USSA Distance Learning Course Survey Results

For the fifth consecutive year, the annual results of the USSA Distance Learning Course Evaluation Survey are clearly positive. The surveys were administered to all students (N=693) who were enrolled in distance learning courses during the 1997-98 academic year. The surveys were anonymously administered at the time the students took their final examinations in each distance learning course.

The USSA Distance Learning Course Surveys are organized into four sections including: Student Profile, Course Content and Structure, Faculty Evaluation,and Overall Rating of the Course.

Student Profile

Four hundred ninety four (71.3%) of the students had previously taken a distance learning course at the United States Sports Academy. Six hundred forty (92.4%) were satisfied with their communication with the USSA Distance Learning Office. Six hundred nineteen (89.3%) of the students reported their course material was delivered in an acceptable amount of time.

Six hundred seventy four (97.3%) of the students felt their registration process was satisfactory. Five hundred sixty six (81.7%) of the students are planning to take additional distance learning courses at the United States Sports Academy. Five hundred thirty two (76.8%) of the students are employed in a sport-related field. Six hundred ninety two (99.9%) of the students had access to one or more of the following technologies: computer, computer with CD-ROM capability. E-mail, World Wide Web/Internet, fax machine, VCR, or audiotape player.

Course Content and Structure

There were sixteen questions in this section of the USSA Distance Learning Course Evaluation survey. These questions surveyed the students’ opinions regarding course content, course objectives, the textbook for the course, the enabling activities, library resources, and the final examination. The culminating question for this section was question # 2.16 which asked “I would recommend this course to a friend and/or colleague.”

The statistical mode or more commonly known as the most frequently occurring score was “agree” for fifteen of the sixteen questions and “strongly agree” for Question # 2.7 which stated “The textbook contributed to my understanding of the subject.”

In all cases, the majority of the students agreed or strongly agreed that course content was carefully planned; the requirements for the courses were adequately explained; the course objectives were clearly expressed; the course objectives were achieved; the course materials provided a clear set of expectations; the content of the course contributed to my understanding of the subject; the textbook contributed to my understanding of the subject; the enabling activities met my learning needs; the enabling activities were challenging; the access to library resources was adequate; the supplemental course materials helped to facilitate their learning; the fifteen week deadline was adequate to complete this course; the examination covered the material/skills emphasized in the course; the examination questions and answers were phrased clearly; the concepts and skills presented will help them on the job and that they would recommend the course to a friend and/or colleague.

Faculty Evaluation

There were ten questions in this section of the USSA Distance Learning Course Evaluation survey. These questions surveyed the students’ opinions regarding adequate access, clarity of instructions, interaction, discussions, feedback, and commitment to professional conduct. The culminating question for this section was question # 3.10 which asked “The faculty member seems to care about my learning.”

The highest amount of student satisfaction on the USSA Distance Learning Course Evaluation surveys was evident in the Faculty Evaluation Section. The mode was strongly agree for seven of the ten questions in this section including the culminating question of “The faculty member seems to care about my learning.” The mode was agree for the remaining three questions in the Faculty Evaluation section.

In all cases, the majority of the students either strongly agreed or agreed that they had adequate access to the instructor; adequate opportunity to ask questions of the faculty member; the faculty member was clear with instructions and directions; interaction with the instructor caused me to think more in depth on the subject; the discussions with faculty helped to facilitate learning; the faculty member was effective in encouraging participation and interest; the faculty member provided useful feedback in facilitating learning; the faculty member facilitated underlying theory into practice; the faculty member possessed commitment to high standards of professional conduct and the faculty member seems to care about my learning.

Overall Rating of the Course

There were four questions in this section of the USSA Distance Learning Course Evaluation survey. These questions surveyed the students’ opinions regarding whether the course relates underlying theory to practice, the course met expectations, and a comparison of the amount of time spent in student preparation for the course. The culminating question for this section was question # 4.4 which asked “I believe that I learned as much through the Distance Learning delivery method as I have in previous residential graduate classes.”

The mode was agree for three of the four items in this section. The mode was strongly agree for the culminating question. The majority of the students either agreed or strongly agreed that the course relates underlying theory to practice; the course met expectations; compared with other courses taken by Distance Learning, the same or more time was spent in preparation; and that the students learned as much through the Distance Learning delivery method as in previous residential courses.