Distance Education and Students' Community Engagement: A Faculty Perspective
Abstract: The objective of this qualitative study is to gain faculty perceptions of how distance education (online learning) is impacting undergraduate students’, (at one large northwestern university,) sense of civic responsibility and community engagement. A Google search results in dozens of online programs at countless colleges and universities across the nation. Large research based institutions are joining the online education trend offering “online” services for students who could be half way around the world. With the growth of online courses, little literature exists on how online learning affects a student’s sense of community, development of civic responsibility, or ability to become engaged in a local community. This exploratory study will gather data on faculty perceptions of how distance education impacts online learners and their sense of community.