o n a l i z a t i o n , o r s o c i a l i z a t i o n t o a 93 v o c a t i o n , both have s t r o n g p o s i t i v e e f f e c t s on t h e e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . Herrmann's s u b j e c t s were a l l male s t u d e n t s e n r o l l e d i n a s e v e r a l - y e a r p r o f e s s i o n a l e n g i n e e r i n g course i n A u s t r a l i a . T h i s might suggest t h a t c o u n s e l l i n g t o support s o c i a l i z a t i o n t o the r o l e of b e i n g a d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s t u d e n t , and c o u n s e l l i n g t o encourage p r o f e s s i o n a l i z a t i o n would be u s e f u l . P e r r a t o n et a l r e p o r t on remarkably h i g h c o m p l e t i o n r a t e s i n A f r i c a n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n t e a c h e r u p g r a d i n g programmes t h a t i n v o l v e d a good d e a l of p r o f e s s i o n a l i z a t i o n (1986). G r a f f and Holmberg (1988, p. 90) i n t h e i r study o f 197 d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n s t i t u t i o n s from around the w o r l d , conclude t h a t b o t h "student independence" and a v a r i a b l e which t h e y c a l l e d " l e a r n e r f r i e n d l i n e s s " are p o s i t i v e l y c o r r e l a t e d w i t h success r a t e s . T h i s i s one f i n d i n g o f a l a r g e m a i l survey study which had a d i s a p p o i n t i n g response r a t e (14% i n i t i a l l y ; 21% o v e r a l l ) . I t might be t a k e n as support of the concept o f a c y b e r n e t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p between e v a l u a t i o n and d i a l o g u e i n the area o f c o u n s e l l i n g . Independent s t u d e n t s might seek l e s s d i a l o g u e w i t h c o u n s e l o r s and have more p e r s o n a l r e s o u r c e s f o r assessments of p o t e n t i a l , p o s s i b i l i t i e s and needs; l e s s independent s t u d e n t s might engage i n f u l l e r and more f r e q u e n t d i a l o g u e w i t h c o u n s e l o r s and v a l u e t h e i r a d v i c e and e v a l u a t i o n s more. T h i s s e c t i o n of the c h a p t e r has l o o k e d at the quadrant of the composite diagram t h a t r e l a t e s t o l e a r n i n g . So f a r , a l l 94 the d i s c u s s i o n of t h i s diagram has been i n t h e l e a r n i n g and i n s t r u c t i o n h a l f of the wheel where the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p may be q u i t e p e r s o n a l — a n e d u c a t o r and a l e a r n e r may engage i n d i a l o g u e c o n c e r n i n g course s t r u c t u r e , course c o n t e n t , and e v a l u a t i o n . In the next two s e c t i o n s , a d d r e s s i n g c e r t i f i c a t i o n and openness, the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p tends t o become l e s s i n d i v i d u a l . The educator i n t h i s second h a l f o f t h e wheel i s most o f t e n the i n s t i t u t i o n . 6. C e r t i f i c a t i o n The quadrant of the composite diagram r e p r e s e n t i n g c e r t i f i c a t i o n has t h e components of d i a l o g u e , c o u n s e l l i n g and e v a l u a t i o n d e f i n e d i n the p r e v i o u s s e c t i o n s ; p l u s the components of c e r t i f i c a t i o n , d e f i n e d as a f o r m a l p r o d u c t of e v a l u a t i o n of l e a r n i n g a t t e s t i n g t o the l e a r n e r ' s c o m p l e t i o n o f an o r g a n i z e d e d u c a t i o n a l program; access, d e f i n e d as freedom t o e n r o l l i n and complete e d u c a t i o n a l programs; and s o c i a l e q u i t y , d e f i n e d as t h e c y b e r n e t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p c o n n e c t i n g access t o e d u c a t i o n w i t h d i a l o g u e between the e d u c a t o r ( o f t e n , as i n s t i t u t i o n ) and t h e l e a r n e r ( o f t e n , as a member of a p a r t i c u l a r community) about a c h i e v i n g e q u a l i t y of treatment and o p p o r t u n i t y i n e d u c a t i o n . 95 2L D i a g r a m F i g u r e 8. The quadrant o f c e r t i f i c a t i o n i n the e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . B. C e r t i f i c a t i o n : The Degree or the Empowerment? T h i s quadrant l i e s i n the more p u b l i c domain o f the ed u c a t o r as i n s t i t u t i o n and of the l e a r n e r as an a c t o r i n s o c i e t y . C e r t i f i c a t i o n r e p r e s e n t s the product o f t h e e d u c a t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e which the l e a r n e r may t r a n s f e r o r a p p l y t o o t h e r s i t u a t i o n s . P e r c e p t i o n s of the c h a r a c t e r o f the e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n w i l l a f f e c t the s t a t u s o f i t s c e r t i f i c a t e s . C e r t i f i c a t i o n matters t o the e d u c a t o r as i n s t i t u t i o n and t h e l e a r n e r s , but i t a l s o concerns i n d i v i d u a l 96 ed u c a t o r s who f e e l t he r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of c r e a t i n g courses t h a t meet r e c o g n i z a b l e s t a n d a r d s . Another product of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s o f t e n empowerment. W i l l e n (1981, pp. 125, 191-202) found t h a t more than h a l f her s t u d e n t s (56%) f e l t t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n had i n c r e a s e d t h e i r f e e l i n g s o f s e l f - e s t e e m i n g e n e r a l . T h i s i s an im p o r t a n t and t r a n s f e r r a b l e study p r o d u c t , though i t i s not a matter o f c e r t i f i c a t i o n or c r e d i t . In W i l l e n ' s survey, more women than men r e p o r t e d — i n open-ended q u e s t i o n s on what d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n had meant t o t h e m — t h a t i t had enhanced t h e i r s e l f - e s t e e m . Indeed, 79% o f female s t u d e n t s over 45 years of age c l a i m e d t h a t the d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n course had been e x t r e m e l y p o s i t i v e i n the area of i n c r e a s i n g s e l f -esteem . T h i s s e c t o r might a l s o be equated w i t h student m o t i v a t i o n f o r t a k i n g a f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n a l program s i n c e s t u d e n t s may focu s on the product i n t h e i r d e c i s i o n t o undergo the f o r m a l p r o c e s s . In a r e c e n t study of 2,300 F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t s t u d e n t s , 85.4% of the men and 82.5% of the women i n d i c a t e d t h a t g a i n i n g " h i g h e r p r o f e s s i o n a l q u a l i f i c a t i o n " was an important g o a l , which p l a c e d t h i s i n "undisputed f i r s t p l a c e i n the l i s t of reasons f o r s t u d y i n g at a d i s t a n c e " (von Prummer, 1990, p. 5 ) . An a l y s e s of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s t u d e n t s ' m o t i v a t i o n s f o r e n r o l l i n g i n courses and programs t y p i c a l l y c i t e v o c a t i o n a l , academic'and p e r s o n a l g o a l s . In von Prummer's (1990) survey, most s t u d e n t s had p r o f e s s i o n a l and w o r k - r e l a t e d reasons f o r 97 study, f o l l o w e d by reasons a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the broade n i n g of t h e i r g e n e r a l e d u c a t i o n . As w e l l , 30.4% of the women and 20.1% of the men wanted t o " t e s t whether I am capable o f s t u d y i n g a t a u n i v e r s i t y " (pp. 3-5). Men and women d i f f e r e d on the most r e l e v a n t f a c t o r i n t h e i r d e c i s i o n t o study at the F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t . "Enjoyment o f opening up new areas o f knowledge" was the l e a d i n g f a c t o r f o r women (84.0%) but not f o r men (73.4%); " h i g h e r p r o f e s s i o n a l q u a l i f i c a t i o n " was i n f i r s t p l a c e f o r men, and f i r s t o v e r a l l i n t h e study (p. 5 ) . At l e a s t two s t u d i e s ( P e r r a t o n , 1983; K o u l , 1984a) have a l s o i m p l i e d t h a t courses which complete o r upgrade degrees have h i g h c o m p l e t i o n r a t e s , e s p e c i a l l y when s t u d e n t s a r e a s s i s t e d by study l e a v e and t h e i r new c e r t i f i c a t i o n s can be expected t o improve work s i t u a t i o n s and b r i n g j o b s . T h i s has a p r a c t i c a l and reaso n a b l e a i r about i t and does not mean t h a t those s t u d e n t s had a l e s s v a l u a b l e e d u c a t i o n a l p r o c e s s because t h e i r aim was c e r t i f i c a t i o n . C e r t i f i c a t i o n and empowerment g o a l s are f r e q u e n t l y mixed: s t u d e n t s who t a k e a program f o r w o r k - r e l a t e d reasons a l s o t a k e i t f o r p e r s o n a l i n t e r e s t ( W i l l e n , 1981) . L o r d P e r r y , w r i t i n g about t h e OUUK says: The f i r s t group want t o improve c a r e e r p r o s p e c t s . The second group, a v e r y i m p o r t a n t group, want t o study s i m p l y f o r the sake of study. And the t h i r d motive, a ve r y s t r o n g one, i s the p r o s p e c t of eman c i p a t i o n . ( P e r r y , 1986, p. 19) . T h i s t h i r d motive i s something which w i l l come up ag a i n l a t e r . 98 C e r t i f i c a t i o n has a r a t h e r bad name among e d u c a t o r s , and f o r good reason, s i n c e i t b r i n g s t o mind degree m i l l s and i n s t i t u t i o n s where t h e proc e s s o f e d u c a t i o n i s l e s s important than i t s p r o d u c t . However, g e t t i n g t r a n s f e r a b l e c r e d i t o r g a i n i n g a degree o r a c e r t i f i c a t e i s c l e a r l y i m p o r t a n t t o many d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n l e a r n e r s who view d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n as t h e i r o n l y chance t o ta k e p a r t i c u l a r courses and programs. W i l l e n (1981, p. 91) found t h a t even i n Sweden w i t h i t s w e l l -developed system of u n i v e r s i t y and a d u l t e d u c a t i o n two t h i r d s of the d i s t a n c e l e a r n e r s s a i d t hey had no p o s s i b i l i t y b e s i d e d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n t o study. C. E v a l u a t i o n . C o u n s e l l i n g and, Access E v a l u a t i o n as an assessment o f l e a r n i n g , but a l s o e v a l u a t i o n of the l e a r n e r ' s needs, p o t e n t i a l and p o s s i b i l i t i e s , i s an element o f c e r t i f i c a t i o n . C o u n s e l l i n g o f f e r s guidance t o l e a r n e r s when they are d e s i g n i n g an e d u c a t i o n a l p l a n . O'Donnell and D a n i e l (1979) p o i n t out t h a t the need " t o match the l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s o f f e r e d by d i f f e r e n t i n s t i t u t i o n s w i t h the p l a n s of i n d i v i d u a l s t u d e n t s " (p. 7) can be a m i s s i n g l i n k i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . T h i s i s a p a r t o f t h e e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p which has r e c e i v e d l e s s emphasis than t h e areas of i n s t r u c t i o n and l e a r n i n g . What they c a l l "student development" i s a p r o c e s s o f e v a l u a t i o n and c o u n s e l l i n g which p a r a l l e l s and i n t e r l i n k s w i t h the p r o c e s s they c a l l " l e a r n i n g r e s o u r c e development." 99 To date d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n has c o n c e n t r a t e d l a r g e l y on the development of l e a r n i n g m a t e r i a l s and the p r o v i s i o n of s u p p o r t i n g l i n k a g e s between the m a t e r i a l s and the s t u d e n t . F u r t h e r success depends on promoting the development of s t u d e n t s ' a b i l i t y t o p l a n t h e i r l i v e s , c a r e e r s and e d u c a t i o n , set r e a l i s t i c g o a l s and study e f f e c t i v e l y . I t i s wrong t o assume a d u l t s t u d e n t s a l r e a d y have the s e s k i l l s . Responding t o s tudent development needs w i l l encourage i n s t i t u t i o n s t o become e d u c a t i o n a l b r o k e r s i n p r o v i d i n g a range of s e r v i c e s : i n f o r m a t i o n , a d v i c e , r e f e r r a l and advocacy. (O'Donnell & D a n i e l , 1979, p. 1) L e a r n i n g may be accomplished through d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , and degrees may be won. Many s t u d i e s over the p a s t f i f t y or s i x t y y e a r s have shown t h a t s t u d e n t s i n correspondence courses p e r f o r m as w e l l on exams as do i n t r a m u r a l s t u d e n t s . In f a c t , t h e r e i s evidence t o support Harper's e a r l y p r e d i c t i o n t h a t correspondence s t u d e n t s would "know more of the s u b j e c t t r e a t e d i n those l e s s o n s and know i t b e t t e r " (Harper, 1971, p. 13). Now the c h a l l e n g e i s t o make the more i n d u s t r i a l i z e d e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n f a c i l i t a t e a p p r o p r i a t e e d u c a t i o n a l placement and p l a n n i n g and h e l p l e a r n e r s a c c o m p l i s h t h e i r g o a l s . The k i n d o f access l e a r n e r s have t o an i n s t i t u t i o n has an impact on what k i n d s of e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s are p o s s i b l e . However, l i m i t i n g access by s e t t i n g h i g h e r p r e r e q u i s i t e s does not n e c e s s a r i l y reduce the problem of i n d i v i d u a l i z i n g the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . Students at the F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t must pass the same e n t r a n c e e x a m i n a t i o n as s t u d e n t s at o t h e r German u n i v e r s i t i e s , and the o n l y c e r t i f i c a t i o n o f f e r e d i s at the l e v e l o f a master's 100 degree. D e s p i t e t h i s , the F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t has thousands of s t u d e n t s and i s noted f o r i t s i n d u s t r i a l i z e d approach t o . i d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . As numbers o f st u d e n t s i n c r e a s e a t o t h e r i n s t i t u t i o n s through g r e a t e r and more open a c c e s s , t e c h n i q u e s o f e v a l u a t i o n may become more im p e r s o n a l and p e r f u n c t o r y . The Open L e a r n i n g I n s t i t u t e of Hong Kong d i s t r i b u t e d i t s f i r s t e n t r a n c e a p p l i c a t i o n forms through f i n a n c i a l i n s t i t u i t i o n s . L i n e s formed o u t s i d e banks t w e l v e hours b e f o r e t h e forms were a v a i l a b l e . Thousands were d i s t r i b u t e d w i t h i n a few days. I t i s d i f f i c u l t t o p r o v i d e adequate c o u n s e l l i n g i n such c i r c u m s t a n c e s . Perhaps t h i s l a c k of c o u n s e l l i n g may l e a d t o unmet e x p e c t a t i o n s , poor c h o i c e s o f c o u r s e s , a h i g h r a t e of dropout, and a f a i r amount of d i s a p p o i n t m e n t . An a r e a of c o u n s e l l i n g a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c e r t i f i c a t i o n i s guidance f o r l e a r n e r s about what g o a l s they are l i k e l y t o a c c o m p l i s h through d i s t a n c e study. Recent r e s e a r c h from the F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t suggests t h a t p r o f e s s i o n a l and w o r k - r e l a t e d motives f o r study are l e s s o f t e n r e a l i z e d than g e n e r a l knowledge and o t h e r motives (von Prummer, 1990, pp. 4-6). By f a r t h e most predominant o f the p e r s o n a l study g o a l s which m o t i v a t e F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t s t u d e n t s , are d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o t h e i r wish t o improve t h e i r a s s e t s i n the l a b o r market. At the same tim e , these are the g o a l s l e a s t o f t e n r e a l i z e d . The q u e s t i o n remains open whether the F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t s h o u l d do more t o d i s c o u r a g e s t u d e n t s w i t h such a p p a r e n t l y u n r e a l i s t i c e x p e c t a t i o n s o r whether i t s h o u l d do more t o meet the s e e x p e c t a t i o n s and h e l p s t u d e n t s r e a l i z e t h e s e g o a l s , (von Prummer, 1990, p. 6) The l a s t sentence i l l u s t r a t e s how d i a l o g u e i n the area of c e r t i f i c a t i o n can move through a c o u n s e l l i n g p r o c e s s and 101 e v a l u a t i o n ( d i s c o u r a g e s t u d e n t s w i t h u n r e a l i s t i c g o a l s ) , but i t can a l s o move through a needs assessment based on a concept o f s o c i a l e q u i t y i n t o d e c i s i o n s by the e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n t h a t i n c r e a s e access t o the k i n d of e d u c a t i o n d e s i r e d by l e a r n e r s . An i n t e r e s t i n g development p e r t a i n i n g t o e v a l u a t i o n and c o u n s e l l i n g i n t h i s quadrant i s the concept of a d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n s t i t u t i o n becoming a c r e d i t b r o k e r , o r e s t a b l i s h i n g a c r e d i t bank. The Open U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia (OLA) has embarked on such a r o l e . In o r d e r t o a s s e s s a s t u d e n t ' s c e r t i f i a b l e e d u c a t i o n a l c r e d i t , the OLA o f f e r s a course t h a t the l e a r n e r works though w i t h the a s s i s t a n c e o f a c o u n s e l o r . Students may f u l f i l l r e quirements f o r an undergraduate degree from the OLA w i t h a patchwork of c r e d i t s earned at a v a r i e t y of i n s t i t u t i o n s over an i n d e f i n i t e p e r i o d of time, as w e l l as by t a k i n g d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n c o u r s e s o f f e r e d by OLA. C e r t i f i c a t i o n , t hen, i n v o l v e s an i n t e r a c t i o n between acc e s s and e v a l u a t i o n , b oth the l e a r n e r ' s e v a l u a t i o n of what v a l u e a program may be, and the i n s t i t u t i o n ' s e v a l u a t i o n of a l e a r n e r ' s p r e p a r a t i o n and accomplishment. A t h i r d k i n d of e v a l u a t i o n — t h e p u b l i c ' s and the l e a r n e r s ' — o f the s t a t u s of the e d u c a t o r (the d i s t a n c e t e a c h i n g i n s t i t u t i o n ) a l s o bears on t h i s . Dodds, Lawrence, and G u i t o n conducted a c o r r e l a t i o n a l study based on q u e s t i o n n a i r e s completed by a group of f i f t y - t h r e e e x t e r n a l u n i v e r s i t y s t u d e n t s and a comparison group of f i f t y - o n e on-campus. I t s u p p o r t s the i d e a 102 t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s second b e s t — a t l e a s t i n the eyes of s t u d e n t s at A u s t r a l i a ' s Murdoch U n i v e r s i t y . Advantages o f e x t e r n a l study were s e l f - r e l i a n c e and f i n a n c e s , and disad v a n t a g e s were access t o the l i b r a r y and academics' demands. Students e x p r e s s e d p r e f e r e n c e f o r s t u d y i n g on-campus o r by the com b i n a t i o n of campus and e x t e r n a l courses [ r a t h e r than t o t a l l y by e x t e r n a l c o u r s e s ] . (Dodds, Lawrence, & G u i t o n , 1984, 174-185) . Degrees earned by d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n may have l e s s cachet than t h o s e won through t r a d i t i o n a l on-campus study. When both d i s t a n c e and on-campus st u d e n t s can e n r o l l i n the same i n s t i t u t i o n — o f t e n i n the same c o u r s e s — t h e mode by which a student took courses may go wit h o u t note. D i s t a n c e t e a c h i n g u n i v e r s i t i e s such as the OU i n B r i t i s h Columbia arrange f o r a r t i c u l a t i o n o f t h e i r courses w i t h o t h e r i n s t i t u t i o n s , but employers and the g e n e r a l p u b l i c may a s s o c i a t e d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n w i t h " m a i l - o r d e r degrees, " or they may be s c e p t i c a l o f e d u c a t i o n a l i n n o v a t i o n s and so undervalue the c e r t i f i c a t i o n s won through d i s t a n c e study. In the p r e s e n t study, access and s o c i a l e q u i t y r e f e r not t o t h e i r broader meanings but o n l y t o the way access and s o c i a l e q u i t y work as frame f a c t o r s , e s p e c i a l l y i n the p u b l i c domain, f o r the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Access t o e d u c a t i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s , w h i l e i t may seem s i m p l e , i s complex; s o c i a l e q u i t y , even when l i m i t e d t o e d u c a t i o n , i n v o l v e s a v a s t range of human i n t e r a c t i o n s . The c y b e r n e t i c c o n n e c t i o n between d i a l o g u e and access ( i . e . , 1 0 3 s o c i a l e q u i t y ) f u n c t i o n s i n the quadrant of c e r t i f i c a t i o n and i t a l s o p l a y s an important r o l e i n openness. The next s e c t i o n addresses the f o u r t h and f i n a l quadrant of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n : openness. 