Dimensions of quality for web-based adult education
Harroff, Pamela Ann
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The study examined quality indicators for web-based adult education by gathering data from a sample of adult educators. The purpose of the study was to discover dimensions of quality in web-based adult education and to map those dimensions in a wide range of programs. This study consisted of quantitative descriptive research and used a 41- question survey instrument that was developed by the researcher. Survey instrument development was based on the literature and examined the level of quality currently being offered by web-based adult education programs. Adult educators were asked to rate their organizations with respect to each of the quality indicator items in the survey instrument. The participants in the study were an average age of 48 years, a majority Caucasian, with a few more males than females. Participants were primarily faculty or administrators in higher education offering traditional as well as webbased adult education. The majority of the organizations were public, degree granting organizations, which serve both traditional and adult students. The adult student populations, served by the organizations described above, were older than 24 years of age and had some prior education with an approximate equal number of females and males. Exploratory factor analysis resulted in the discovery of six quality dimensions for web-based adult education: instruction, administrative recognition, advisement, technical support, advance information, and student input. Cluster analysis resulted in the identification of five program types: programs with high administrative support, programs with very low administrative support and high technical support, programs with high course quality and very low technical support, programs with very low student advising and high advance information, and programs with low overall quality.