Students' Perceived Quality of Distance Education Courses as a Correlate of Learner Satisfaction: A Case Study of the Bachelor of Education Arts Program, University of Nairobi
Mbwesa, Joyce K
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Distance education (DE) has in the past few decades evolved into a complex and dynamic instructional approach that is feeding discussions that range from the quality of learning supported by this mode of delivery to the efficacy of the approach. One of the key discussions that has attracted interest and research in this approach of instructional delivery is the construct of quality and quality assurance in Distance education courses. Quality in distance education has largely and often been studied from national and institutional administrative and faculty stand points. Very few studies have analyzed quality in DE from the learners’ perspectives. This study analyzed the construct of quality as perceived by the distance learner and the influence of this perception on the students’ satisfaction with the DE course. In Particular, the analysis focused on identifying students perceptions of key variables that define the construct of quality from their perspective. A questionnaire, Students Perceived quality in DE questionnaire (SPQQ) constructed by the researcher was used as the key tool of data collection. Descriptive and correlational statistics were the main tools of analysis used. Results of the study clearly indicated that the theory predictor variables (SPQP, SPQI, SPQC, and SPQE ) were all positively correlated with perceived students satisfaction with the DE course. Learners particularly seemed to value fair and clear learning assessment guidelines and periodic students’ evaluation of teaching and learning. The study points to the conclusion that institutions must pay attention to factors such as quality of pedagogy, learner support, technological and even physical infrastructure structure as a measure of meeting students’ quality expectations.