7. Openness Open l e a r n i n g was d e f i n e d and d i s c u s s e d i n Chapter I I I of t h i s s t u d y ; openness r e f e r s t o the p r a c t i c a l and p h i l o s o p h i c a l g o a l s o f open l e a r n i n g as t h e s e r e l a t e t o access and course s t r u c t u r e i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . The components o f t h i s quadrant a r e : access, s o c i a l e q u i t y , d i a l o g u e , t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e , and s t r u c t u r e . These were d e f i n e d i n e a r l i e r s e c t i o n s of t h i s c h a p t e r . T h i s f i n a l quadrant of the composite diagram of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n shows how open and f l e x i b l e an educator and an e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n are t o i n d i v i d u a l a d u l t l e a r n e r s and t o the need f o r l i f e l o n g l e a r n i n g . Openness a l s o r e f e r s t o the e x t e n t t o which l e a r n e r s are engaged i n shaping the s t r u c t u r e of i n s t r u c t i o n and i n s e e k i n g access t o e d u c a t i o n which meets t h e i r needs. Needs assessments and i n f o r m a t i o n about the impact of i n s t r u c t i o n a l and i n s t i t u t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e s on l e a r n e r s might h e l p e d u c a t o r s i n d i v i d u a l l y and as i n s t i t u t i o n s work w i t h the communities d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s mandated t o serve i n the 104 design and implementation of programs and courses. Openness i s an area of challenge i n the educator-learner r e l a t i o n s h i p . &- Diagram FioTire 9. The quadrant of openness i n the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e education. B. S o c i a l E q u i t y a n d Access t o D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n S o c i a l e q u i t y and access are frame f a c t o r s i n the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n distance education. S o c i a l e q u i t y represents the f a i r n e s s of o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r education o f f e r e d by means of d i s t a n c e education. While s o c i a l e q u i t y 105 i s d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s s e c t i o n under openness, l i k e a c c e s s , i t a l s o f u n c t i o n s i n c e r t i f i c a t i o n . Who a r e d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n ' s s t u d e n t s ? Does d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n serve a d i f f e r e n t group of people than f a c e - t o - f a c e or c o n t i g u o u s e d u c a t i o n ? W i l l e n (1981, p. 249) r e p o r t s from Sweden t h a t "Our data shows t h a t d i s t a n c e s t u d e n t s at the u n i v e r s i t y do not c o n s t i t u t e any s p e c i a l group compared t o o t h e r a d u l t s t u d e n t s at the u n i v e r s i t y . " Keegan (1986) t h i n k s t h e r e are some d i f f e r e n c e s . In g e n e r a l d i s t a n c e s t u d e n t s t e n d t o be g a i n f u l l y employed, have l e s s p r i o r e d u c a t i o n , are o l d e r and l i v e c o m p a r a t i v e l y f a r away from the n e a r e s t p l a c e o f f e r i n g the same course i n a d i f f e r e n t form. (p. 171) O f f e r i n g access t o e d u c a t i o n a l l y d i s a d v a n t a g e d groups or t o the working c l a s s may be p a r t o f a d i s t a n c e t e a c h i n g i n s t i t u t i o n ' s mandate. These g o a l s can be d i f f i c u l t t o meet. There i s a q u e s t i o n about how much the OUUK has democratized e d u c a t i o n . There was a gr e a t demand f o r d e g r e e - l e v e l s t u d i e s among working a d u l t s . . . . While i t s e a r l y years saw some i n c r e a s e i n the p r o p o r t i o n s of s t u d e n t s w i t h low e d u c a t i o n a l q u a l i f i c a t i o n s and i n t h e manual t r a d e s , l i t t l e p r o g r e s s has been made s i n c e then. A l s o those s t u d e n t s from s d i s a d v a n t a g e d ' groups who were a t t r a c t e d have found i t more d i f f i c u l t t o cope w i t h the demands of OU study. (Mcintosh, Woodley & M o r r i s o n , 1983, p. 193) Even more n e g a t i v e are the r e s u l t s o f a comparison of the c o s t s and time i n v o l v e d i n g a i n i n g a f i r s t degree from the OUUK w i t h s i m i l a r e x p e n d i t u r e s f o r p a r t - t i m e study i n l o c a l 106 c o l l e g e s o f f e r i n g f a c e - t o - f a c e i n s t r u c t i o n . O v e r e l l (1984, p. 20) r e p o r t s : All l o c a l courses are s i g n i f i c a n t l y cheaper, and e s t i m a t e s of t o t a l c o s t s f o r the whole degree suggest t h a t most l o c a l courses a re l e s s than h a l f t he c o s t o f an Open U n i v e r s i t y honours degree. In the s w i f t n e s s and convenience o f t h e i r a d m i s s i o n s procedures these o t h e r courses a l s o s c o r e c o n v i n c i n g l y over the Open U n i v e r s i t y . ( O v e r e l l , 1984, p. 20) Other d i s t a n c e t e a c h i n g i n s t i t u t e s have fewer expenses and d e l a y s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h them, but i t i s q u e s t i o n a b l e j u s t how s u c c e s s f u l any are at t r u l y d e m o c r a t i z i n g e d u c a t i o n . P o l i t i c s , c l a s s , r a c e , gender, age, employment s t a t u s , w e a l t h — a l l t h e s e f a c t o r s may a f f e c t s o c i a l e q u i t y when i t comes t o the d e m o c r a t i z a t i o n of e d u c a t i o n . What might be termed t h e misuse or e x p l o i t a t i o n of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n has o c c u r r e d i n the pas t and w i l l o c cur a g a i n . I t has been c l a i m e d , f o r example, t h a t one o f the advantages of the Free U n i v e r s i t y o f I r a n , i n t he eyes o f the Shah's regime which e s t a b l i s h e d i t , was t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n a l l o w e d s t u d e n t s t o get degrees w i t h o u t g a t h e r i n g t o g e t h e r , when th e y might pose a t h r e a t . ( P e r r a t o n , 1987, p. 22) S t a t i s t i c s v a r y on the male t o female r a t i o . Q u i t e a few d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n s t i t u t i o n s are pr e d o m i n a n t l y male (NKI-s k o l e n , F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t ) w h i l e o t h e r s have a m a j o r i t y o f women s t u d e n t s (OLA, Athabasca). O b v i o u s l y , access t o one form of e d u c a t i o n i s not i n i t s e l f a l l t h a t m a t t e r s when i t comes t o s o c i a l e q u i t y o r openness. T h i s i s why s o c i a l e q u i t y i s d e p i c t e d as a 107 c y b e r n e t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p between d i a l o g u e and a c c e s s , s i m i l a t o t h a t o f t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e . Openness i n v o l v e s not o n l y i n c r e a s e d a c c e s s , but i n c r e a s e d f l e x i b i l i t y i n program and course d e s i g n which s u p p o r t s a wider v a r i e t y o f l e a r n e r s . Wedemeyer l i n k s the d e m o c r a t i z a t i o n of e d u c a t i o n through d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n t o p r o v i s i o n f o r i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s . The l e a r n e r s at the back door have been w a i t i n g a l o n g t ime f o r improved o p p o r t u n i t y and a c c e s s , b e t t e r c o u n s e l l i n g and guidance, t e a c h i n g t h a t welcomes a d i v e r s i t y of l e a r n i n g s t y l e s , courses and r e s o u r c e s t h a t l e t l e a r n e r s proceed at t h e i r own pace, r e c o g n i t i o n of the importance of r e l e v a n c e i n l e a r n i n g t o the l i v e s and needs of l e a r n e r s . They now demand and expect e q u i t a b l e r e c o g n i t i o n of t h e i r achievement, knowledge, and s k i l l s — h o w e v e r , wherever, whenever l e a r n e d . ... I f n o n - t r a d i t i o n a l l e a r n i n g systems can f r e e l e a r n e r s t o pursue l e a r n i n g as a n a t u r a l a c t i v i t y , l i f e l o n g as needed, the p o t e n t i a l of n o n - t r a d i t i o n a l l e a r n i n g w i l l be r e a l i z e d . (Wedemeyer, 1981, p. 78) T h i s v i s i o n o f the l e a r n e r at the back door, when read through, touches on a l l a s p e c t s of the p r e s e n t study's diagram of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Wedemeyer's c a l l i s i n c l u d e d here because i t s o v e r a l l concern seems t o be w i t h access and s o c i a l e q u i t y . C. Openness: From S t r u c t u r e t£ A c c e s s Lewis (1986, p. 6) observed t h a t i t i s " p o s s i b l e t o see l e a r n e r — i n a scheme of whatever l e n g t h — a s h a v i n g a c a r e e r He c l a i m s t h a t "open l e a r n i n g " c o n t r a s t s w i t h what might be c a l l e d " c l o s e d l e a r n i n g , " and suggests any " l e a r n i n g scheme may be l o c a t e d on a continuum between open and c l o s e d 108 l e a r n i n g . H i s e l a b o r a t e t a b l e i l l u s t r a t e s t h e s t r u c t u r a l end of openness i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n by enumerating q u e s t i o n s a l e a r n e r and educator might ask about the s t r u c t u r e of the e d u c a t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e . Lewis d e s i g n a t e s open and c l o s e d s o l u t i o n s t o thes e q u e s t i o n s which have t o do w i t h i s s u e s around t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e , i n s t r u c t i o n and l e a r n i n g but the y a l s o have t o do w i t h i s s u e s around access t o c o u r s e s . Openness can be seen as an area of e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i c y ; l i k e c e r t i f i c a t i o n , i t e x i s t s i n the p u b l i c domain, but i t has an immediate e f f e c t on t h e c h a r a c t e r o f t h e e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . Table 1. The o p e n - c l o s e d l e a r n i n g continuum (Lewis, 1986, pp. 7-8). C l o s e d < > Open Q u e s t i o n : Who? Scheme open t o s e l e c t Scheme open t o a l l groups o n l y Set e n t r y r e q u i r e m e n t s , S e l f - a s s e s s m e n t and eg t r a d i t i o n a l exam success d i a g n o s t i c f a c i l i t i e s Scheme not marketed E x t e n s i v e p u b l i c i t y , r e g u l a r l y updated i n f o r m a t i o n Why? Choice made by o t h e r s , eg Lear n e r c h o i c e t u t o r , employer No c o u n s e l l i n g or guidance P r e - e n t r y c o u n s e l l i n g 109 W h a t ? E n t i r e s y l l a b u s s et out i n Learner f o r m u l a t e s own advance, eg by v a l i d a t i n g o b j e c t i v e s and s y l l a b u s body; no c h o i c e p o s s i b l e w i t h i n i t L i m i t e d t o m a t e r i a l s the Uses wide range of t u t o r has produced m a t e r i a l s drawn from many sources Whole course must be taken Content t a i l o r e d t o need: i n d i v i d u a l l e a r n e r can t a k e d i f f e r e n t modules No guidance on s e l e c t i o n Guidance on s e l e c t i o n of of content content Knowledge, f a c t s , "academic" E x p e r i e n c e , p r a c t i c e , f e e l i n g , a t t i t u d e No r e c o g n i t i o n of pa s t C r e d i t g i v e n f o r past e x p e r i e n c e e x p e r i e n c e How? Only one method/style Choice of l e a r n i n g p r o v i d e d f o r ; l i t t l e m e t h o d s / s t y l e s , v a r i e d v a r i a t i o n i n l e a r n e r a c t i v i t i e s a c t i v i t i e s One r o u t e o n l y through Choice o f r o u t e s through m a t e r i a l m a t e r i a l Package i n one medium o n l y Package used v a r i e t y of media W h e r e ? One p l a c e o n l y (eg. Learner chooses p l a c e (eg at work) home, work, w h i l e t r a v e l l i n g ) R e g u l a r f i x e d attendance L e a r n e r can a t t e n d , r e q u i r e d o r not, as d e s i r e d P r a c t i c a l work r e q u i r e s P r a c t i c a l work o f f e r e d f i x e d attendance through k i t s and/or d r o p - i n access and/or p l a c e o f work When? F i x e d s t a r t i n g d a t e ( s ) S t a r t any time L e a r n e r paced by a Learner d e c i d e s pace o f work f i x e d schedule F i x e d ending Ends a t any time 110 How i s E x t e r n a l l y mixed V a r i e t y of assessment methods; l e a r n e r methods o f assessment l e a r n e r c h o i c e o f assessment doing? eg f o r m a l exam methods; l e a r n e r c o n s t r u c t s method o f assessment Normative assessment C r i t e r i a / c o m p e t e n c y based assessment No feedback on Frequent, f u l l , on-going performance feedback on performance, a v a i l a b l e as d e s i r e d Assessment dates Learner d e c i d e s when t o be f i x e d and non- as s e s s e d n e g o t i a b l e Assessment a v a i l a b l e Assessment a v a i l a b l e f o r each o n l y f o r whole module course Who No support o u t s i d e V a r i e t y o f p o s s i b l e k i n d s of c a n course/package support (eg a d v i c e , guidance, h e l p c o u n s e l l i n g ) t h e Only p r o f e s s i o n a l N o n - p r o f e s s i o n a l , as w e l l as l e a r n e r ? s u p p o r t e r s (eg p r o f e s s i o n a l s u p p o r t e r s ; t e a c h e r s ) i n f o r m a l as w e l l as f o r m a l encouraged support encouraged (eg mentor f a m i l y , f r i e n d s ) Support a v a i l a b l e Support a v a i l a b l e i n many o n l y i n one p l a c e , p l a c e s eg t r a i n i n g c e n t r e Support a v a i l a b l e i n Support a v a i l a b l e i n a v a r i e t y one mode o n l y , eg of modes, eg l e t t e r , t e l e p h o n e f a c e - t o - f a c e f a c e - t o - f a c e What One d e s t i n a t i o n V a r i o u s p o s s i b l e d e s t i n a t i o n s does i t l e a d t o ? I l l An i n t r i g u i n g — t h o u g h s p e c u l a t i v e — w o r k i s L j o s a and Sandvold's (1983, pp. 291-315) "The s t u d e n t ' s freedom of c h o i c e w i t h i n t h e d i d a c t i c a l s t r u c t u r e o f a correspondence c o u r s e . " T h e i r study grew out of a new A d u l t E d u c a t i o n Act i n Norway which r e q u i r e s t h a t , " i n o r d e r t o f u l f i l l the c o n d i t i o n s f o r p u b l i c s u p p o r t , " an i n s t i t u t i o n i s " r e q u i r e d t o have an e d u c a t i o n a l p r a c t i c e which s e c u r e s the i n f l u e n c e of t h e course p a r t i c i p a n t s , both as r e g a r d s the form and the c o n t e n t s o f the c o u r s e " ( L j o s a and Sandvold, 1983, p. 291). I t compares and r e f l e c t s upon ways i n which correspondence m a t e r i a l s might be opened up, loosened up. I t diagrams forms of s t u d e n t p r o g r e s s through i n t e r a c t i o n s w i t h course m a t e r i a l , supplemental m a t e r i a l s and l o c a l m i l i e u . Thus, w h i l e a c c e p t i n g the i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and the o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n of i t s c o n t e n t , L j o s a and Sandvold have attempted t o b u i l d a remarkable amount of f l e x i b i l i t y i n t o the m a t e r i a l s so t h a t each student might p e r s o n a l i z e the c o u r s e . Rumble (1989) warns about a " c l o s u r e i n s o - c a l l e d "open l e a r n i n g systems'" (p. 33). He sees B r i t i s h d i s t a n c e t e a c h i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s becoming o r i e n t e d toward the m a n u f a c t u r i n g of i n s t r u c t i o n a l m a t e r i a l s on c o n t r a c t and l e s s o r i e n t e d towards b e i n g a s e r v i c e o r g a n i z a t i o n p r o v i d i n g student s u p p o r t . How much e a s i e r t o p r o v i d e m a t e r i a l s t o c o r p o r a t e c l i e n t s who are then l e f t w i t h the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r and the c o s t of s u p p o r t i n g l e a r n e r s . . . a c o r p o r a t e approach t o t r a i n i n g w i l l t e n d t o be more s t r u c t u r e d and l e s s d i a l o g i c programmes and c o u r s e s , and a more r e s t r i c t e d c h o i c e of course. . . i f "open 112 l e a r n i n g systems 1 i n g e n e r a l b e g i n t o c o n c e n t r a t e on c o r p o r a t e c l i e n t s , then i n c r e a s i n g l y major s e c t i o n s of the p o p u l a t i o n w i l l f i n d o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r e d u c a t i o n and t r a i n i n g c l o s e d t o them. (1989, p. 34) T h i s c l o s u r e i s thus a matter of i n s t i t u t i o n a l p o l i c y t h a t a f f e c t s access but a l s o a f f e c t s the course s t r u c t u r e and the t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h a t s t r u c t u r e . V i s i o n a r y w r i t e r s such as L i g h t y (1915 i n Mackenzie & C h r i s t e n s o n , 1971) and Wedemeyer (1981) share an i n s p i r a t i o n a l f a i t h i n what has been d e s c r i b e d as the de m o c r a t i c v i r t u e of open l e a r n i n g . S e v e n t y - f i v e years ago, L i g h t y wrote about " e d u c a t i o n a l r i g h t s " and saw what he then c a l l e d correspondence e d u c a t i o n o f f e r i n g the o p p o r t u n i t y f o r l e a r n e r s t o break down the p o s s e s s i v e s e c l u s i o n o f "the a r i s t o c r a c y of i n t e l l e c t u a l s " (1971, p. 24). Here i n America, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t h i s v a s t mid-c o n t i n e n t a l a r e a , amid the g r e a t h o r i z o n t a l l i n e s o f the p r a i r i e which i s t h e g r e a t e s t runway i n the w o r l d f o r t h e winds, and f o r i d e a s , may we not through t h i s , the most wo n d e r f u l system of t e a c h i n g yet assayed by man, n u r t u r e t h e openness of mind and b r e a d t h of s o u l which w i l l produce the g r e a t e s t race t h e w o r l d s h a l l ever know. ( L i g h t y , 1915/ 1971, p. 22) While the dream and the r e a l i t y may be d i s p a r a t e , r e c e n t r e s e a r c h has g i v e n us some guidance i n the d e s i g n o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . I t may never be "the most w o n d e r f u l system o f t e a c h i n g yet assayed by man," but i t may o f f e r an adequate and, i n some cases, h i g h l y s u i t a b l e o p p o r t u n i t y f o r e d u c a t i o n . Now t h a t each quadrant of the composite diagram of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n has been d i s c u s s e d , i t i s time t o ta k e a look a t the whole p i c t u r e , e s p e c i a l l y w i t h r e g a r d t o the debate about independence and sup p o r t . 