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Table 1

While the majority of students in both 2002 groups had prior experience with television classes, less than 14%of either group had four or more courses. In 2004, over 52% of both groups had taken four or more courses by television before takingthe courses that were surveyed. This is a large increase in the participation of students in distance education, and looking at theindividual counts for the two universities (not shown here), this increase is evident for both places and from both groups ofstudents—studio and off-campus students. The figures show that over half of these students are taking, at the minimum, their fifthtelevision course. Thus, whatever problems the students may have encountered, they continue to take courses with this deliveryformat. It should be noted that the studio students have taken the same number of courses via television (except this course).This mayhelp explain why the majority of on-campus students were generally understanding of interruptions from off-campus sites, as shown inlater results.

Technology enabled students at the remote sites to push a button to“dial in”to talk to the professor during class. When someone“dialed in,”a beep would sound in the studio classroom indicating that someone was calling. In discussing livetelevision classes with other instructors, we were told that one common problem was that the students would call in without warning(unlike students raising their hands in class) and interrupt the flow of the class for all the other students and the instructor. In2002, both of us told students that they could only call in to ask questions during designated question and answer times. Since this“waiting for permission to ask questions”was so different from the usual graduate classroom routine, we wondered how the studentswould accept this new procedure. In our 2002 classes, the students cooperated and did not call into the studio until we asked forquestions or until we called on students to call in to answer questions. In the earlier survey, we asked the students for theiropinion on this“no call-in”rule. The results of that inquiry are summarized in Table 2.

Table 2

The 2002 results indicated that 82.1% of the studio students said that this rule was reasonable due to the classsize, and 83.5% of the remote site students agreed. In 2004, the same rule was in place for the Ball State students (but was notused in South Carolina). The Ball State students at the remote sites responded in a manner similar to the students two years ago,with 81.3% saying that the rule was a good one because of the class size. However, in the studio, only 57.1% said that they agreed withthis rule in 2004, possibly due to the small number in the studio (n=7), as one or two students were not happy that they could notget immediate responses from the instructor like they could in a traditional class. (They had been told that they would be treatedlike the remote-site students, having to wait for a designated time to ask questions.)

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Source:  OpenStax, Mentorship for teacher leaders. OpenStax CNX. Dec 22, 2008 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10622/1.3
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