A Digital Field of Dreams: The Social Construction of Distance Education Programs at Public Universities
AuthorWilliams, Glenn Harland
AdvisorLee, Jenny J.
Committee ChairLee, Jenny J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractGrowth in distance education programs at public postsecondary institutions has been phenomenal. Nevertheless, not all of these institutions achieved their goals that prompted the creation of a distance education program in the first place. In an effort to understand why some programs succeed in achieving goals while others do not, past research has focused on either the technology used in delivering the program or the pedagogy used in designing course content. These studies may not have uncovered the whole story for though distance education programs may be based on technology and pedagogy they are designed and implemented within a social environment which affects the program's design and ultimate achievements. This would imply a need for a better understanding of how different social groups involved in distance education program design and implementation interact during the developmental process.This study sought to understand the effect of the social environment on the design of distance education program. Using Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) theory, it examined a collaborative distance education program's development from inception to implementation. The goal in investigating the social construction of this distance education program was to determine to what extent the program's final design was shaped by social forces surrounding the technology rather than the technology itself.The study used key social groups' attributes to assess to what extent each group was able to influence the program's design. Without reference to technological or pedagogical systems this study clearly demonstrated the potential of SCOT theory to explain how social groups shaped the program's ultimate outcome.
Degree ProgramHigher Education