8. Overview of the Complete Model: Independence, Support and Dialogue The o v e r a l l d e s i g n of the diagram i s t h a t o f a wheel w i t h an a x l e and spokes. The e x p e r i e n c e s on the r i m o f the wheel are those an independent l e a r n e r might have when t a k i n g a d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n course i n i t s most i n d u s t r i a l i z e d form. On the r i m , the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p can be q u i t e d i s t a n t and i m p e r s o n a l . There are educators as w e l l as l e a r n e r s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n who, f o r whatever r e a s o n — p o l i c i e s , p o l i t i c s , t h e p r e s s u r e o f i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n , p r e f e r e n c e , l a c k of i n f o r m a t i o n - - e x i s t on t h i s r i m o f independence i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h l e a r n e r s . The a x l e i s d i a l o g u e — t w o - w a y communication between edu c a t o r and l e a r n e r . Connecting t h i s a x l e t o the r i m are spokes o f su p p o r t : t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e , r e l e v a n c e , c o u n s e l l i n g and s o c i a l e q u i t y . I n s t e a d of s e e i n g d i a l o g u e and independence as an e i t h e r -o r c h o i c e , i t i s u s e f u l t o t h i n k of them as both p a r t o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . The f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n s review s c h o l a r s h i p a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the t h r e e elements of t h i s diagram. 114 A. The Rim of Independence Keegan (1986) i d e n t i f i e d student independence as one of the t h r e e areas i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n where t h e o r y i s d e v e l o p i n g . He r e p o r t s t h a t the German d i s t a n c e e d u c a t o r , D e l l i n g (1975), t a k e s what i s p r o b a b l y the most extreme p o s i t i o n on t h i s i s s u e because o f h i s " h e s i t a t i o n t o l a b e l d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n a t e a c h i n g p r o c e s s " (Keegan, 1986, p. 59) s i n c e s u p e r v i s i o n and support f o r student l e a r n i n g i s c a r r i e d out by a h e l p i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n . D e l l i n g d i s t i n g u i s h e s t h e d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s t u d e n t , who p a r t i c i p a t e s i n an " a r t i f i c i a l " d i a l o g u e w i t h o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r feedback and two-way communication, from l e a r n e r s who l e a r n from monologues (p. 60). D e s p i t e the " a r t i f i c i a l " d i a l o g u e , D e l l i n g ' s student s t u d y i n g at a d i s t a n c e c o u l d become so independent t h a t i t would be n e c e s s a r y t o ask i f she or he were s t i l l i n v o l v e d i n e d u c a t i o n . Holmberg (1986b) has s e v e r a l t h i n g s t o say on t h i s t o p i c . He p o i n t s out t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s "an e x e r c i s e i n independence" w i t h r e g a r d t o the " p l a n n i n g , t i m i n g , and c a r r y i n g out of i n d i v i d u a l s t u d y " (p. 29). The p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t the l e a r n e r can e x e r c i s e independence w i t h r e g a r d t o what as w e l l as how she or he w i l l study does e x i s t , but Holmberg suggests t h a t s t u d e n t s who "want t o pass an e x a m i n a t i o n or a c q u i r e a degree or p r o f e s s i o n a l competence as q u i c k l y as p o s s i b l e are u s u a l l y w i l l i n g t o accept and f o l l o w r a t h e r d e t a i l e d p l a n s l e a d i n g them t o t h e i r g o a l " (p. 30). On 115 the o t h e r hand, some st u d e n t s "who are i n t r i n s i c a l l y m o t i v a t e d and study t o s a t i s f y i n t e l l e c t u a l and s c h o l a r l y i n t e r e s t are no doubt l e s s i n c l i n e d t o f o l l o w paths p r e s c r i b e d by o t h e r s " (p. 30). T h i s s i t u a t i o n poses a problem t h a t Holmberg r e f e r s t o as " r e s p e c t of s t u d e n t s ' i n t e g r i t y v s . s t u d e n t s u p p o r t " (p. 30). He f e e l s t h a t those on the s i d e of student support i n t h i s quandary t a k e i t as t h e i r s o c i a l d uty t o spontaneously support s t u d e n t s — t o i n t e r f e r e i n o r d e r t o prevent f a i l u r e and t o promote su c c e s s . The Spofces of Support W i l l e n & B a r t e l s (1985) compared d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s t u d e n t s i n c o n t r a s t i n g systems i n Sweden and Germany on the q u e s t i o n o f what k i n d o f support was most imp o r t a n t t o them. T h e i r f i n d i n g s , d i s c u s s e d e a r l i e r , d i s p u t e Moore's b e l i e f i n the independent l e a r n e r . Most of t h e d i s t a n c e s t u d e n t s need a w e l l -f u n c t i o n i n g feed-back system, which can i n v o l v e a l o t of d i f f e r e n t components, but p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t w i t h the t e a c h e r / s and the w r i t t e n m a t e r i a l seem t o be the most important components, (p. 18) Baath (1984) based h i s argument f o r support on a h a n d f u l of elements from d i f f e r e n t e d u c a t i o n a l t h e o r i e s . These b o i l down t o t h e need t o i n d i v i d u a l i z e t u i t i o n , make c o n n e c t i o n s w i t h the l e a r n e r ' s p r e v i o u s e x p e r i e n c e , get an i d e a of the l e a r n e r ' s comprehension, and e s t a b l i s h a good p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the l e a r n e r . 116 The Axle of Dialogue There are a number of f a c t o r s mentioned i n the l i t e r a t u r e t h a t seem p a r t of the way d i a l o g u e needs t o be d e s c r i b e d . These f a c t o r s i n c l u d e q u e s t i o n s about whether the d i a l o g u e i s " r e a l " o r " a r t i f i c i a l " : whether the educator and l e a r n e r i n t e r a c t p e r s o n a l l y , or o n l y i n the i m a g i n a t i o n o f the l e a r n e r ( a s s i s t e d by t e a c h i n g m a t e r i a l s d e s i g n e d t o c r e a t e "guided d i d a c t i c c o n v e r s a t i o n " and/or by v i s u a l images of the educa t o r f o r the l e a r n e r ) . There are q u e s t i o n s about t h e t i m i n g o f the d i a l o g u e — w h e t h e r i t i s con t i g u o u s or a t t e n u a t e d , and i f d e l a y e d , what time l a p s e i s i n v o l v e d i n the feedback loop? I f the d i a l o g u e i s c o n t i g u o u s , i s i t f a c e -t o - f a c e c o n v e r s a t i o n or mediated c o n v e r s a t i o n ? There are a l s o many q u e s t i o n s about the content of the d i a l o g u e : i s the d i a l o g u e i n f o r m a l as w e l l as f o r m a l — d o e s i t c o n t r i b u t e t o s o c i a l i n t e g r a t i o n as w e l l as i n t e l l e c t u a l i n t e g r a t i o n ? Is i t s u p p o r t i v e and empathetic o r ma i n l y judgmental? We need t o know under what c i r c u m s t a n c e s d i a l o g u e i s i n i t i a t e d , by whom, and f o r what purposes. I t may be t h a t some l e a r n e r s f e e l more supported when they have one p e r s o n a l t u t o r w i t h whom a l l a s p e c t s o f t h e i r e d u c a t i o n a l program may be d i s c u s s e d ; on the o t h e r hand, some l e a r n e r s may f e e l more i n c o n t r o l of t h e i r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s when they engage w i t h r e l a t i v e anonymity i n d i a l o g u e s w i t h an i n s t i t u t i o n a l educator c o n s i s t i n g of a number o f a d v i s o r s , c o u n s e l o r s and t u t o r s . There i s a l o t we do not know about the c h a r a c t e r , t i m i n g and content o f e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r d i a l o g u e s . The next s e c t i o n reviews the major r e s u l t s p r e s e n t e d i n t h i s c h a p t e r i n answer t o the f i r s t r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n : What c h a r a c t e r i z e s e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n ? 9. Answering the F i r s t Research Q u e s t i o n : Review o f R e s u l t s The most important r e s u l t of the p r e s e n t study i s the development of a model of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n (see F i g u r e 5, and the d i s c u s s i o n pp. 67-70 and 113-117). The c r u c i a l d e t a i l of t h i s model i s t h a t i t makes d i a l o g u e between educator and l e a r n e r i t s c e n t r a l element. T h i s r e f l e c t s Holmberg's t h e o r y of d i d a c t i c c o n v e r s a t i o n and h i s t e a c h i n g (empathy) t h e o r y (see pp. 47-50) as w e l l as Moore's t h e o r y o f t e l e m a t h i c t e a c h i n g (see pp. 59-64) and i t i s s u p p o r t e d by Baath's and W i l l e n ' s r e s e a r c h (see pp. 76-79) . Moore (1983) f o c u s e d h i s t h e o r e t i c a l a n a l y s i s on v a r i a t i o n s i n t h e e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p and s e l e c t e d d i a l o g u e as a measure of d i s t a n c e i n an e d u c a t i o n a l program (see pp. 59-64). H i s work p r o v i d e d a s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r the p r e s e n t a n a l y s i s . The t h e o r e t i c a l framework drawn from the l i t e r a t u r e on d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n (reviewed and s y n t h e s i z e d pp. 56-59) suggested a more complex r e l a t i o n s h i p than the 118 i n t e r a c t i o n of d i s t a n c e ( d i a l o g u e and s t r u c t u r e ) w i t h l e a r n e r autonomy which Moore p o r t r a y e d i n h i s t y p o l o g y of e d u c a t i o n a l programs (see p. 63). Saba's (1988) c a u s a l l o o p diagram of t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e — M o o r e ' s term f o r the r e s p o n s i v e d i a l o g u e between educator and l e a r n e r about the s t r u c t u r e o f a c o u r s e — p r o v i d e d a p r a c t i c a l b u i l d i n g b l o c k f o r the model (see pp. 65-67). Saba's d e p i c t i o n of the c y b e r n e t i c c o n n e c t i o n between d i a l o g u e and course s t r u c t u r e suggested ways t o d e p i c t s i m i l a r f u n c t i o n s : d i a l o g u e and course content ( r e l e v a n c e — s e e pp. 76-80 and 86-89), d i a l o g u e and e v a l u a t i o n ( c o u n s e l l i n g — s e e pp. 91-94 and 98-103), d i a l o g u e and access ( s o c i a l e q u i t y — s e e pp. 104-107). L i k e w i s e , i n t e r a c t i o n s o c c u r on the r i m of the model between content and s t r u c t u r e , (mediated p r e s e n t a t i o n — s e e pp. 72-75); content and e v a l u a t i o n , ( l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s — s e e pp. 82-86); access and e v a l u a t i o n , ( c e r t i f i c a t i o n - - s e e pp. 94-98); access and s t r u c t u r e , ( o p e n n e s s — s e e pp. 107-113). D i f f e r e n t e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n may be more developed i n some areas of the model than i n o t h e r s ; f o r example, one r e l a t i o n s h i p might i n v o l v e minimal r e a l d i a l o g u e and be r e l a t i v e l y unopen, w h i l e another might i n v o l v e f r e q u e n t r e a l d i a l o g u e but o f f e r r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e i n the way o f mediated p r e s e n t a t i o n o f course c o n t e n t . A c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f t h i s model i s t h a t i t c o n s i s t s of i n t e r n a l l y moving p a r t s h e l d i n a p a t t e r n o f c o n n e c t i o n s , i n f l u e n c i n g one another through t h e i r t r a n s a c t i o n s . I t assumes t h a t t h e e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i s a " l i v e " 119 system, i n motion as a whole. T h i s i n t e r a c t i v e q u a l i t y i s p o i n t e d t o by Saba's c a u s a l loop diagram of t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e (see pp. 65-67) and i t w i l l a l s o be found i n T i n t o ' s model of i n s t i t u t i o n a l d e p a r t u r e d i s c u s s e d i n Chapter V. The r i m of independence the model r o l l s upon c o n s i s t s of a c c e s s , openness, s t r u c t u r e , mediated p r e s e n t a t i o n , c o n t e n t , l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s , e v a l u a t i o n , and c e r t i f i c a t i o n . The f a c t t h a t the l a r g e s t p a r t of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n happens on t h i s r i m of independence i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h P e t e r s ' t h e o r y o f an i n d u s t r i a l i z e d form of e d u c a t i o n (see pp. 45-47). The r i m i s supported by the spokes of s o c i a l e q u i t y , t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e , r e l e v a n c e , and c o u n s e l l i n g which t r a n s f e r the e f f e c t s of d i a l o g u e from the a x l e t o t h e r i m , and c a r r y concerns o r i g i n a t i n g on the r i m i n t o the d i a l o g u e . T h i s i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e o r i z i n g and r e s e a r c h by a c o n s i d e r a b l e number of people, d i s c u s s e d i n Chapters I I I and IV, such as Holmberg, P e r r a t o n , Baath, W i l l e n , Moore. I t w i l l a l s o be congruent w i t h T i n t o ' s view of e d u c a t i o n a l communities (see Chapter V ) . A wheel r o l l s ; as the r i m r o t a t e s , so does the a x l e — a s the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p moves through areas o f concern, the d i a l o g u e w i l l i n c r e a s e i f the spokes of support are i n p l a c e . L i k e w i s e , d i a l o g u e between educator and l e a r n e r can t r a n s f e r t h e a x l e ' s motion through the spokes t o d r i v e the r i m . Thus, r a t h e r than a s k i n g d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n t o choose between e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r independence and i n d i v i d u a l i z e d support through e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r d i a l o g u e , 120 t h i s model shows how independence and support are both p a r t o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Of c o u r s e , any model of human r e l a t i o n s h i p s i s a s i m p l i f i c a t i o n o f r e a l i t y which w i l l i n e v i t a b l y f a i l t o r e p r e s e n t the whole t r u t h . A model can be u s e f u l as a c o n c e p t u a l d e v i c e when t h i n k i n g about how r e l a t i o n s h i p s work and when e x p l o r i n g the e x t e n t t o which they do a c t u a l l y work as p o r t r a y e d . I t can be r e d u c t i v e i f mistaken f o r a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the s u b t l e v a r i e t y o f r e a l l i f e . In the p r e s e n t study, an attempt has been made t o propose a s t r o n g and r e a s o n a b l e f a c s i m i l e o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n which might promote b e t t e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p as the y now emerge from the l i t e r a t u r e . Thus, i n answer t o the f i r s t r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n , the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d as a wheel c e n t r e d on an a x l e of r e a l or v i r t u a l d i a l o g u e ; i t i s supporte d v i a d i a l o g u e through the spokes o f s o c i a l e q u i t y , t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e , r e l e v a n c e , and c o u n s e l l i n g ; i t s g r e a t e s t mass i s c a r r i e d on the r i m of independence i n the areas of a c c e s s , openness, s t r u c t u r e , mediated p r e s e n t a t i o n , c o n t e n t , l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s , e v a l u a t i o n and c e r t i f i c a t i o n . 10. Summary Chapter IV has answered the f i r s t r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n : What c h a r a c t e r i z e s e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n ? I t has done t h i s by f i r s t r e v i e w i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s emerging from the d e f i n i t i o n and d i s c u s s i o n o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n Chapter I I I and then l o o k i n g a t Moore's work on the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n h i s t h e o r y o f t e l e m a t h i c t e a c h i n g and h i s t y p o l o g y of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n programs. F o l l o w i n g Moore, Saba's f u r t h e r a n a l y s i s o f t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e suggested a way t o diagram o t h e r components of t h e e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . A composite diagram was then p r e s e n t e d . Much of Chapter IV was devoted t o examining each quadrant o f the diagram i n the l i g h t o f r e s e a r c h from t h e f i e l d . The ch a p t e r c l o s e d w i t h an overview o f the composite d i a g r a m — i t s r i m of independence, spokes of suppo r t , and a x l e of d i a l o g u e — a n d the p r o p o s a l t h a t i t be c o n s i d e r e d a model of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . The r e s u l t s which answer the f i r s t r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n were reviewed. The next stage o f the study, Chapter V, w i l l address the second r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n : "What c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n are a s s o c i a t e d w i t h d r o p o u t ? " 122 CHAPTER V DROPOUT STUDIES AND THE EDUCATOR-LEARNER RELATIONSHIP IN DISTANCE EDUCATION Chapter V answers the second r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n : "What c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n are a s s o c i a t e d w i t h d r o p o u t ? " I t p r o v i d e s t h e o r e t i c a l background f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , and then screens d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n dropout l i t e r a t u r e through the model o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p developed i n Chapter IV. The c h a p t e r begins w i t h a review of dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n g e n e r a l . I t d e s c r i b e s the d i f f i c u l t y of d e f i n i n g dropout i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and the range of dropout r a t e s . The second r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n ' s focus on dropout a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i s d i s c u s s e d . These are f a c t o r s which are p o t e n t i a l l y a l t e r a b l e by the d i s t a n c e t e a c h i n g i n s t i t u t i o n and so they warrant i n v e s t i g a t i o n . The m u l t i - c a u s a l nature of dropout i s i d e n t i f i e d . T i n t o ' s t h e o r e t i c a l work on dropout from h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n i s d e s c r i b e d and i t s c o n n e c t i o n s w i t h the p r e s e n t study are h i g h l i g h t e d . T h i s l e a d s t o a t h e o r e t i c a l framework about 123 dropout t h a t r e l a t e s t o the model of e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . The next p a r t of the c h a p t e r o u t l i n e s l i m i t a t i o n s of the r e s e a r c h l i t e r a t u r e on dropout i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Then r e s e a r c h f i n d i n g s are f i l t e r e d through the model of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Much of Chapter V c o n s i s t s of t a b l e s p r e s e n t i n g t h e s e d a t a . The r e s u l t s are d i s c u s s e d i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the sources and q u a l i t y o f the d a t a , the elements of the model, and the p r e d i c t i o n s of the t h e o r e t i c a l framework. The c h a p t e r concludes w i t h an overview of dropout d a t a a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the a x l e o f d i a l o g u e , the spokes of support, and the r i m o f independence i n the model of e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , and i t ends w i t h a summary. 