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Role of the department chair in implementing distance education in colleges of agriculture in land -grant institutions

Jolene Ann Schauer, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify the key motives and issues that affect department chairs' decisions to implement distance education courses and programs in the colleges of agriculture within Land-grant institutions. A mixed-method research design explored the approaches department chairs use and their experiences in implementing distance education. ^ Data was collected through a mail survey and telephone interviews, The mail survey consisted of Likert-type scales and demographic questions. The population was 121 department chairs in hard and social science departments in Land-grant institutions in the Northern Central and Southern Regions of the United States. ^ Some primary findings included: (a) department heads in hard and social science departments had similar motives for implementing distance education and dealt with similar issues, (b) department chairs viewed providing greater access and flexibility for students as primary motives for implementing distance education, however, some department chairs perceived competing for students as a motive for distance education, (c) the most important issues department chairs dealt with were getting faculty involved in teaching via distance and setting a distance education direction, and (d) department chairs who didn't have students enrolled in distance education classes viewed the issues of finance and policy and governance as having more of an impact on decisions to implement distance education than did chairs with students enrolled in distance education courses.^ Recommendations included: (a) providing a distance education focus in the institution's strategic plan to accept and support departmental decisions to implement distance education courses and programs, (b) developing a set of strategies for department chairs to reference to help them integrate distance delivery and establish early involvement of faculty, (c) reviewing the institution's reward structure and tenure and promotion guidelines, (d) developing a set of creative strategies for generating or obtaining financial resources to develop course distance education materials, and (e) developing a generic evaluation plan designed to obtain student feedback about the educational value of distance courses. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Adult and Continuing|Education, Agricultural|Education, Technology of

Recommended Citation

Schauer, Jolene Ann, "Role of the department chair in implementing distance education in colleges of agriculture in land -grant institutions" (2002). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3045534.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3045534

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