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Abstract

As more emphasis is placed on offering education to the distance student and monies are spent to provide these services, institutions must ensure they reap the rewards of the investment. One avenue to ensure success in distance education is the implementation of strong student support services. This is a task that will take the teamwork of educators, administrators, instructional technologists/designers, and support personnel. For institutions transitioning to a distance format, measures must be taken to ensure that the learner, no matter what the method of delivery, has access to equivalent student support services. One approach to measuring this aspect is the determination of student satisfaction with the support services offered to distance students. A study was conducted at a public health sciences research university in the Southeast to determine whether the administrative student support services (library and technical) offered at the institution met the educational needs of allied health students enrolled in a distance education program. Results from student questionnaires were analyzed to determine the satisfaction level of distance students with administrative (library and technical) student support services. Overall responses showed that allied health students enrolled in a distance education program were satisfied with the existing student support services (library and technical) offered by the institution. Narrative responses from the participants reinforced a common theme that although the students were satisfied with the services, more emphasis needed to be placed on library and technical support services that are available to distance education students during the program orientation.

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