1. Dropout from Distance Education i n General Chapter IV developed a model of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Much of Chapter V i s devoted t o u s i n g t h a t model i n an e f f o r t t o answer the second r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n "What c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n are a s s o c i a t e d w i t h d r o p o u t ? " However, b e f o r e g o i n g on t o t h a t t a s k , i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o d e s c r i b e the l a r g e r p i c t u r e of dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . 124 T h i s p a r t o f the ch a p t e r p r o v i d e s background about dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n g e n e r a l t o prepare f o r the narrower focus i n the next and subsequent p a r t s o f the ch a p t e r which l o o k at dropout t h a t can be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . The d i s c u s s i o n b e g i n s w i t h a d e s c r i p t i o n o f d i f f i c u l t i e s i n d e f i n i n g d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n dropout. A. D i f f i c u l t i e s w i t h D e f i n i n g Dropout i a Pistflnce E d u c a t i o n C o n f u s i o n around the d e f i n i t i o n of dropout i n the d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n l i t e r a t u r e has c e n t r e d around problems of d e t e r m i n i n g when and where dropout has o c c u r r e d . A r e l a t e d q u e s t i o n has t o do w i t h what k i n d of student w i t h d r a w a l i s b e i n g measured. Woodley and P a r l e t t (1983, pp. 2-3) were not t h e f i r s t , nor w i l l t h ey be the l a s t , t o observe t h a t t h e term "drop-o u t " means d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s t o d i f f e r e n t p e o p l e . B a r t e l s and W i l l e n (1985, p. 1) add t h a t "the term means d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s i n d i f f e r e n t systems of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , because d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s determined by the framework of the n a t i o n a l e d u c a t i o n a l system." In Canada, d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s under the j u r i s d i c t i o n of p r o v i n c i a l e d u c a t i o n a l systems and i t s p r o c edures and measures are not s t a n d a r d i z e d ; t h u s , the meaning o f dropout v a r i e s from i n s t i t u t i o n t o i n s t i t u t i o n w i t h i n a p r o v i n c e , as w e l l as n a t i o n a l l y and i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y . 125 B a r t e l s and W i l l e n (1985, p. 1) l i s t f a c t o r s which d i s t i n g u i s h DTUs ( d i s t a n c e t e a c h i n g u n i v e r s i t i e s ) from one another and make comparison of dropout r a t e s d i f f i c u l t : DTUs have d i f f e r e n t e ntrance q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , compete w i t h d i f f e r e n t o p t i o n s f o r t e r t i a r y e d u c a t i o n , encounter d i f f e r e n t e d u c a t i o n a l backgrounds i n t h e i r s t u d e n t s , employ d i f f e r e n t i n s t i t u t i o n a l t e a c h i n g methods, and have e s t a b l i s h e d degrees t h a t are n e i t h e r e q u a l i n l e v e l nor i n comparative v a l u e . They l i s t e i g h t e e n q u e s t i o n s which they b e l i e v e need t o be answered i f dropout r a t e s between i n s t i t u t i o n s are t o be compared. These i n c l u d e concerns about: l e v e l o f e d u c a t i o n , s u b j e c t s o f f e r e d , c o n t e n t s of s u b j e c t s , method o f t e a c h i n g , course system o r degree system, courses of s t u d i e s a v a i l a b l e , k i n d o f degree, g o a l s o f s t u d e n t s , a d m i s s i o n p o l i c y , e ntrance q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , e n r o l l m e n t p o l i c y , how the DTU counts the number o f i t s s t u d e n t s , types of s t u d e n t s , i f t h e r e are a l i m i t e d number o f p l a c e s a v a i l a b l e , f e e s p a i d , i f study i s paced o r i f the DTU has a f l e x i b l e d e a d l i n e system, what k i n d o f exam system e x i s t s , and what k i n d o f student support system e x i s t s ( B a r t e l s & W i l l e n , 1985, pp. 8-9). B a r t e l s and W i l l e n and Woodley and P a r l e t t w r i t e about u n i v e r s i t y l e v e l d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . There a re a l s o ABE and t e c h n i c a l and v o c a t i o n a l programs. Some r e s e a r c h i s based on th e s e p o p u l a t i o n s (Rekkedal, 1985, f o r example) but l i t t l e work has i n v e s t i g a t e d the e x t e n t t o which u n i v e r s i t y s t u d e n t s and t e c h n i c a l o r v o c a t i o n a l s t u d e n t s are comparable i n t h e i r needs and b e h a v i o r s . 126 Some i n s t i t u t i o n s see dropout as the s t u d e n t ' s f a i l u r e t o c o n t i n u e from one year t o the next i n a program o f s t u d i e s . Thus, a l e a r n e r who s u c c e s s f u l l y completes f i r s t year courses but who chooses not t o e n r o l i n second year courses the f o l l o w i n g term would be c o n s i d e r e d a dropout. Woodley and P a r l e t t say t h a t at the B r i t i s h Open U n i v e r s i t y t h e y "are concerned w i t h performance i n a g i v e n year r a t h e r than w i t h g r a d u a t i o n r a t e s or r a t e s of c o n t i n u a t i o n from one academic year t o the next (1983, p. 2 ) . " Another way t o d e f i n e dropout i s by c o u r s e : a student who r e g i s t e r s f o r a course but does not w r i t e the f i n a l exam may be seen as a dropout. These measures may seem s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d , and t h e y a re commonly employed i n a number o f p l a c e s , b u t — i n some s y s t e m s — s t u d e n t s may become " i n a c t i v e " and appear t o have dropped out of a course but, l a t e r , p i c k i t up a g a i n and w r i t e the exam. B a r t e l s and W i l l e n (1985) showed t h a t passes i n c r e a s e d from 65% t o 76% a f t e r f i v e years had e l a p s e d s i n c e the commencement of s t u d e n t s ' d i s t a n c e s t u d y — w h i c h i s t o say t h a t an e x t r a 11% of the s t a r t e r s who t e m p o r a r i l y appeared as dropouts a c t u a l l y f i n i s h e d t h e i r c o u r s e s . Another problem has t o do w i t h c l a s s i f y i n g f a i l u r e s as dro p o u t s : i n some p l a c e s a l l s t u d e n t s who do not g a i n c r e d i t f o r a course a re c l a s s i f i e d as non-completers. There i s a l s o a q u e s t i o n about entrance r e q u i r e m e n t s — s o m e i n s t i t u t i o n s j u s t i f y t h e i r dropout r a t e s by s a y i n g t h e i r a d m i s s i o n s t a n d a r d s are low or n o n - e x i s t a n t . Even w i t h i t s winnowing stage o f s t i f f e n trance r e q u irements, the F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t 127 e x p e c t s a p a s s - r a t e on i t s f i n a l exams o f o n l y 15% of the f u l l - t i m e s t u d e n t s and 12% of the p a r t - t i m e s t u d e n t s . That means t h e y expect dropout r a t e s of 88% among p a r t - t i m e s t u d e n t s ( B a r t e l s & W i l l e n , 1985, p. 7 ) . T h i s c o n t r a s t s w i t h the Swedish system where dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n has been lower than dropout from comparable, f a c e - t o - f a c e , p a r t - t i m e a d u l t e d u c a t i o n c l a s s e s : 50% c o m p l e t i o n f o r r e g u l a r p a r t - t i m e s t u d e n t s i n the F a c u l t y of A r t s , 58% pass r a t e on the f i n a l exams f o r d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n courses ( B a r t e l s & W i l l e n , 1985, p. 6 ) . The comparison between Sweden and Germany i l l u s t r a t e s two i s s u e s r e g a r d i n g the d e f i n i t i o n o f dropout. F i r s t , the Swedish system does not count n o n - s t a r t e r s i n i t s dropout f i g u r e s , whereas the F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t does count them. Second, b o t h i n c l u d e f a i l u r e s w i t h those who do not complete the cou r s e . Woodley and P a r l e t t (1983) s e l e c t e d f o u r measures of performance most s u i t e d t o the OUUK co n t e x t which they use i n d i f f e r e n t ways t o count dropouts. ( i ) Non-completion of final registration T h i s o n l y concerns new undergraduates. The number not c o m p l e t i n g f i n a l r e g i s t r a t i o n i s exp r e s s e d as a percentage of those who were p r o v i s i o n a l l y r e g i s t e r e d on 1 January. ( i i ) Withdrawal rate Students a re c o n s i d e r e d t o have withdrawn i f t h e y f i n a l l y r e g i s t e r e d but d i d not s i t the end-o f - y e a r exam. 128 ( i i i ) Failure rate Students are c o n s i d e r e d t o have f a i l e d i f t h e y s a t the end-of-year exam but d i d not g a i n a course c r e d i t . ( i v ) Overall wastage rate T h i s i s the percentage of s t u d e n t s who f i n a l l y r e g i s t e r e d but who d i d not g a i n a course c r e d i t . In o t h e r words i t i n c l u d e s both " w i t h d r a w a l ' and " f a i l u r e . ' (p. 2) For t he OUUK, t h i s s e t o f measures i s f u r t h e r c o m p l i c a t e d because t h e y each may be student-based or course-based. A l a r g e a rea of c o n f u s i o n c e n t e r s on the q u e s t i o n o f when i t can be assumed t h a t a student has r e g i s t e r e d i n a d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n c o u r s e . Woodley and P a r l e t t (1983) say " n e a r l y t h r e e out of t e n new s t u d e n t s d i d not complete f i n a l r e g i s t r a t i o n , " but t h a t s t e p at the OUUK oc c u r s some time a f t e r t he student might be c o n s i d e r e d r e g i s t e r e d by o t h e r i n s t i t u t i o n s , and so s o m e — i f not a l l — o f those p r o v i s i o n a l l y a d m i t t e d but not f i n a l l y r e g i s t e r e d s t u d e n t s whom the OUUK does not i n c l u d e i n i t s o v e r a l l wastage r a t e would be counted as dropouts elsewhere. And, f i n a l l y , an important l a c k of d i s t i n c t i o n e x i s t s around what happens t o dropouts a f t e r they l e a v e . Students who depart from one i n s t i t u t i o n and l a t e r e n r o l l at a n o t h e r — i e . , who s t a y i n the e d u c a t i o n a l system though t h e y l e a v e a p a r t i c u l a r i n s t i t u t i o n — a r e not d i s t i n g u i s h e d from those whose i n s t i t u t i o n a l dropout i s a l s o a system dropout. T r a n s f e r s t u d e n t s , even i f they remain i n a c t i v e f o r some ti m e , may d i f f e r from system dropouts. With such v a r i a t i o n i n d e f i n i t i o n , i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o draw comparisons or aggregate r e s u l t s . T h i s has an impact on 129 the k i n d s of c o n c l u s i o n s t h a t are p o s s i b l e l a t e r i n the p r e s e n t study when r e s e a r c h f i n d i n g s about dropout i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n are screened through the model of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p developed i n the p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r . B. Defining Dropout fo_r the Present Study S i n c e the data i n t h i s study o r i g i n a t e i n p u b l i s h e d l i t e r a t u r e , the d e f i n i t i o n s of those i n d i v i d u a l documents w i l l p e r s i s t . In g e n e r a l , the p r e s e n t study w i l l view as dropout whatever an o r i g i n a l study d e f i n e d as dropout. Where p o s s i b l e , the d e f i n i t i o n s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the data w i l l be noted, and r e s e r v a t i o n s v o i c e d . There w i l l be no attempt made at s t a t i s t i c a l m e t a - a n a l y s i s ; a n a l y s i s w i l l be c o n f i n e d t o o b s e r v i n g and i n t e r p r e t i n g dropout t r e n d s r e l a t e d t o the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . C. Rates of Dropout from Distance Education No matter how they are measured or what t h e y are measuring, i t does appear t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n dropout and/or c o m p l e t i o n percentages v a r y d r a m a t i c a l l y — f r o m about 5% dropout or 95% c o m p l e t i o n t o about 90% dropout and 10% c o m p l e t i o n . Table 2 below i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s range. The 50% f i g u r e r e f e r r e d t o as an average a number of times a l r e a d y i n the p r e s e n t study i s supported by Baath (1984). 130 Table 2. Some Rates o f Dropout and/or Completion f o r D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n . F inding Author Over s i x years and 65 c r e d i t courses G a r r i s o n (1987) o f f e r e d by t e l e c o n f e r e n c i n g from t h e U n i v e r s i t y of C a l g a r y , dropout r a t e s were 5.6%. Southern A l b e r t a I n s t i t u t e of G a r r i s o n (1987) Technology courses by t e l e c o n f e r e n c i n g have a dropout r a t e o f 10%. Completion of 3 u n i t d i s t a n c e Rekkedal (1985) e d u c a t i o n course at NKI-sk o l e n was 82%. A f t e r 3 terms a t Swedish u n i v e r s i t i e s , W i l l e n (1981) 65% of t h e p a n e l group had completed t h e i r s t u d i e s . A f t e r 4 y e a r s , passes went up t o 7 6% Athabasca U n i v e r s i t y ' s c o m p l e t i o n r a t e G a r r i s o n (1987) f o r a u d i o t e l e c o n f e r e n c i n g was 66.7% w h i l e correspondence (home study) was 44.3% and correspondence s u p p o r t e d w i t h seminars was 44.6%. When n o n - s t a r t e r s are i n c l u d e d w i t h Baath (1984) non-completers, dropout r a t e s are around 50%. Completion of 12 u n i t d i s t a n c e course Rekkedal (1985) at N K I - s k o l e n was 44% (+ 24% s t i l l w o r k i n g on the c o u r s e ) . At the F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t , p a s s - r a t e s B a r t e l s & W i l l e n (1985) f o r f u l l - t i m e s t u d e n t s are about 15% and p a s s - r a t e s f o r p a r t - t i m e s t u d e n t s are about 12% For Norwegian seamen e n r o l l e d i n correspondence c o u r s e s , c o m p l e t i o n r a t e s were 10% t o 20%. Rekkedal (1972) 131 O b v i o u s l y , a number o f f a c t o r s c o u l d be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the v a r i a t i o n seen i n the above t a b l e . C e r t a i n o f these may be unique t o d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , but o t h e r s might be shared w i t h i n t r a m u r a l e d u c a t i o n . D i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s l i n k e d i n many ways w i t h h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n and a d u l t e d u c a t i o n . Indeed, the r a t e s o f dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n t e n d t o be comparable t o dropout r a t e s from o t h e r "non-compulsory, p a r t -time a d u l t s t u d y " (Baath, 1984, p. 33). Perhaps s u r p r i s i n g l y , t h e y a re a l s o s i m i l a r t o dropout r a t e s from American campus-based, f u l l - t i m e , h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n . Recent e s t i m a t e s p r e d i c t t h a t 56% o f an e n t e r i n g cohort w i l l drop out from the t y p i c a l [American] f o u r - y e a r c o l l e g e ( T i n t o , 1987, p. 15). T h i s would suggest t h a t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which are unique t o d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n p r o b a b l y are not r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the g r e a t e s t percentage o f dropout. However, two t h i n g s need t o be c o n s i d e r e d b e f o r e e x c u s i n g dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n on the grounds t h a t i t i s no worse than i n o t h e r s e c t o r s . F i r s t , some r e s e a r c h e r s ( f o r example, Rekkedal, 1985) a s s e r t t h a t dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n does exceed dropout from f a c e - t o - f a c e e d u c a t i o n . Second, the b a s i c premise of t h e p r e s e n t study i s t h a t a l l forms o f e d u c a t i o n e n t a i l an e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . I f c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p are a s s o c i a t e d w i t h dropout, those c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s might w e l l be found i n a number o f d i f f e r e n t e d u c a t i o n a l modes. For example, d i s t a n c e i n the e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i s t r a n s a c t i o n a l r a t h e r than g e o g r a p h i c a l — t h a t i s , even f a c e - t o - f a c e e d u c a t i o n i n v o l v e s 132 degrees o f d i s t a n c e i n the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . T h e r e f o r e , s h o u l d some k i n d of t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e i n the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h dropout, t h a t phenomenon might be found i n a l l modes of e d u c a t i o n . T h i s i s not t o argue t h a t dropout i s indeed a s s o c i a t e d w i t h d i s t a n c e i n the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p ; i t i s o n l y t o p o i n t out t h a t comparable dropout r a t e s i n o t h e r e d u c a t i o n a l s e c t o r s do not n e c e s s a r i l y mean t h a t a l l dropout i s caused by p e r s o n a l f a c t o r s which are un r e s p o n s i v e t o the s p e c i f i c e d u c a t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e . Summarizing the s i t u a t i o n as he sees i t from h i s e x p e r i m e n t a l and survey r e s e a r c h and h i s re v i e w o f dropout l i t e r a t u r e , Rekkedal (1985) says t h a t dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n n o r m a l l y i s c o n s i d e r a b l y h i g h e r than i n f u l l - t i m e f a c e - t o - f a c e e d u c a t i o n , and t h a t the number o f s t u d e n t s d r o p p i n g out i s e s p e c i a l l y h i g h i n the b e g i n n i n g o f s t u d i e s , but not g e n e r a l l y h i g h e r than i n o t h e r forms of p a r t - t i m e s t u d i e s . The next s e c t i o n l o o k s at the phenomenon of dropout at the b e g i n n i n g of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s t u d i e s . D. E a r l y Dropout The l a r g e s t number of dropouts from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n — n o n - s t a r t e r s — o c c u r b e f o r e s t u d e n t s submit any work, at the b e g i n n i n g of a course (Baath, 1984; Rekkedal, 1972, 1985; and o t h e r s ) . S i m i l a r l y , T i n t o (1987, p. 49) r e p o r t s t h a t a s i z e a b l e p o r t i o n of i n s t i t u t i o n a l w i t h d r a w a l s from c o l l e g e s o c c u r b e f o r e t h e f i r s t marking p e r i o d . T i n t o (1987, p. 126) 133 goes on t o a t t r i b u t e t h a t e a r l y w i t h d r a w a l t o the i n a b i l i t y o f new s t u d e n t s t o make the adjustment t o c o l l e g e . D i s t a n c e s t u d e n t s may have l e s s of an adjustment t o make s i n c e t h e i r s o c i a l and o c c u p a t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s may s t a y the same when the y b e g i n s t u d i e s , but they may a l s o be l e f t t o o r i e n t themselves through t h i s t r a n s i t i o n w i t h l i t t l e support from the i n s t i t u t i o n . For whatever reason, a l a r g e , e a r l y a t t r i t i o n i s found i n almost every d i s t a n c e t e a c h i n g i n s t i t u t i o n , but i t has been r e p o r t e d i n d i f f e r e n t ways. The OUUK, as has been noted, views t h i s p o r t i o n o f student a t t r i t i o n as l a c k of f i n a l r e g i s t r a t i o n and does not count i t as p a r t of the o v e r a l l wastage r a t e . Between 1970 and 1983 t h e r e were 579,678 s t u d e n t s p e r m i t t e d t o e n r o l l f o r a degree by correspondence through the