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									                                                                    Distance Learning   1


Running head: DISTANCE LEARNING




                Distance Learning in Counselor Education Programs

                               Tina M. Schneider

                                Richard A. Wantz

                                  Tabitha Rice

                                Jennifer A. Long

                             Wright State University
                                                                            Distance Learning       2


                                            Abstract

A 15-item Distance Learning Survey (DLS) was developed to identify counselor education

programs that utilize Distance Learning (DL) and determine supplemental software delivery

products. The survey also examined faculty perceptions related to the importance of distance

learning, quality contributions, enrollment projections, recruitment practices, development time,

supervision, means of faculty compensation, and ethical and legal issues.

One-hundred eighty-one of the 506 counselor education programs that were contacted replied.

The survey results depicted an evolutionary progression of distance learning in counselor

education.
                                                                             Distance Learning     3


                            Distance Learning in Counselor Education

       Distance learning (DL) is a form of electronic delivery that can enhance, complement, and/or

substitute for traditional methods of classroom instruction. The literature suggests a deficiency in

understanding the instructional significance of DL in counselor education programs versus

conventional methods of education. A vast amount of research exists on the subject of DL as

compared to traditional instructional methods, but few studies delineate the significance of DL in

counselor education (Casey, 1995; Clark & Stone, 2001; Gerler, 1995; McFadden, 2000; Myers &

Gibson, 1999; Stone & Turba, 1999; Vogel & Klassen, 2001; Woodford, Rokutani, Gressard, &

Berg, 2001). Studies examining the use of computer-enhanced counselor education date back to

1984 (e.g., Alpert, 1986; Harris-Bowlsby, 1984). Some research has investigated the frequency of

web-enhanced counselor education courses (e.g., Quinn et al., 2002). The present study attempts to

examine the following

1. Counselor education programs that utilize distance learning

2. Distance learning software delivery products used and the features of products utilized

3. Faculty perceptions related to the importance of distance learning, quality contributions,

enrollment projections, recruitment practices, development time, supervision, faculty compensation

methods, and ethical and legal issues.

This study is preceded by four collections of data. The first centered on counselor education

programs in the State of Ohio (N = 20). The next added counselor education programs within the

North Central Association of Counselor Education and Supervision (NCACES) region,

excluding programs in Ohio (N = 70). The third focused on all counselor education programs

accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

(CACREP) excluding programs from the previous studies (N = 90). The last data collection
                                                                              Distance Learning   4


consisted of compliant academic institutions recognized by Hollis and Wantz (1993) and those

for which an e-mail address of a faculty member could be obtained. The present analysis expands

on the aforementioned data and those programs that were unresponsive during any phase of the

data collection.

                                              Method

Participants

       Of 506 graduate counselor education programs contacted, 181 replied. Responses were

received from 41 states and the District of Columbia; states with the most responses included

California (n = 22), Ohio (n = 15), and Illinois (n = 11).

Materials

       A 15-item non-standardized Distance Learning Survey (DLS) was developed to identify

counselor education programs that utilize DL and determine supplemental software delivery

products. The informal survey also examined faculty perceptions related to the importance of

distance learning, quality contributions, enrollment projections, recruitment practices, development

time, supervision, means of faculty compensation, and ethical/legal issues.

Procedure

       In order to increase response rates the DLS was conducted via e-mail, standard mail, or

telephone interview. The electronic and standard mail surveys included a cover letter with

instructions for completing a confidentiality statement and a URL for accessing and submitting

the survey online. Recipients were requested to complete the survey or forward it to an associate

who was both knowledgeable about their university’s counselor education distance learning

program and willing to complete the DLS. Anytime a university did not respond, two follow-up

contacts were attempted. In this event, the primary contact or a different faculty member was
                                                                             Distance Learning    5


consulted. When multiple surveys were returned from one university and/or surveys were

incomplete, the recipient was contacted to clarify answers. Responses were stored in FileMaker

Pro 5.5.

                                               Results

         Not all questions were answered by all programs. Six of the 15 survey items had the

potential for multiple responses. Eighty-one of the respondents (45%) indicated DL as a form of

instruction in their counseling department.

         Implementation plans for institutions not utilizing DL are depicted in Table 1.

Approximately half (56% or 47 programs) reported no plans to implement DL. Thirty programs

(36%) indicated plans were discussed but no timeline had been established.