OUUK ( i e . , p o t e n t i a l s t a r t i n g s t u d e n t s ) . Of th e s e , 286,937 were p r o v i s i o n a l l y r e g i s t e r e d (Keegan, 1986, p. 253). The 292,741 n o n - s t a r t e r s (over 50%) might appear as dropouts at i n s t i t u t i o n s w i t h a d i f f e r e n t r e g i s t r a t i o n p r o c e s s . Shale (1980), w r i t i n g about the comparison between dropouts from the OUUK and Athabasca U n i v e r s i t y , e l a b o r a t e s on the i n v i s i b i l i t y o f these s t u d e n t s i n t h e OUUK s t a t i s t i c s . Keegan (1980) c i t e s c o m p l e t i o n r a t e s o f around 70% f o r O.U. c o u r s e s . However, i f we examine the s i t u a t i o n c l o s e l y we note the f o l l o w i n g : 50% o f those people a p p l y i n g t o e n t e r the O.U. are r e f u s e d ; o n l y 75% of those a c c e p t e d f o r a p o s i t i o n a c t u a l l y e n t e r the O.U.; and o f t h i s 75% o n l y 70% proceed through p r o v i s i o n a l e n r o l l m e n t t o " f i n a l l y r e g i s t e r e d " . O.U. course c o m p l e t i o n e s t i m a t e s use the number o f f i n a l r e g i s t r a t i o n s as the base f i g u r e . T h i s means t h a t t h e r e are t h r e e " s c r e e n i n g " steps t h a t 134 s t u d e n t s pass through b e f o r e they are c o n s i d e r e d " t r u e " course e n r o l l m e n t s . In o r d e r f o r the O.U. f i g u r e s t o be comparable t o the AU f i g u r e s , the O.U. would have t o admit a l l a p p l i c a n t s and use t h i s f i g u r e as the denominator i n t h e i r course c o m p l e t i o n e s t i m a t e s . (Shale, 1980, p. 7) E a r l y a t t r i t i o n appears t o be m o t i v a t e d by the k i n d s of f a c t o r s s t u d e n t s themselves mention most f r e q u e n t l y : l a c k of t i m e , changes o f p l a n s , domestic or job f a c t o r s , and t h e c o s t o f s t u d y i n g . Because of i t s t i m i n g and a l s o because o f the reasons g i v e n by s t u d e n t s f o r t h e i r e a r l y w i t h d r a w a l , i t c o u l d be argued t h a t n o n - s t a r t e r s drop out p r i o r t o e n t e r i n g the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . I t i s p o s s i b l e , however, t h a t the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p does i n f l u e n c e e a r l y dropout. N o n - s t a r t e r s may not have completed any assignments, but they have had c o n t a c t w i t h the i n s t i t u t i o n , have been informed about c o u r s e s , may have r e c e i v e d a course package, and may have been c o n t a c t e d by a t u t o r b e f o r e they drop out. A number o f i n s t i t u t i o n s ( n o t a b l y , NKI-skolen) have i n t r o d u c e d c o u n s e l l i n g procedures t o e s t a b l i s h immediate c o n t a c t w i t h new s t u d e n t s , thus s u c c e s s f u l l y r e d u c i n g t h e number o f n o n - s t a r t e r s (Rekkedal, 1985). T h i s would seem congruent w i t h T i n t o ' s (1987, p. 126) o b s e r v a t i o n about e a r l y dropout from h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n m i r r o r i n g the i n a b i l i t y of new s t u d e n t s t o make the adjustment t o c o l l e g e . The e a r l y a t t r i t i o n o f n o n - s t a r t e r s , seen as t h e s i n g l e l a r g e s t a r e a of dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , comes up a g a i n i n o t h e r p a r t s of t h i s c h a p t e r , e s p e c i a l l y i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h data on c o u n s e l l i n g . 135 T h i s p a r t o f Chapter V has d i s c u s s e d dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i n g e n e r a l t o p r o v i d e background f o r the r e s t of the c h a p t e r . The d i s c u s s i o n w i l l now narrow i t s focus t o the c o n n e c t i o n between the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p and dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . The r e s e a r c h data i n d i c a t e t h a t s t u d e n t s do not u s u a l l y a t t r i b u t e t h e i r dropout, e a r l y o r l a t e , p r i m a r i l y t o c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . D e s p i t e t h i s f a c t , t h e r e are s e v e r a l reasons f o r t h i s c h a p t e r ' s c o n c e n t r a t i o n on the a s s o c i a t i o n between c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p and dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . These w i l l become c l e a r i n the next s e c t i o n . 2 . The Focus of the Second Research Question within the Larger P i c t u r e of Dropout I t i s important t o r e c o g n i z e t h a t the p r e s e n t study does not attempt t o e x p l a i n dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . The second r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n has a f a r more l i m i t e d f o c u s : i t i s i n t e r e s t e d i n the c o n n e c t i o n s between c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p and dropout. Most dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n has not been a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p , a l t h o u g h some r e s e a r c h e r s have s p e c u l a t e d t h a t elements of t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p might have a more imp o r t a n t i n f l u e n c e than 136 the data i n d i c a t e (Baath, 1984; Keegan, 1986; W i l l e n , 1981; Woodley & P a r l e t t , 1983) . In h i s survey of "Research on c o m p l e t i o n and d i s c o n t i n u a t i o n i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n " Baath r e p o r t s t h a t " o t h e r work (75%) and l a c k of time i n g e n e r a l (65%) were s t a t e d as the main causes o f not making p r o g r e s s i n one's c o u r s e " (1984, p. 34). The causes of and reasons f o r non-completion g i v e n by t h e s t u d e n t s are most o f t e n factors which are not directly related to the teaching p r o v i d e d : l a c k of time ( g e n e r a l l y due t o the s t u d e n t ' s g a i n f u l employment), changed p l a n s and i n c l u d i n g i l l h e a l t h , f a m i l y problems e t c . ( F a i r i n g & Hughes 1950, Bradt 1956, James & Wedemeyer 1959, Sheath 1965, Slo a n 1966, Rekkedal 1972, 1978, Houtkoop 1979). Some re s p o n d e n t s do g i v e teaching-related factors as a major cause or reason, however, eg d i f f i c u l t and u n i n s p i r i n g course m a t e r i a l (Kustermann 1970), t o o l o n g t u r n - a r o u n d time of assignments and a har s h t u t o r ( H a r t e r 1969), or d i f f i c u l t i e s i n s t u d y i n g on one's own (Wangdahl 1979). (Baath, 1984 p. 34) Baath (1984, p.34) a l s o r e p o r t s t h a t from 46% t o 24% of non-completers who answered survey q u e s t i o n s i n t h e v a r i o u s s t u d i e s he examined f o r an EHSC review of European correspondence courses (Baath, 1980; F l i n c k , 1978) s a i d t h a t t h e y found the course m a t e r i a l d u l l o r d i f f i c u l t t o understand, t h a t t r o u b l e s w i t h the assignments had s e r i o u s l y i n t e r f e r e d w i t h t h e i r study r a t e or t h a t assignments had been d i f f i c u l t t o understand. These are s i m i l a r f i n d i n g s t o those of Woodley and P a r l e t t (1983) i n t h e i r e v a l u a t i o n of many dropout s t u d i e s done at the OUUK. They mention domestic and job f a c t o r s (77% t o 53%) as the main reasons g i v e n by 137 s t u d e n t s f o r d r o p p i n g out, f o l l o w e d by a lower percentage of reasons r e l a t e d t o courses (27% t o 36%). A l t h o u g h o n l y about one q u a r t e r (and up t o almost h a l f ) o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n dropouts r e s p o n d i n g t o such surveys have i d e n t i f i e d f a c t o r s i n the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p as c o n t r i b u t i n g t o t h e i r non-completion, t h e s e f a c t o r s do appear t o a f f e c t p e r s i s t e n c e and they may combine w i t h o t h e r c i r c u m s t a n c e s t o d e t e r a student from c o m p l e t i o n . A. M u l t i - C a u s a l Dropout and t h e E ^ u ^ a ^ o r - f r e a r n e r R e l a t i o n s h i p in D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n Dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s u s u a l l y c o n s i d e r e d a m u l t i - c a u s a l problem (Woodley & P a r l e t t , 1983, p. 23). While the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p does not appear t o be a p r i m a r y cause o f dropout, i t may compound w i t h o t h e r f a c t o r s . One would guess. . . t h a t m a t e r i a l b e t t e r adapted t o the s t u d e n t s i n q u e s t i o n c o u l d have made at l e a s t some of them rearrange t h e i r time s c h e d u l e s , change t h e i r p r i o r i t i e s — a n d c o n s e q u e n t l y h o l d on t o t h e i r i n i t i a l p l a n s . T h i s i s a l s o i n d i c a t e d by the s t u d e n t s who a c t u a l l y s t a t e t e a c h i n g - r e l a t e d f a c t o r s as a major cause of t h e i r d r o p p i n g out. (Baath, 1984. p. 34) R e g r e s s i o n a n a l y s i s might t e a s e out the impact on dropout o f the f a c t o r s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p , but o n l y i f the a n a l y s i s i n c l u d e s s t a t i s t i c s which r e p r e s e n t those f a c t o r s . M u l t i v a r i a t e work on dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n has o f t e n used data c o l l e c t e d f o r a more g e n e r a l purpose; such data y i e l d o n l y l i m i t e d i n s i g h t s i n t o the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . 138 While r e c o g n i z i n g the m u l t i - c a u s a l n a t u r e o f dropout, one f a i r l y common way t o t h i n k about student a t t r i t i o n has been t o see i f c e r t a i n t ypes of s t u d e n t s were more l i k e l y t o drop out, o r i f c e r t a i n k i n d s o f courses had p r e d i c t a b l y h i g h e r r a t e s o f dropout. P e r s o n a l f a c t o r s such as sex, age, p r e v i o u s e d u c a t i o n a l a t t a i n m e n t , g e o g r a p h i c a l l o c a t i o n , course l o a d , and date o f r e g i s t r a t i o n — i n f o r m a t i o n about s t u d e n t s which may be a v a i l a b l e from an i n s t i t u t i o n a l d a t a b a n k — a n d s i m i l a r f a c t o r s about courses have been a n a l y z e d t o see i f they c o r r e l a t e w i t h dropout r a t e s . U s i n g a m u l t i - v a r i a t e t e c h n i q u e , Woodley and P a r l e t t c o u l d e x p l a i n about 40% o f the v a r i a b i l i t y i n the OUUK course pass r a t e s i n t h e i r s tudy. A s i m p l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the whole e q u a t i o n would be t h a t a course i s most l i k e l y t o have a low pass r a t e [ i e , a h i g h dropout r a t e ] i f i t has l a r g e numbers of st u d e n t s i n t h e i r f i f t h o r more year o f Open U n i v e r s i t y study and i t has many s t u d e n t s t a k i n g two or more courses and i t has few housewives and i t has many s t u d e n t s from the London r e g i o n . We have a l s o shown t h a t course wastage r a t e s are r e l a t e d t o c e r t a i n f e a t u r e s of the course t h e m s e l v e s . . . . one would p r e d i c t t h a t a course would have a v e r y h i g h wastage r a t e i f i t was a h a l f c r e d i t , i t had no summer s c h o o l , i t had an M i n the course code, i t had been p r e s e n t e d f o r s e v e r a l years and t h a t i t was a t h i r d of f o u r t h l e v e l c o u rse. (Woodley & P a r l e t t , 1983, p. 17) Some o f these f a c t o r s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h dropout o r w i t h c o m p l e t i o n at the OUUK f a l l o u t s i d e the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p , but some are w i t h i n i t and c o u l d be man i p u l a t e d by the t e a c h i n g i n s t i t u t i o n . The OUUK c o u l d stop o f f e r i n g h a l f c r e d i t courses and c o u l d i n s i s t on summer s c h o o l s f o r a l l c o u r s e s , f o r i n s t a n c e . 139 A l i m i t a t i o n of t h i s k i n d of r e s e a r c h i s t h a t i t does not n e c e s s a r i l y e x p l o r e c a u s a l i t y , even when i t f i n d s c o r r e l a t i o n s . F i n d i n g s about v a r i a b l e s may d i f f e r from s i t u a t i o n t o s i t u a t i o n . For example, men are more l i k e l y t o drop out of the OUUK (Woodley & P a r l e t t , .1983) and women are more l i k e l y t o drop out of the F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t ( B a r t e l s & P e t e r s , 1986, p. 107). The q u e s t i o n o f how much o f t h e m u l t i - c a u s a l dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s i n f l u e n c e d by the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i l l be d i s c u s s e d a g a i n i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h T i n t o ' s (1987) t h e o r y about dropout from h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n . S_ A l t e r a b l e Factors The f o c u s o f the second r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n may be hazy when i t comes t o the p o r t i o n of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n dropout which can be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h e e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p , but the q u e s t i o n i s c l e a r l y f o c u s e d i n another way. I t addresses f a c t o r s which are p o t e n t i a l l y a l t e r a b l e by t h e d i s t a n c e t e a c h i n g i n s t i t u t i o n . Chacon-Duque (1985, p. 7) c r i t i c i z e s the " ' c l a s s i c a l ' parameters whose i n f l u e n c e i n e d u c a t i o n a l outcomes has been w i d e l y t e s t e d i n a l l s u b - f i e l d s of e d u c a t i o n " — f a c t o r s such as socio-economic background, i n t e l l i g e n c e and a b i l i t i e s , and academic a t t a i n m e n t — f o r b e i n g " u n a l t e r a b l e t h rough a c t i o n s o f the academic i n s t i t u t i o n s " and so a poor c h o i c e of focus i n e d u c a t i o n a l r e s e a r c h . 140 As r e a c t i o n t o t h i s problem, a more r e c e n t t r e n d of r e s e a r c h . . . suggests t h a t e d u c a t i o n a l i n q u i r y and p r a c t i c e would do b e t t e r i f they fo c u s on " a l t e r a b l e v a r i a b l e s , " those t h a t can be m o d i f i e d by e d u c a t o r s . (Chacon-Duque, 1985, p. 7) I t i s i n keeping w i t h one of the b a s i c m o t i v a t i o n s f o r the p r e s e n t s t u d y — t o connect s c h o l a r s h i p w i t h p r a c t i c e — t h a t the second r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n seeks t o i d e n t i f y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p a s s o c i a t e d w i t h dropout jbecause t h o s e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s might be m o d i f i e d i n p r a c t i c e . T h i s p a r t of Chapter V has l o o k e d a t the s p e c i f i c focus o f the second r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n w i t h i n the l a r g e r p i c t u r e of dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . T h i s focus b r i n g s the d i s c u s s i o n back t o the model of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n which was proposed i n Chapter IV. The f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n p r e s e n t s a t h e o r e t i c a l model of dropout which r e l a t e s t o t h a t model. 3. A T h e o r e t i c a l Framework about Dropout Related to the Model of the Educator-Learner Relationship i n Distance Education So f a r , the d i s c u s s i o n of dropout i n t h i s c h a p t e r has s k i r t e d the i s s u e of dropout t h e o r y . D i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n l a c k s i t s own dropout t h e o r y . However, T i n t o ' s work on dropout from h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n connects i n s e v e r a l ways w i t h t h e model of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p proposed i n Chapter IV. 141 T i n t o ' s dropout model, shown i n F i g u r e 10, " l o o k s t o the s o c i a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l c o n t e x t of the i n s t i t u t i o n a l environment, as p l a y i n g a c e n t r a l r o l e i n the l o n g i t u d i n a l p r o c e s s o f i n d i v i d u a l d e p a r t u r e " (1987, p. 113). the model seeks t o e x p l a i n how i n t e r a c t i o n s among d i f f e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h i n the academic and s o c i a l systems of the i n s t i t u t i o n l e a d i n d i v i d u a l s of d i f f e r e n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t o withdraw from t h a t i n s t i t u t i o n p r i o r t o degree c o m p l e t i o n ( T i n t o , 1987, p. 113) T h i s f o c u s on i n t e r a c t i o n s p l a c e s the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p a t the core o f the dropout problem. Even though the i n t e r a c t i o n s T i n t o s e l e c t s as f a c t o r s i n h i s model are wider i n type than those examined i n t h e p r e s e n t s t u d y — t h e y i n c l u d e s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h o t h e r s t u d e n t s — h e argues t h a t the i n t e r a c t i o n s between s t u d e n t s and f a c u l t y have a p a r t i c u l a r importance ( T i n t o , 1987, p. 84). In e x p l a i n i n g h i s model T i n t o says: Given i n d i v i d u a l a t t r i b u t e s and d i s p o s i t i o n s at e n t r y , the model f u r t h e r argues t h a t subsequent e x p e r i e n c e s w i t h i n the i n s t i t u t i o n , p r i m a r i l y t hose a r i s i n g out of i n t e r a c t i o n s between the i n d i v i d u a l and o t h e r members of the c o l l e g e , are c e n t r a l l y r e l a t e d t o f u r t h e r c o n t i n u a n c e i n t h a t i n s t i t u t i o n . I n t e r a c t i v e e x p e r i e n c e s which f u r t h e r one's s o c i a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l i n t e g r a t i o n i n t o the academic and s o c i a l l i f e of the c o l l e g e are seen t o enhance the l i k e l i h o o d t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l w i l l p e r s i s t w i t h i n the i n s t i t u t i o n . They do so v i a the impact i n t e g r a t i v e e x p e r i e n c e s have upon the c o n t i n u e d r e f o r m u l a t i o n o f i n d i v i d u a l g o a l s and commitments. ( T i n t o , 1987, p. 115) The f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n s d e s c r i b e T i n t o ' s work and d i s c u s s i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r a s s o c i a t i o n s between dropout and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . A. Tinto's T h e o r e t i c a l Work 0_a Dropout T i n t o ' s (1975; 1985; 1987) t h e o r y o f i n d i v i d u a l d e p a r t u r e from i n s t i t u t i o n s of h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n r e s t s on a broad-r a n g i n g s y n t h e s i s of r e s e a r c h on the m u l t i p l e causes of student l e a v i n g . I t draws on Durkheim's (1961) s u i c i d e t h e o r y and Van Gennep's c l a s s i c study of the r i t e s o f passage t o argue t h a t c o l l e g e s and u n i v e r s i t i e s a re l i k e o t h e r human communities, and t h a t student d e c i s i o n s t o withdraw are more a f u n c t i o n of what occurs a f t e r e n t r y than o f what precedes i t . The s t r e n g t h o f T i n t o ' s (1975) work i s e v i d e n t , f i r s t from t h e e x t e n s i v e l i t e r a t u r e r e v i e w w i t h which he s u b s t a n t i a t e d the c h o i c e s he made i n b u i l d i n g h i s model; second, from the f i n d i n g s of m u l t i - v a r i a t e s t u d i e s which t e s t e d h i s model; and t h i r d , from the way T i n t o has h i m s e l f developed h i s t h i n k i n g i n more re c e n t a r t i c l e s and a book (1985, 1987). The combination of s t a t i s t i c a l a n a l y s i s and c r i t i c a l r e f l e c t i o n around the i s s u e s of dropout make him a l e a d i n g r e s e a r c h e r on dropout from f a c e - t o - f a c e , h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n . IX) CO H-'Q C H3 H-rt O w PRE-ENTRY ATTRIBUTES GOALS & COMMITMENTS (T,) FAMILY BACKGROUND INTENTIONS GOAL & INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENTS INSTITUTIONAL EXPERIENCES ACADEMIC SYSTEM FORMAL" PERSONAL/ NORMATIVE INTEGRATION GOALS & COMMITMENTS (T2) OUTCOME ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE FACULTY / STAFF INTERACTIONS INFORMAL ACADEMIC INTEGRATION FORMAL EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES PEER-GROUP INTERACTIONS QNfORMAL SOCIAL SYSTEM SOCIAL INTEGRATION INTENTIONS / I GOAL & INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENTS DEPARTURE DECISION L . J EXTERNAL COMMITMENTS TIME (Tj H-3 rt O 144 T i n t o has a c o t e r i e of f o l l o w e r s . P a s c a r e l l a and T e r e n z i n i (1978-83), Chapman (1983), Sweet (1986) and o t h e r s have employed and sought t o v a l i d a t e T i n t o ' s model i n t h e i r work. T i n t o (1982) h i m s e l f advocated m o d i f y i n g h i s model f o r n o n - t r a d i t i o n a l student p o p u l a t i o n s , s i n c e i t has been t e s t e d m a i n l y on freshmen at r e s i d e n t i a l f o u r - y e a r c o l l e g e s o r u n i v e r s i t i e s . T i n t o ' s D e f i n i t i o n o_f p r o p o u t An u n d e r l y i n g theme of T i n t o ' s work has been t h e need t o c l a r i f y d r o p o u t — t o understand and d e f i n e i t and thus d i s t i n g u i s h i t from r e l a t e d forms of b e h a v i o u r . He c r i t i c i z e s t he c o n f u s i o n i n dropout s t a t i s t i c s between course f a i l u r e and v o l u n t a r y w i t h d r a w a l , and between permanent dropout and t r a n s f e r t o another i n s t i t u t i o n , and he argues t h a t dropout from f a c e - t o - f a c e u n i v e r s i t i e s and c o l l e g e s i s misunderstood. The s o - c a l l e d s t a n d a r d form of c o l l e g e p r o g r e s s i o n — t a k i n g f o u r y ears t o earn a f o u r -y e a r d e g r e e — i s no l o n g e r the s t a n d a r d . I t may soon become the e x c e p t i o n . Students are t a k i n g a v a r i e t y o f d i s p a r a t e r o u t e s t o f o u r - y e a r degree c o m p l e t i o n ; many of these r o u t e s i n v o l v e a t l e a s t one d e p a r t u r e from an i n s t i t u t i o n . Continuous e n r o l l m e n t t o degree c o m p l e t i o n i n one's f i r s t i n s t i t u t i o n i s s i m p l y not as common as we are wont t o b e l i e v e . Perhaps i t never was. ( T i n t o , 1985, p. 30) T i n t o p r e f e r s the more n e u t r a l term "student d e p a r t u r e " t o the p e j o r a t i v e "dropout." I f the term dropout i s t o be used, he would l i m i t i t t o " s i t u a t i o n s i n which t h e r e i s f a i l u r e on the p a r t o f both the i n d i v i d u a l and the i n s t i t u t i o n " (p. 29) 145 My view i s t h a t the term dropout s h o u l d be a p p l i e d , i f at a l l , o n l y t o those forms o f de p a r t u r e i n v o l v i n g i n d i v i d u a l s who are unable t o r e a s o n a b l y complete what they came t o the i n s t i t u t i o n t o a c h i e v e . Dropout may be seen as o c c u r r i n g when i n d i v i d u a l s of s u f f i c i e n t s k i l l , competence, and commitment f a i l t o a c h i e v e r e a s o n a b l e e d u c a t i o n a l g o a l s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h o s e o f the i n s t i t u t i o n o r f a i l t o r e c e i v e s u f f i c i e n t i n s t i t u t i o n a l support t o enable them t o a c h i e v e those g o a l s . . . . I t would a l s o be i n c o r r e c t t o l a b e l as dropout a l l those forms o f de p a r t u r e t h a t a r i s e from s u b s t a n t i a l forms of incongruency between the i n d i v i d u a l and the i n s t i t u t i o n . . . .Dropout, as d e f i n e d here, p r i m a r i l y i n v o l v e s cases o f academic d i s m i s s a l and v o l u n t a r y w i t h d r a w a l s a r i s i n g from i n s u f f i c i e n t i n t e l l e c t u a l and s o c i a l i n t e g r a t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l i n t o the communities o f the c o l l e g e . ( T i n t o , 1985, pp. 39-41) T h i s i s a narrower d e f i n i t i o n o f dropout than i s commonly found i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n r e s e a r c h l i t e r a t u r e . I f T i n t o ' s d e f i n i t i o n o f dropout were accepted, i t would mean t h a t the l a b e l o f "dropout" c o u l d not be a p p l i e d w i t h o u t an i n d i v i d u a l i z e d e v a l u a t i o n of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . C_ T i n t o ' s Manor F a c t o r s As i n d i c a t e d above, the major f a c t o r s of T i n t o ' s model r e p r e s e n t the l e a r n e r ' s i n t e l l e c t u a l and s o c i a l i n t e g r a t i o n — or , m a l i n t e g r a t i o n — i n t o the e d u c a t i o n a l community. Though the i n t e n t i o n s and commitments w i t h which i n d i v i d u a l s e n t e r c o l l e g e matter, what goes on a f t e r e n t r y matters more. I t i s the d a i l y i n t e r a c t i o n of the person w i t h o t h e r members o f the c o l l e g e i n both the f o r m a l and i n f o r m a l academic and s o c i a l domains of the c o l l e g e and the person's p e r c e p t i o n or e v a l u a t i o n o f the c h a r a c t e r of those i n t e r a c t i o n s t h a t i n l a r g e measure determine d e c i s i o n s as t o s t a y i n g o r l e a v i n g . . . . P a t t e r n s of incongruence and 146 i s o l a t i o n , more than t h a t of academic incompetence, appear t o be c e n t r a l t o the p r o c e s s o f i n d i v i d u a l d e p a r t u r e . ( T i n t o , 1987, p. 127) T i n t o views i s o l a t i o n as an element i n the p r o c e s s o f v o l u n t a r y w i t h d r a w a l from c o l l e g e . He sees i s o l a t i o n happening when "th e r e i s i n s u f f i c i e n t day-to-day p e r s o n a l i n t e r a c t i o n between the student and o t h e r people on campus" (p. 37) as w e l l as when t h e r e i s a p r i o r l a c k of congruency. In these cases, the s t u d e n t s are unable t o e s t a b l i s h the p e r s o n a l bonds t h a t promote community membership . . . . Frequent c o n t a c t w i t h f a c u l t y o u t s i d e the c l a s s r o o m appears t o be one o f the most important forms of i n t e r a c t i o n i m p a c t i n g upon student p e r s i s t e n c e . . . More i m p o r t a n t l y , i t has a l s o been shown t o be i n s t r u m e n t a l i n student i n t e l l e c t u a l and s o c i a l development . . . The more f r e q u e n t and rewa rding those c o n t a c t s , e s p e c i a l l y when th e y go beyond the requirements of academic work, the g r e a t e r the l i k e l i h o o d of p e r s i s t e n c e and h i g h l e v e l s o f i n d i v i d u a l growth. ( T i n t o , 1985, p. 37) I t i s important t o n o t i c e t h a t "departure hinges upon the i n d i v i d u a l ' s p e r c e p t i o n of h i s / h e r e x p e r i e n c e s w i t h i n an i n s t i t u t i o n of h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n " ( T i n t o , 1987, p. 127). The model t a k e s s e r i o u s l y the p r o p o s i t i o n t h a t what one t h i n k s has r e a l i t y and t h a t thought has r e a l consequences. T i n t o i n s i s t s t h a t "no study of the r o o t s of student d e p a r t u r e i s complete w i t h o u t r e f e r e n c e t o student p e r c e p t i o n s " (p. 127). T i n t o ' s model i s an i n t e r a c t i o n a l system model of i n d i v i d u a l l e a v i n g . I t r e c o g n i z e s t h a t "the i n d i v i d u a l and t h e i n s t i t u t i o n as r e p r e s e n t e d by o t h e r members of i t s communities are c o n t i n u a l l y i n i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h one another i n a v a r i e t y of f o r m a l and i n f o r m a l s i t u a t i o n s " (p. 127). 147 These i n t e r a c t i o n s shape and reshape the i n d i v i d u a l ' s p e r c e p t i o n s of membership and commitment. The i n s t i t u t i o n i s seen as made up of a range of communities, but not a l l s t u d e n t s w i l l p e r c e i v e themselves as b e l o n g i n g i n them--as b e i n g i n t e l l e c t u a l l y and s o c i a l l y i n t e g r a t e d . T i n t o argues t h a t both i n t e l l e c t u a l and s o c i a l i n t e g r a t i o n are e s s e n t i a l t o s t u d e n t p e r s i s t e n c e because they a re both " e s s e n t i a l t o the e d u c a t i o n o f maturing i n d i v i d u a l s " (p. 128). Thus, h i s model of i n s t i t u t i o n a l d e p a r t u r e i s a l s o a model of e d u c a t i o n a l communities. I t i s a view of the e d u c a t i o n a l p r o c e s s which emphasizes the r o l e o f s o c i a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l communities i n the shaping of student l i f e and the importance of involvement, t h a t i s i n t e g r a t i o n , i n those communities t o student development. ( T i n t o , 1987, p. 128) The e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s t he p r i m a r y i n t e r a c t i v e and i n t e g r a t i v e v e h i c l e by means of which s t u d e n t s at a d i s t a n c e engage i n t h e i r e d u c a t i o n a l community. The f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n c o n s i d e r s how T i n t o ' s t h e o r e t i c a l work on dropout connects w i t h the model of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . D. Implications f o r Distance E d u c a t i o n The f i r s t q u e s t i o n must be, i s i n t e l l e c t u a l and s o c i a l i n t e g r a t i o n w i t h i n an e d u c a t i o n a l community even p o s s i b l e f o r d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s t u d e n t s ? The i s s u e i s more p r e c i s e l y one of p e r c e p t i o n s — o f how l e a r n e r s a t a d i s t a n c e p e r c e i v e themselves t o be, or not t o be, members of an e d u c a t i o n a l 148 community. T h i s q u e s t i o n i s an important one f o r dropout r e s e a r c h i n f l u e n c e d by T i n t o ' s work, but i t seems not t o have been asked of dropouts from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . T i n t o ' s r e s e a r c h has, however, i n f l u e n c e d the development of some o f the t h i n k i n g about dropout i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Keegan (1986, pp. 126, 173) h y p o t h e s i z e s t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s t u d e n t s who e x p e r i e n c e a weak i n t e g r a t i o n i n t o the academic community have a tendency t o drop out. The s e p a r a t i o n o f the t e a c h i n g a c t s and the l e a r n i n g a c t s t h a t i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n b r i n g s about a weak i n t e g r a t i o n of the student i n t o the l i f e of the i n s t i t u t i o n and t h i s has been l i n k e d t o drop-out ( T i n t o , 1975) . I t i s h y p o t h e s i z e d t h e r e f o r e t h a t d i s t a n c e s t u d e n t s have a tendency t o drop-out i n those i n s t i t u t i o n s i n which s t r u c t u r e s f o r t h e r e -i n t e g r a t i o n of the t e a c h i n g acts- are not s a t i s f a c t o r i l y a c h i e v e d . (Keegan, 1986, p. 126) R e - i n t e g r a t i o n of the t e a c h i n g a c t s and the l e a r n i n g a c t s i n Keegan's view e n t a i l s e s t a b l i s h i n g a l i n k between the e d u c a t o r and the l e a r n e r . T h i s l i n k can be i d e n t i f i e d most e a s i l y w i t h the spokes of t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e , r e l e v a n c e , and c o u n s e l l i n g , and w i t h the a x l e of d i a l o g u e i n the model of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . Thus, Keegan 1s h y p o t h e s i s would mean t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n systems where the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t s p r i m a r i l y on the r i m o f i n d e p e n d e n c e — i e . , where the spokes of support are weak and t h e r e i s l i t t l e d i a l o g u e — w i l l be systems w i t h h i g h r a t e s o f dropout. There are data b e a r i n g on t h i s h y p o t h e s i s . A c o n s i d e r a b l e amount o f the dropout r e s e a r c h i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n r e l e v a n t t o the p r e s e n t study has i n v e s t i g a t e d 149 c o n n e c t i o n s between dropout and t u t o r i n g or c o u n s e l l i n g , a c t i v i t i e s w i t h i n the quadrants of i n s t r u c t i o n and l e a r n i n g which might p r o v i d e the k i n d of r e i n t e g r a t i o n of the t e a c h i n g and l e a r n i n g a c t s Keegan seeks. The f i n d i n g s of T i n t o and h i s f o l l o w e r s ( P a s c a r e l l a , 1980) about the importance of i n f o r m a l e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r c o n t a c t o u t s i d e the c l a s s r o o m may seem e s p e c i a l l y d i s q u i e t i n g from the p e r s p e c t i v e of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s t u d e n t s . S o c i a l or i n f o r m a l c o n t a c t s between edu c a t o r s and l e a r n e r s t e n d t o be r a r e i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n ; t u t o r - s t u d e n t i n t e r a c t i o n s are most l i k e l y t o be around assessment of student performance or the requirements of academic work. T h i s does not need t o be the case; r e l e v a n c e can be heightened when a more i n f o r m a l knowledge of each o t h e r i s exchanged between ed u c a t o r and l e a r n e r , c o u n s e l l i n g can be p e r s o n a l as w e l l as e d u c a t i o n a l , and i n c r e a s e d s o c i a l e q u i t y can be a response t o a c t u a l needs which p r o b a b l y must be v o i c e d i n o r d e r t o be r e c o g n i z e d . There can be a s i g n i f i c a n t l e v e l of i n f o r m a l i n t e l l e c t u a l and s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n , which does not d e a l d i r e c t l y w i t h course work and so might be c l a s s i f i e d as " o u t s i d e the c l a s s r o o m , " i n the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . T i n t o ' s r e s e a r c h has been m a i n l y done on undergraduates at r e s i d e n t i a l c o l l e g e s . He does, however, h o l d o p i n i o n s about r e t e n t i o n i n n o n r e s i d e n t i a l c o l l e g e s . He p o i n t s t o the p o s s i b i l i t y of u s i n g communications " t o s i m u l a t e the s o c i a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l communities which might o t h e r w i s e e x i s t were i t p o s s i b l e f o r persons t o be on campus" (p. 166) but h i s 150 view i s t h a t t h e r e i s "no s u b s t i t u t e f o r p e r i o d i c p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t s between s t u d e n t s and f a c u l t y " (p. 168). The o t h e r approach f o r n o n r e s i d e n t i a l c o l l e g e s t h a t he suggests i s " b r i d g i n g the gap between c o l l e g e and e x t e r n a l communities" (pp. 167-8). He sees t h i s accomplished by a v a r i e t y of means i n c l u d i n g o u t r e a c h programs, c l a s s e s o f f campus, f l e x i b l e s c h e d u l i n g ( n i g h t and weekend c l a s s e s ) , and correspondence c o u r s e s . T i n t o a t t a c h e s two caveats t o these v a r i e d forms of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . To the degree t h a t i n s t i t u t i o n s seek t o r e a c h out t o communities and r e t a i n s t u d e n t s by e n a b l i n g them t o a v o i d on-campus attendance, t h e y a l s o endanger t h e i r a b i l i t y t o produce some of the i n t e l l e c t u a l and s o c i a l g a i n s t h a t are t h e g o a l s of h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n So a l s o i s i t the case t h a t i n s t i t u t i o n s s h o u l d a v o i d t h e t e m p t a t i o n of making t h e i r programs so r e l e v a n t t o community needs t h a t they l o s e the a b i l i t y and c a p a c i t y t o c a l l i n t o q u e s t i o n t h e manner i n which we o r g a n i z e our d a i l y l i v e s . ( T i n t o , 1987, p. 168) T i n t o ' s b e l i e f s here c o u l d l e a d t o the a t t i t u d e s t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s a l e s s e r form of e d u c a t i o n , and t h a t p r o v i d i n g access t o o openly t o e d u c a t i o n which does not r e q u i r e s t u d e n t s t o be on campus may l i m i t the e x t e n t t o which t h a t e d u c a t i o n can o f f e r s t u d e n t s "the t o o l s t o a l t e r t h e i r own e x i s t e n c e " (p. 168). However, i f h i s c a v e a t s can be s e t a s i d e , h i s n o t i o n of b r i d g i n g the gap between c o l l e g e and e x t e r n a l communities as a r e t e n t i o n p o l i c y l e a d s t o an i n s i g h t about those p a r t s of the model of t h e e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n which w i l l , l a t e r 151 i n t h i s c h a p t e r , be found most empty o f f i n d i n g s from dropout r e s e a r c h t h a t were l o c a t e d i n the p r e s e n t study. S o c i a l e q u i t y , a c c e s s , c e r t i f i c a t i o n and openness are areas o f the model i n which the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p b r i d g e s t h e gap between the e d u c a t i o n a l community and e x t e r n a l communities. Research on dropout from d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n needs t o d e a l w i t h the f a c t t h a t these e d u c a t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s are c a r r i e d out not i n a se p a r a t e community—an i v o r y t o w e r — b u t i n the home communities of the l e a r n e r s (and, o f t e n , of the educ a t o r s as w e l l ) . The l a c k of a campus and the involvement o f p a r t - t i m e l e a r n e r s and p a r t - t i m e t u t o r s w i t h each o t h e r , which o f t e n c h a r a c t e r i z e d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , make the i n t e r a c t i o n s between the e d u c a t i o n a l community and the e x t e r n a l communities i t se r v e s even more impo r t a n t than i n t r a d i t i o n a l c o l l e g e s . I n t e r a c t i o n s about access t o e d u c a t i o n between the i n s t i t u t i o n and e x t e r n a l communities can be seen as o c c u r r i n g i n t he model through the spoke o f support l a b e l l e d s o c i a l e q u i t y . I t would seem l o g i c a l t o t h i n k t h a t a l e a r n e r ' s p e r c e p t i o n o f membership i n the e d u c a t i o n a l community may be a f f e c t e d by h i s or her p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e o f s o c i a l e q u i t y i n t he e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . I t would a l s o seem l o g i c a l t o t h i n k h i s or her community's p e r c e p t i o n of i t s e x p e r i e n c e of s o c i a l e q u i t y i n r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n would have an impact on the l e a r n e r , as would the community's judgment about the l e a r n e r ' s e x p e r i e n c e . S i n c e i t i s the p e r c e p t i o n o f i n t e l l e c t u a l and 152 s o c i a l i n t e g r a t i o n which T i n t o ' s model i d e n t i f i e s as c r u c i a l , the spoke of s o c i a l e q u i t y can be seen as h a v i n g an impact on dropout. A l s o , the e x t e r n a l community's v a l u i n g o f c e r t i f i c a t i o n a v a i l a b l e from an i n s t i t u t i o n w i l l have an e f f e c t on l e a r n e r s ' commitments t o e a r n i n g those c r e d i t s , degrees and c e r t i f i c a t e s . L i k e w i s e , openness r e q u i r e s a c o n t e x t of d i a l o g u e , a l l o w i n g e d u c a t o r s and l e a r n e r s t o n e g o t i a t e the c o s t s and b e n e f i t s of d i f f e r e n t k i n d s of openness and a r r i v e at a p p r o p r i a t e e d u c a t i o n a l responses t o community needs. Perhaps i t would be re a s o n a b l e t o complement Keegan 1s h y p o t h e s i s , about the l i k e l i h o o d of dropout i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n where the t e a c h i n g a c t s have not been r e - i n t e g r a t e d w i t h the l e a r n i n g a c t s , w i t h a p a r a l l e l h y p o t h e s i s about the need t o r e - i n t e g r a t e the e d u c a t i o n a l community i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n w i t h the e x t e r n a l communities o f the l e a r n e r s . That i s , on a p e r s o n a l l e v e l , i f i n t e l l e c t u a l and s o c i a l i n t e g r a t i o n are e s s e n t i a l f o r r e t e n t i o n of s t u d e n t s , then d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n might seek t o make i t p o s s i b l e f o r i t s l e a r n e r s t o r e - i n t e g r a t e i n t e l l e c t u a l l y and s o c i a l l y as learners w i t h t h e i r e x t e r n a l communities. An example of t h i s f u n c t i o n i n g s u c c e s s f u l l y i s the d e n t a l a s s i s t a n t ' s program at OLA. Students must be employed i n a d e n t i s t ' s o f f i c e ; the i n s t i t u t i o n n e g o t i a t e s w i t h the d e n t i s t t o ensure t h a t the student w i l l have a chance t o p r a c t i c e c e r t a i n procedures under s u p e r v i s i o n ; the student t a k e s correspondence courses and a t t e n d s some demonstration s e s s i o n s but a l s o c a r r i e s out 153 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s on the job w i t h the immediate support of the employer. Some courses i n t h i s program have 100% co m p l e t i o n r a t e s . The l a s t f o u r s e c t i o n s have d e s c r i b e d the c o n n e c t i o n between T i n t o ' s dropout t h e o r y i n h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n and the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . The next s e c t i o n reviews the model developed i n Chapter IV and r e i t e r a t e s t h o s e elements i n the model which c o u l d be expected t o be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h dropout. E. Summary: A T h e o r e t i c a l FrameworK A s s o c i a t e d , w_i£h. D r o p o u t and t h e Model g_f tJifi Edncato f f - f rearner R e l a t i o n s h i p i n D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n T h i s s e c t i o n summarizes s u g g e s t i o n s from t h e o r e t i c a l work, d i s c u s s e d i n the pr e s e n t study, t h a t i n d i c a t e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , as they are d e p i c t e d by the proposed model, may be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h dropout. T h i s summary i s t o prepare f o r the second h a l f of the ch a p t e r which moves around the model and l o o k s at r e s e a r c h f i n d i n g s . B e g i n n i n g w i t h t he a x l e o f d i a l o g u e : T i n t o ' s (1987) t h e o r y w i t h i t s emphasis on i n t e l l e c t u a l and s o c i a l i n t e g r a t i o n o f the l e a r n e r w i t h the i n s t i t u t i o n , and Keegan's (1986) h y p o t h e s i s about the r e - i n t e g r a t i o n o f the t e a c h i n g and l e a r n i n g a c t s , suggest t h a t low q u a n t i t y and q u a l i t y of d i a l o g u e i n the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i l l be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h dropout. Holmberg's (1977, 1989) t h e o r y of 154 d i d a c t i c c o n v e r s a t i o n and h i s t e a c h i n g t h e o r y or empathy approach (1989) a l s o suggest t h a t empathetic d i a l o g u e i s c e n t r a l t o s u c c e s s f u l d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Moore's (1983a) t h e o r y of t e l e m a t h i c t e a c h i n g l i k e w i s e focuses on d i a l o g u e . S i m i l a r l y , these p e r s p e c t i v e s suggest t h a t low l e v e l s i n t h r e e o f t h e spokes o f s u p p o r t - - t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e , r e l e v a n c e , and c o u n s e l l i n g - - c o u l d be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h dropout. W i l l e n ' s (1981) r e s e a r c h supports t h i s p o s i t i o n . When i t comes t o the f o u r t h spoke of s o c i a l e q u i t y , H a r r i s (1987), P e r r a t o n (1987), Wedemeyer (1981) and Lewis (1986), among o t h e r s , i d e n t i f y p o s i t i v e v a l u e s here as i m p o r t a n t f o r r e c r u i t m e n t ( a t t r a c t i n g s t u d e n t s not s e r v e d by t r a d i t i o n a l modes of education) and a l s o f o r p e r s i s t e n c e (meeting t h e needs of these l e a r n e r s ) . As w e l l , s o c i a l e q u i t y has been connected w i t h T i n t o ' s (1987) p o i n t about b r i d g i n g the gap between the e d u c a t i o n a l community and the e x t e r n a l community. Thus, weakness or n e g a t i v e v a l u e s on the f o u r spokes of support r a d i a t i n g from the a x l e o f d i a l o g u e i n the proposed model might be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h dropout. Surveys of s t u d e n t s ' m o t i v a t i o n s f o r dropout as w e l l as t h e o r e t i c a l work by Holmberg (1985) and P e r r a t o n (1983), among o t h e r s , suggest t h a t v a r i o u s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f media p r e s e n t a t i o n , c o n t e n t , l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s and c o u r s e s t r u c t u r e can be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h dropout or p e r s i s t e n c e . E v a l u a t i o n becomes an i s s u e when i t i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t u r n -around t i m e — h o w q u i c k l y s t u d e n t s get feedback on assignments (Rekkedal, 1973). I t i s a l s o s t r i k i n g t h a t by f a r the l a r g e s t 155 p o r t i o n o f dropouts occur p r i o r t o any e v a l u a t i o n , and so some dropouts might be m o t i v a t e d by f e a r of e v a l u a t i o n . In summary, then, t h e o r e t i c a l a n a l y s i s would suggest t h a t t h e core areas of the m o d e l — t h e a x l e of d i a l o g u e and the spokes o f s u p p o r t — m a y i n f l u e n c e dropout. As w e l l , the e n t i r e quadrants o f i n s t r u c t i o n and l e a r n i n g are i d e n t i f i e d as p o s s i b l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h dropout. The second h a l f of t h i s c h a p t e r w i l l p r e s e n t and d i s c u s s d a t a from the r e s e a r c h l i t e r a t u r e on dropout i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . F i n d i n g s t h a t can be connected w i t h areas i n the proposed model of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i l l be shown i n t a b l e s . To i n t r o d u c e t h i s p r o c e s s , the f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n d e s c r i b e s some l i m i t a t i o n s of t h a t d a t a . 4. L i m i t a t i o n s of the Data on Dropout from Distance E d u c a t i o n A l t h o u g h c o n s i d e r a b l e a t t e n t i o n has been p a i d t o dropout i n t he r e s e a r c h l i t e r a t u r e of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n - - G a r r i s o n (1987) and Rekkedal (1985) say t h a t no area of r e s e a r c h i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n has r e c e i v e d more a t t e n t i o n — t h e r e are p r a c t i c a l , m e t h o d o l o g i c a l and c o n c e p t u a l problems i n h e r e n t i n t h i s r e s e a r c h . These l i m i t the q u a n t i t y of data t h a t are u s e f u l t o the pr e s e n t study, and cause t h a t data t o be uneven i n q u a l i t y . 156 The f i r s t s e c t i o n of t h i s c h a p t e r e x p l a i n e d t h a t dropout r e s e a r c h i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s c o n s t r a i n e d by the l a c k of c o n s i s t e n t d e f i n i t i o n s . As G a r r i s o n put i t , "extreme c a u t i o n must be e x e r c i s e d w i t h dropout f i g u r e s due t o the v a r i a b i l i t y o f d e f i n i n g t h e s e phenomena" (1987, p. 97). D i f f e r e n c e s i n c u l t u r e s and i n s t i t u t i o n s are so g r e a t t h a t v a r i a t i o n i n c o n t e x t would make comparison d i f f i c u l t even i f the d e f i n i t i o n s were s t a n d a r d i z e d . The c o n c l u s i o n o f a c r o s s -c u l t u r a l , m u l t i - i n s t i t u t i o n a l study of t u r n - a r o u n d times sponsored by t h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l C o u n c i l f o r D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n warns: one s h o u l d be ex t r e m e l y c a u t i o u s about g e n e r a l i z i n g the r e s u l t s o f r e s e a r c h s t u d i e s a c r o s s i n s t i t u t i o n a l c o n t e x t s . There was enough v a r i a t i o n i n outcomes t o suggest t h a t the s p e c i f i c i n s t i t u t i o n a l c o n t e x t i n which a study was undertaken has a major i n f l u e n c e on r e l a t i o n s h i p s between the v a r i a b l e s under i n v e s t i g a t i o n . ( T a y l o r et al, 1986) G a r r i s o n (1987), w r i t i n g about r e s e a r c h i n g dropout i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , p r o v i d e s a l i t a n y of c r i t i c i s m s t h a t s e r v e as f u r t h e r warnings. I t i s f a i r t o say t h a t dropout r e s e a r c h has been p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h correspondence as the method o f d i s t a n c e d e l i v e r y , few r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t s have developed s y s t e m a t i c and on-going s t r a t e g i e s , t o o much e f f o r t has been put i n t o comparative s t u d i e s w i t h l i t t l e r e c o g n i t i o n o f the i n h e r e n t c o m p l e x i t i e s , t h e o r e t i c a l frameworks have g e n e r a l l y been n o n e x i s t e n t or borrowed i n d i s c r i m i n a t e l y from o t h e r d i s c i p l i n e s , and no c o n c e p t u a l o r d e r has been proposed t h a t can guide r e s e a r c h . ( G a r r i s o n , 1987, p. 97) He a l s o says t h a t "too much r e s e a r c h i n t o d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n dropout has been demographic o r d e s c r i p t i v e s u r v e y s " (1987, 157 p. 95) or " d i s j o i n t and u n i v a r i a t e s t u d i e s " (p. 98) which do not f u r t h e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the complex human b e h a v i o u r s i n v o l v e d . The impact on the p r e s e n t study of weak t h e o r e t i c a l frameworks may seem l e s s than c r i t i c a l , but a t h e o r e t i c a l work has r e s u l t e d i n s h a l l o w and unfocused data on dropout i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Only a f r a c t i o n of the s t u d i e s r e v e a l a s s o c i a t i o n s between the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n and dropout. In p a r t i c u l a r , l i t t l e r e l e v a n t d a t a i s e m p i r i c a l . Of t h a t , l e s s i s s p e c i f i c enough t o d i s t i n g u i s h , f o r example, the impact of t u t o r - s t u d e n t i n t e r a c t i o n s around t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e ( m o d i f i c a t i o n s t o course s t r u c t u r e ) from i n t e r a c t i o n which i n c r e a s e d the r e l e v a n c e o f course content or h e l p e d a student a c q u i r e study s k i l l s . A p r a c t i c a l problem a r i s e s from the f a c t t h a t much o f the dropout l i t e r a t u r e i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s r a t h e r p e r i p h e r a l . Research r e p o r t s may be ephemeral: Xeroxed c o n f e r e n c e papers, i n t e r n a l statements f o r i n s t i t u t i o n s or m i n i s t r i e s , p u b l i c a t i o n s i n minor j o u r n a l s , documents from s m a l l p r e s s e s w i t h minimal p r i n t - r u n s , and so o n — t h e r e has not been a l a r g e r e a d e r s h i p f o r t h i s work. While the p e r i p h e r a l c h a r a c t e r of the data need not a f f e c t i t s q u a l i t y d i r e c t l y , t he l a c k of an e a s i l y r e c o g n i z a b l e l i t e r a t u r e t o re v i e w when d o i n g r e s e a r c h has tended t o i s o l a t e s t u d i e s . I t may a l s o have c o n t r i b u t e d t o the f a c t t h a t the r e s e a r c h r e p o r t s themselves are too o f t e n l e s s than thorough. I t 158 c e r t a i n l y reduced the amount of data a c c e s s i b l e t o the pr e s e n t study. In some cases, f i n d i n g s were c i t e d i n a secondary source, the prim a r y source was e l u s i v e , l i t t l e c o u l d be determined about the o r i g i n a l r e s e a r c h , and so l i m i t e d — i f a n y — u s e c o u l d be made of those f i n d i n g s . The r e s e a r c h i t s e l f , as w e l l as i t s p u b l i c a t i o n , has sometimes s u f f e r e d from l i m i t e d r e s o u r c e s . The r a p i d growth of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n c r e a t e s c i r c u m s t a n c e s i n which course p r o d u c t i o n i s e s s e n t i a l and r e s e a r c h may be seen as a secondary concern. C e r t a i n i n s t i t u t i o n s , such as the F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t and the OUUK, have always had departments or c e n t r e s o r d i v i s i o n s devoted t o r e s e a r c h and e v a l u a t i o n . Many o t h e r s have good i n t e n t i o n s about b u i l d i n g up a t r a d i t i o n of i n s t i t u t i o n a l r e s e a r c h , but they may have l a c k e d r e s o u r c e s — t i m e , money, k n o w l e d g e — t o conduct these i n v e s t i g a t i o n s . One r e s u l t o f l i m i t e d r e s o u r c e s f o r r e s e a r c h has been the use of e x t a n t d a t a — r e g i s t r a r ' s s t a t i s t i c s — a n d m a i l - b a c k , ex post f a c t o s u r v e y s . Return r a t e s on dropout q u e s t i o n n a i r e s t e n d t o be v e r y low (even at the OUUK: 33%, f o r example) which l e a v e s scope f o r response b i a s . More i n - d e p t h and p e r s i s t e n t r e s e a r c h i n t o t he complex t h i n k i n g and f e e l i n g i n v o l v e d i n the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p would consume more r e s o u r c e s than most i n s t i t u t i o n s have had t o spend. The above s e c t i o n of t h i s c h a p t e r has d e s c r i b e d some problems w i t h the data a v a i l a b l e t o answer the second r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n : "What c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the e d u c a t o r -l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n a re a s s o c i a t e d 159 w i t h d r o p o u t ? " Concern w i t h the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p per se i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n dropout r e s e a r c h tends t o appear as an i n t e r e s t i n the number of s t u d e n t - t u t o r c o n t a c t s . These are d i f f e r e n t i a t e d , i f at a l l , not by content or purpose but by who i n i t i a t e d them and whether they were made f a c e - t o -f a c e , by t e l e p h o n e , o r by correspondence. A r e l a t e d aspect of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p which has been a concern i n dropout r e s e a r c h i s the impact of d i f f e r e n t media on c o m p l e t i o n r a t e s . Thus, even when t h e r e i s data a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a quadrant of the model, the f i n d i n g s are not always e a s i l y connected w i t h s p e c i f i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . 5. R e s e a r c h on Dropout from D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n A s s o c i a t e d w i t h the Model o f t h e E d u c a t o r - L e a r n e r R e l a t i o n s h i p i n D i s t a n c e E d u c a t i o n Research f i n d i n g s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the model are p r e s e n t e d and d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s p a r t of the c h a p t e r . Where t h e r e are f i n d i n g s , t a b l e s d i s p l a y data connected w i t h a quadrant or dimension of the model. The f i n d i n g s are of t h r e e t y p e s : [1] s t a t i s t i c a l f i n d i n g s from s p e c i f i c s t u d i e s , [2] n o n - s t a t i s t i c a l c o n c l u s i o n s from e m p i r i c a l s t u d i e s , [3] i n s i g h t f u l o b s e r v a t i o n s of a g e n e r a l n a t u r e . The p a t t e r n s which emerge are c o n s i d e r e d w i t h r e g a r d t o the t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s of the r e s u l t s , t h e i r i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r the 160 e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p , and t h e i r c o n n e c t i o n s w i t h the t h e o r e t i c a l framework. Much o f the remainder of t h i s c h a p t e r i s devoted t o t a b l e s . A commentary i s woven between them. &_ Propoyt Findings Associated with S instruction Some a s p e c t s of the quadrant of i n s t r u c t i o n have been the s u b j e c t o f dropout r e s e a r c h i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Woodley and P a r l e t t ' s (1983) i n s i g h t f u l o b s e r v a t i o n s below are based on t h e i r survey of dropout r e s e a r c h done at the OUUK—ie., they are b a s i c a l l y type 2 f i n d i n g s though they verge on type 3. T h e i r o b s e r v a t i o n s sum up much of the r e s e a r c h on the impact o f i n s t r u c t i o n on dropout i n d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . A c o u r s e ' s dropout r a t e i s l i k e l y t o be a f f e c t e d by f a c t o r s such as the i n t r i n s i c d i f f i c u l t y o f the s u b j e c t matter, how w e l l the course has been d e s i g n e d and the amount and q u a l i t y o f support p r o v i d e d by r e g i o n a l s t a f f . (Woodley and P a r l e t t , 1983) Table 3. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h I n s t r u c t i o n i n Ge n e r a l TTypel F i n d i n g Author [1] In a l o n g i t u d i n a l study Rekkedal (1976, 1978/ of d r opouts, most gave "method i n E n g l i s h 1985) independent" reasons as most i m p o r t a n t , but between 38% and 9% of the s t u d e n t s i n d i c a t e d t h a t d i f f i c u l t i e s i n o r g a n i z i n g t h e s t u d i e s , " "correspondence study method not s u i t a b l e , " "course m a t e r i a l not s a t i s f a c t o r y , " "turn-around time too l o n g , " " d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h t u t o r s ' c o r r e c t i o n s and comments," had been v e r y important or of some importance. 161 [2] A course's dropout r a t e i s Woodley & P a r l e t t (1983) l i k e l y t o be a f f e c t e d by f a c t o r s such as t h e i n t r i n s i c d i f f i c u l t y o f t h e s u b j e c t matter, how w e l l the course has been designed and the amount and q u a l i t y of support p r o v i d e d by r e g i o n a l s t a f f . [2] P e r s i s t e n c e i s enhanced by: good Chacon-Duque (1985) q u a l i t y o f i n s t r u c t i o n a l p r e s e n t a t i o n i n t e x t b o o k s and study g u i d e s ; v a r i e t y o f media i n the course; and planned, s t u d e n t - c e n t r e d support ( i e . , p r o a c t i v e and l e s s judgmental h e l p l e a d i n g t o q u i c k e r course c o m p l e t i o n ) . [2] In a i n t e r n a t i o n a l study on G r a f f & Holmberg (1988) d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , i t was found t h a t the e d u c a t i o n a l components most c r u c i a l t o success are a r e l a t i v e l y h i g h amount of f o s t e r i n g o f l e a r n e r independence p l u s forms of c o n t r o l t h a t are as h i g h l y i n d i v i d u a l i z e d as p o s s i b l e . Or, i n o t h e r words, l e a r n e r -c e n t r e d , f l e x i b l y - s t r u c t u r e d i n s t r u c t i o n i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s u c c e s s . The f i r s t of these f i n d i n g s c o r r o b o r a t e s Baath's (1984) assumption t h a t t e a c h i n g f a c t o r s c o n t r i b u t e t o dropout. Woodley and P a r l e t t (1983) d e s c r i b e the m u l t i - c a u s a l i t y of dropout i n terms of "push and p u l l " f a c t o r s , some o f which are under the i n f l u e n c e of the t e a c h i n g i n s t i t u t i o n . The OUUK d e f i n i t i o n o f dropout used by Woodley & P a r l e t t has a l r e a d y been d i s c u s s e d . The s t u d i e s from the OUUK and NKI - s k o l e n are g e n e r a l l y c a r e f u l , i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y - b a s e d , work. I t i s worth n o t i n g t h a t almost a l l of Rekkedal's s u b j e c t s have been male (95% of the e x p e r i m e n t a l group i n the 1985 s t u d y ) . N K I - s k o l e n o f f e r s t e c h n i c a l and v o c a t i o n a l c o u r s e s and does not a t t r a c t many female s t u d e n t s . Apart from the r e s e a r c h from N K I - s k o l e n , most d a t a on dropout from 162 d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n comes from u n i v e r s i t i e s . I t i s not c l e a r what d i f f e r e n c e s , i f any, e x i s t i n the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p f o r t e c h n i c a l courses and f o r academic c o u r s e s . Chacon-Duque 1s f i n d i n g s seem l o g i c a l . H i s response r a t e of 60% meant t h a t some v a l u e s were e s t i m a t e d f o r a key v a r i a b l e i n h i s path m o d e l — f a c u l t y support. H i s s u b j e c t s are not c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n s t u d e n t s s i n c e most of them were 18 t o 23 years o l d , s i n g l e , unemployed, American undergraduates who study f u l l - t i m e and have not i n t e r r u p t e d t h e i r s t u d i e s f o r l o n g p e r i o d s , and t a k e d i s t a n c e courses o n l y as a complement t o campus i n s t r u c t i o n . G r a f f and Holmberg's a m b i t i o u s study had an o v e r a l l response r a t e o f 21% (14.3% i n i t i a l l y ) , which makes i t d o u b t f u l i f t h e i r r e s u l t s are t r u l y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f a l l d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n world-wide. They c o n s t r u c t e d t h e composite f a c t o r s o f " l e a r n e r independence" and " i n d i v i d u a l i z e d c o n t r o l " from v a r i a b l e s on t h e i r survey. The f o l l o w i n g t a b l e d i s p l a y s f i n d i n g s connected w i t h the spoke of support i n the e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p a s s o c i a t e d w i t h r e l e v a n c e . Table 9 on t u t o r i n g a l s o p r e s e n t s another s e t of da t a , some of which can be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h r e l e v a n c e , as w e l l as w i t h c o u n s e l l i n g and t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e . 163 Table 4. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h Relevance f T y p e l Finding [1] The 4 t h most fr e q u e n t reason g i v e n f o r dropout was "the s t u d i e s not p a r t i c u l a r l y u s e f u l , " and the 7th was "study d i f f i c u l t i e s . " [1] In t h e EHSC p r o j e c t , dropouts s a i d t h e y had d i f f i c u l t y s t a r t i n g t h e i r s t u d i e s (24%), t h a t the d u l l n e s s (24%) or d i f f i c u l t y (29%) of the course m a t e r i a l had d e l a y e d them, t h a t t r o u b l e s w i t h the assignments had i n t e r f e r e d w i t h t h e i r s tudy r a t e (25%). [1] In two courses w i t h e x t r e m e l y low c o m p l e t i o n r a t e s , 42% & 43% of the dropouts s a i d the course m a t e r i a l had been d i f f i c u l t t o understand, 4 6 % — d u l l , & 45% s a i d the assignments had been d i f f i c u l t t o understand. [2] V a r i a b l e s t h a t i n c r e a s e d i f f i c u l t y a r e : t h e work l o a d o r amount of assignments; t h e academic l o a d o f the i n s t r u c t o r (reduces time a v a i l a b l e f o r s t u d e n t s ) ; and the i n s t r u c t o r ' s f o c u s on r e a c t i v e , assessment-centred support ( i e . , marks m i s t a k e s and answers s t u d e n t s ' q u e s t i o n s ) . Author Holmberg (1971/ i n E n g l i s h i n Rekkedal 1985) Baath (1980, 1984) F l i n k (1978) Baath (1984; Chacon-Duque (1985) [2] At t h e F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t , the top t h r e e f a c t o r s judged t o be impo r t a n t f o r the f u n c t i o n i n g of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n by both dropouts and s t i l l e n r o l l e d s t u d e n t s had t o do w i t h support f o r study: study c i r c l e s , study g u i d e s , study t e c h n i q u e . [1] OUUK math courses w i t h summer s c h o o l had an average wastage r a t e o f 33% as compared w i t h 47% f o r maths courses w i t h o u t summer s c h o o l s . W i l l e n & B a r t e l s (1985; Woodley & P a r l e t t (1983) 164 [2] There i s a l a r g e v a r i a t i o n i n W i l l e n (1981) s t u d e n t s ' a b i l i t y t o cope w i t h the Marton & W i l l e n (1972/ course m a t e r i a l . T h e r e f o r e , d i f f e r e n t i n E n g l i s h W i l l e n 1981) st u d e n t s need d i f f e r e n t s t r u c t u r e s and d i f f e r e n t s u p p o r t i v e measures. [2] The l o n g e r a student p a r t i c i p a t e s i n a co u r s e , the g r e a t e r the " s i d e - b e t " w i l l be. S i d e - b e t s a r e i d e n t i f i e d i n terms o f time, e f f o r t , money, l o s s o f s o c i a l and f a m i l y i n t e r a c t i o n , and s e l f -esteem. These are i n v e s t e d i n c o m p l e t i o n . A t t r i t i o n due t o p e r s o n a l reasons can be reduced by i n t e r a c t i o n s which a s s i s t the r e s o c i a l i s a t i o n o f a d u l t s t o b e i n g s t u d e n t s . [2] In s o c i a l i z i n g the l e a r n e r t o the e d u c a t i o n a l p r o c e s s , p e r s o n a l i z i n g of t e a c h i n g m a t e r i a l s , t e l e c o n f e r e n c i n g , l e t t e r s and messages, more than f a c e -t o - f a c e c o n t a c t g i v e r i s e t o change i n a t t i t u d e . [2] S u p p o r t i v e measures must be set up q u i c k l y . S t u d e n t s ' problems a r i s e at d i f f e r e n t p o i n t s i n tim e . [2] The need i s f o r b e t t e r c o n t a c t between W i l l e n (1981) the student and the t e a c h e r when i t comes t o i n t e r p r e t i n g , a n a l y z i n g , and d i s c u s s i n g the content of the course. [2] OUUK course w i t h summer s c h o o l s Woodley & P a r l e t t (1983) had lower wastage r a t e s than those w i t h o u t a c r o s s a l l f a c u l t i e s . A g a i n , most of these f i n d i n g s come from s t u d i e s t h a t were c a r e f u l l y done. The response r a t e on dropout surveys (Baath; Chacon-Duque; W i l l e n & B a r t e l s ; Holmberg) tends t o be low, so thes e data may be somewhat q u e s t i o n a b l e . R e s u l t s from W i l l e n ' s Swedish study are s t r o n g e r , but i t must be remembered t h a t W i l l e n ' s s u b j e c t s were p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n a d e c e n t r a l i z e d form of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from t h a t o f the OUUK or the FU. Herrmann (1988) Herrmann (1988) W i l l e n (1981) 165 Herrmann's s u b j e c t s were 25 men, upgrading from b e i n g t e c h n i c i a n s , i n the 2nd, 3rd and 4th years o f an A s s o c i a t e Diploma i n E n g i n e e r i n g at an unnamed A u s t r a l i a n i n s t i t u t i o n . They were p r o b a b l y p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n a d e c e n t r a l i z e d form of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n . Herrmann's approach t o t h e study was i n f l u e n c e d by G l a s e r & S t r a u s s (1967) and i n v o l v e d i n - d e p t h i n t e r v i e w s w i t h f a i r l y open q u e s t i o n s . I t would be i n t e r e s t i n g t o r e p l i c a t e t h i s work w i t h female s u b j e c t s — perhaps f o r a group such as n u r s e s — a n d a l s o f o r s t u d e n t s whose academic courses are l e s s immediately r e l e v a n t t o p r o f e s s i o n a l u p g r a d i n g . O v e r a l l , the f i n d i n g s suggest t h a t e a r l y and c o n t i n u i n g c o n t a c t between edu c a t o r s and l e a r n e r s i s h e l p f u l f o r r e s o c i a l i z i n g s t u d e n t s , i n c r e a s i n g or e s t a b l i s h i n g content r e l e v a n c e , and h e l p i n g the l e a r n e r w i t h the study. T r a d i t i o n a l l y d i f f i c u l t courses such as mathematics may have a lower r i s k of dropout i f f a c e - t o - f a c e i n s t r u c t i o n supplements d i s t a n c e t e a c h i n g . The next t a b l e l o o k s at the impact of content on dropout. Table 5. Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h Content [Typel F i n d i n g Author [1] The o v e r a l l wastage r a t e at the Woodley & P a r l e t t (1983) OUUK was h i g h e s t f o r 3rd and 4th l e v e l c o u r s e s (37%) . However, i f st u d e n t s who do not complete t h e i r f i n a l r e g i s t r a t i o n are counted, more new s t u d e n t s drop out (44% i n 1981). 166 [1] Wastage r a t e s i n 1981 f o r OUUK Woodley & P a r l e t t (1983) maths and te c h n o l o g y courses were above average, and f o r a r t s and s o c i a l s c i e n c e s below average. The h i g h e s t dropout r a t e was 71% from upper l e v e l math; the lowest r a t e s were 17% from second l e v e l e d u c a t i o n , upper l e v e l a r t s , and upper l e v e l t e c h n o l o g y c o u r s e s . [2] Low d i f f i c u l t y of a course i n f l u e n c e s e a r l y a t t r i t i o n and h i g h d i f f i c u l t y causes l a t e a t t r i t i o n and lower pass r a t e ; moderate d i f f i c u l t y enhances b o t h c o m p l e t i o n and pass r a t e . Chacon-Duque (1985) The OUUK e x p e r i e n c e o f h i g h wastage r a t e s f o r 3 r d and 4th l e v e l courses seems t o c o n t r a d i c t a more common f i n d i n g t h a t fewer s t u d e n t s drop out i n upper l e v e l c o u r s e s . The ba l a n c e may be between the s t u d e n t ' s i n c r e a s e d s k i l l at h a n d l i n g d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n , and s o c i a l i z a t i o n t o t h a t study, c o u n t e r e d by t h e i n c r e a s i n g d i f f i c u l t y of the course c o n t e n t . Another f a c t o r may be t h a t o t h e r o p t i o n s f o r the p u r s u i t of a degree become a v a i l a b l e t o upper l e v e l s t u d e n t s — t h e y may t r a n s f e r t o t r a d i t i o n a l u n i v e r s i t i e s . The f i n d i n g about course d i f f i c u l t y and dropout by Chacon-Duque i s a g e n e r a l i z a t i o n from r e s u l t s produced by h i s p a t h model. L i m i t a t i o n s t o h i s study were d e s c r i b e d above. The next t a b l e d i s p l a y s dropout f i n d i n g s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h mediated p r e s e n t a t i o n . 167 Table 6 . Dropout A s s o c i a t e d w i t h Mediated P r e s e n t a t i o n [ T y p e l Finding Author [1] I n c r e a s e d v a r i e t y of m a t e r i a l s i n Chacon-Duque (1985) a d d i t i o n t o the textbook ( i e . workbook, t v programs) reduces the average c o m p l e t i o n time f o r a course and reduces course d i f f i c u l t y . [3] Higher q u a l i t y courses aimed at Woodley & P a r l e t t (1983) engaging the student t o a g r e a t e r e x t e n t s h o u l d reduce dropout. [2] P r e s e n t a t i o n q u a l i t y i s n e g a t i v e l y Chacon-Duque (1985) a f f e c t e d by the number of Woodley & P a r l e t t (1983) semesters a course has been o f f e r e d ( i e . age of m a t e r i a l ) . [3] A s h i f t i n the balance of Woodley & P a r l e t t (1983) c e n t r a l academic s t a f f a t t e n t i o n from course p r o d u c t i o n t o course p r e s e n t a t i o n s h o u l d h e l p t o reduce dropout. [3] A b a r r i e r i s the d i f f e r e n t i a l van Enckevort (1986) a b i l i t y o f people t o l e a r n from media. Many "second chance" s t u d e n t s a s s o c i a t e t v and v i d e o w i t h l e i s u r e and p a s s i v e v i e w i n g , and they a s s o c i a t e computers w i t h c a l c u l a t i n g or w i t h games, good f o r the younger g e n e r a t i o n , but not f o r themselves. [2] The more t v programs a s s o c i a t e d Woodley & P a r l e t t (1983) w i t h a c o u r s e , the lower was the wastage r a t e . T h i s was t r u e f o r each f a c u l t y except Technology and each course l e v e l except f o u n d a t i o n . [2] I n t e r a c t i v e t e l e v i s i o n reduced O ' N e i l l (1989) i s o l a t i o n . [2] I n t e r a c t i v e system d e s i g n Hackman & Walker (1990) i n c l u d i n g c l e a r audio and v i d e o t r a n s m i s s i o n f o r i n s t r u c t i o n a l t v were r e l a t e d t o student l e a r n i n g and s a t i s f a c t i o n i n the t e l e v i s e d c l a s s r o o m . 168 [2] A b a r r i e r f o r r u r a l people de F r e i t a s & Lynch (1986) was the use o f t v i n s t e a d o f r a d i o . T h i s media c h o i c e was due t o r a d i o b e i n g c o n t r o l l e d by a d i f f e r e n t p o l i t i c a l p a r t y . Not a l l areas had t v r e c e p t i o n . [2] The more r a d i o programs or a u d i o - c a s s e t t e s , the lower the wastage r a t e . No r e l a t i o n s h i p was found f o r S c i e n c e and f o u n d a t i o n c o u r s e s , and i t was not s i g n i f i c a n t f o r f u l l - c r e d i t c o u r s e s . [2] The g r e a t e r the number of s e t t e x t books, the lower the wastage r a t e . T h i s was t r u e f o r each f a c u l t y except Mathematics, f o r each course l e v e l and c r e d i t r a t i n g . [2] P r i n t e d study m a t e r i a l s were a s t u m b l i n g b l o c k ; s t u d e n t s were u n r e a l i s t i c about the d i f f i c u l t y o f the m a t e r i a l s and the s i z e of the commitment they had t o make t o study at t h e F e r n u n i v e r s i t a t . The impact of t e l e v i s i o n i s i n t e r e s t i n g ; b e i n g a b l e t o see an i n s t r u c t o r may r e i n f o r c e the l e a r n e r ' s sense o f b e i n g i n an e d u c a t o r - l e a r n e r r e l a t i o n s h i p even when the programs are not i n t e r a c t i v e . Other c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t e l e v i s i o n may make i t a poor c h o i c e f o r i n s t r u c t i o n a l m e d i u m — i t s h i g h c o s t , f i x e d b r o a d c a s t schedule, e p h e m e r a l i t y ( u n l e s s t h e student can tape the broadcast) p l u s the f a c t t h a t i t i s not u s u a l l y i n t e r a c t i v e . I t i s a l s o important t o note t h a t the added v a l u e of t e l e v i s i o n was found at the OUUK, i n a c o u n t r y where t h a t medium i s r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e t o s t u d e n t s and where the u n i v e r s i t y has developed many, v e r y h i g h - q u a l i t y programs f o r b r o a d c a s t over a major channel d u r i n g r e a s o n a b l y prime t i m e s . Watching an OU e d u c a t i o n a l program c o u l d become a Woodley & P a r l e t t (1983) Woodley & P a r l e t t (1983) B a r t e l s & P e t e r s (1986) 169 s o c i a l event as w e l l as an i n d i v i d u a l study event, and i t might even f o s t e r g r e a t e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g and support of l e a r n e r s a t home and g i v e r i s e t o i n f o r m a l d i s c u s s i o n s . By c o n t r a s t , de F r e i t a s and Lynch (1986, p. 199) s p e c u l a t e t h a t the l a c k o f t e l e v i s i o n r e c e p t i o n i n r u r a l areas o f Venezuela was one o f the reasons f o r r u r a l persons b e i n g u n d e r r e p r e s e n t e d among the N a t i o n a l Open U n i v e r s i t y of Venezuela's p r o v i s i o n a l s t u d e n t s . O ' N e i l l (1989) conducted a telephone survey of a sample of OLA and N o r t h I s l a n d C o l l e g e s t u d e n t s t o i n v e s t i g a t e t h e i r l e a r n i n g e x p e r i e n c e s and media p r e f e r e n c e s . D e s p i t e m e t h o d o l o g i c a l weaknesses, h i s f i n d i n g s suggest s t u d e n t s b e l i e v e t h a t " i n c r e a s e d p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t and a c o m b i n a t i o n of media y i e l d an i n c r e a s e i n m o t i v a t i o n and enjoyment o f the cou r s e , which i n t u r n , they say, makes them more l i k e l y t o complete the c o u r s e . " They a l s o support the v a l u e of m u l t i p l e media p r e s e n t a t i o n s of course m a t e r i a l s , s a y i n g t h a t " r e a d i n g i s not e n o u g h " ( O ' N e i l l , 1989, p. 111-112). Hackman & Walker (1990) used a q u e s t i o n n a i r e t o a s s e s s the responses o f 102 st u d e n t s i n Colorado t o 35 d i f f e r e n t c o u r s e s o f f e r e d by t e l e v i s i o n w i t h two-way aud i o a v a i l a b l e d u r i n g the l i v e b r o a d c a s t s . The q u e s t i o n n a i r e s addressed system d e s i g n and i n s t r u c t i o n a l s t y l e . Van E n c k e v o r t d i s c u s s e s h i s p e r c e p t i o n s t h a t new media pose new b a r r i e r s t o e d u c a t i o n and t h a t d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n i s de s i g n e d more t o meet the needs of the i n s t i t u t i o n s than the l e a r n i n g needs of the s t u d e n t s . He suggests t h a t d i s t a n c e 1 7 0 e d u c a t i o n i s " o p e n t o M a r t h a , b u t c l o s e d t o M a r y " ( 1 9 8 6 , p . 57) . B y t h i s h e m e a n s t h a t t h e s t u d e n t who m o s t w a n t s t o s i t a t t h e f e e t o f t h e t e a c h e r i s b a r r e d , t h o u g h t h e s t u d e n t who m o s t w a n t s t o f u l f i l l h e r d o m e s t i c d u t i e s i s i n c l u d e d . W h i l e t h i s i s n o t a f i n d i n g b a s e d d i r e c t l y o n e m p i r i c a l d a t a , i t i s a n i n s i g h t f u l o b s e r v a t i o n b y a n i n f o r m e d a n d t h o u g h t f u l s c h o l a r . T h e f o l l o w i n g t a b l e p r e s e n t s f i n d i n g s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c o u r s e s t r u c t u r e . T a b l e 7. D r o p o u t A s s o c i a t e d w i t h S t r u c t u r e T T y p e l F i n d i n g A u t h o r [3 ] H i g h l y s t r u c t u r e d i n s t r u c t i o n v a n E n c k e v o r t ( 1 9 8 6 ) t e n d s t o e x c l u d e l e a r n e r s i n v e s t i g a t i n g a r e a s o f p e r s o n a l s i g n i f i c a n c e a n d t h e i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p o f s o c i a l e x p e r i e n c e s , t h e m e s a n d m o t i v e s . [ 3 ] T h e h i g h l y s t r u c t u r e d a p p r o a c h o f m e d i a t e d i n s t r u c t i o n t e n d s t o r e d u c e e d u c a t i o n t o a b a n k i n g o f k n o w l e d g e . [ 3 ] T h e r a t i o n a l d e s i g n o f c u r r i c u l a a n d t h e u s e o f n e w t e c h n o l o g y c o n t r i b u t e t o m a k i n g t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f s u b j e c t m a t t e r a o n e - w a y c o m m u n i c a t i o n . T h e y a l s o c o n t r i b u t e t o s t u d e n t s ' b e l i e f t h a t t h e i r t a s k i s o n l y t o p r o v i d e a n s w e r s s u f f i c i e n t t o e n a b l e t h e m t o p a s s e x a m i n a t i o n s . v a n E n c k e v o r t ( 1 9 8 6 ) v a n E n c k e v o r t ( 1 9 8 6) V e r y l i t t l e o f t h e d r o p o u t r e s e a r c h l o c a t e d i n t h e p r e s e n t s t u d y a d d r e s s e d c o u r s e s t r u c t u r e , p e r s e . A l t h o u g h v a n E n c k e v o r t ' s o b s e r v a t i o n s s e e m l o g i c a l , h e d o e s n o t 171 s u b s t a n t i a t e them w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o p a r t i c u l a r r e s e a r c h , so t h e y must s t a n d more as o p i n i o n than e m p i r i c a l d a t a . Mor