Table 1

Distance learning Implementation Plans in Counselor Education Programs


Implementation Plans            %


No future plans                56

Discussed, no time table       36

Within the next 2 years         7

More than 2 years               1


n = 84

         Of the programs currently employing DL, 50 (61.7%) indicated one or more classes were

presented through technology enhancement, 37 (45.6%) reported having one or more classes

offered entirely through DL, and 18 (22.2%) cited course offerings as both completely DL and

technologically enhanced.
                                                                            Distance Learning     6


     The most commonly used course delivery software products are listed in Table 2. Thirty-

four (41.9%) of the 81 responding institutions to this question utilize Blackboard and 25 or

approximately one-third (30.9%) employ WebCT.

Table 2

Course Delivery Software Products in Counselor Education Programs


Product Name                    %


Blackboard                   41.9

eCollege.com                   6.2

IVLE                           2.5

Lotus Learning Space           1.2

Softarc FirstClass             1.2

Symposium                      1.2

WebCT                        30.9

WebMentor                      2.5

Other                        24.7

Note. Some programs responded with more than one course delivery software product. Four

types of DL features were surveyed and are described in Table 3: (a) types of interaction via DL,

(b) communication and information dissemination via DL, (c) DL activities, and (d) assessment

via DL. All 64 responding programs to this question indicated interaction between faculty and

students was the primary type of interacting used in DL classes. Forty-nine (76.6%) indicated

interactions among students and 51 (79.7%) cited interface between students and class materials

as frequently utilized. The modes of DL communication and information dissemination reported
                                                                            Distance Learning      7


were e-mail 63 (95.5%), bulletin/discussion boards 43 (65.2%), WWW sites 43 (65.2%), chat via

keyboard entry 30 (45.5%), and video conferencing 21 (24.2%). The types of DL learning

activities most frequently utilized were (a) reading assignments 55 (87.3%), (b) case studies 50

(79.4%), (c) discussion sessions 50 (79.4%), (d) research assignments 55 (58.7%), (e) group

projects 34 (54.0%), (e) problem solving assignments 32 (50.8%), (f) e-lectures 24 (38.1%), and

(g) role-play assignments 12 (19.0%). Fifty-two respondents (83.9%) cited papers, 49 (78%)

participation, 43 (68%) examinations, 26 (41%) e-projects, and 25 (40%) e-presentations as

methods of assessment.

Table 3

Type of DL Features Used in Counselor Education Programs


Feature                                      %


Interactions    (n = 64)

 Faculty and Students                        100

 TA and Students                              23.4

 Students and Students                        76.6

 Students and Class Materials                 79.7

 Other                                         3.1

Communication and Information Dissemination          (n = 63)

 Bulletin Board/ Discussion Board             65.2

 Chat – Keyboard                              45.5

 Chat – Voice                                  1.1

E-mail                          95.5
                                                                         Distance Learning   8


 List Serve                                 3.2

 Video Conferencing                        24.2

 Whiteboard                                14.3

 WWW Site                                  65.2

 Other                                     11.1

Activities    (n = 63)

 Case Studies                              79.4

 Discussion Sessions                       79.4

 E-lectures                                38.1

 Group Projects                            54.0

 Problem Solving Assignments               50.8

 Reading Assignments                       87.3

 Research Assignments                      58.7

 Role-play Assignments                     19.1

 Other                                      7.9

Assessment       (n = 63)

 Examinations                              68.3

 Papers                                    82.5

 Participation                            77.8

 E-presentations                           39.7

 E-projects                                41.3

 Other                                      4.8


Note. Some programs responded with more than one feature in a category
                                                                             Distance Learning     9


       Responses to the survey item pertaining to faculty compensation for offering classes via

DL indicated 37 (56.1%) revealed instructors received no additional compensation, 15 (22.7%)

received monetary recompense, 12 (18.2%) were compensated with release time and three

(4.5%) indicated an alternative form (e.g., special funding, financial awards). One institution

reported faculty receive $2,000 for developing a DL course and additional $2,000 when the

course was offered the first time. With regard to the number of clock hours required for DL

course development, 22 (33.8%) reported 100 to 300 hours, 13 (20%) indicated no applicability,

and 12 (18.5%) claimed 300 to 500 hours for course construction.

       When comparing DL to traditional forms of instruction, 42 (63.6%) of the respondents

consider DL a less important means of instruction, 24 (36.4%) regarded it as equally important,

and none of the respondents suggested DL as a more significant form of instruction. In terms of

DL impacting the quality of instruction, 31 (46.9%) thought the quality had increased and 28

(42.4%) reported no impact. Seven (10.6%) indicated the quality of education had decreased in

quality because of using DL.

       About half of the institutions 32 (48.5%) reported no method of student recruitment for

their DL counselor education courses had been employed. Nineteen institutions (28.8%)

indicated brochures, 19 indicated WWW sites, 16 (24.2%) utilized interaction between faculty

and students as methods for recruitment of students for DL classes. Fifteen institutions (22.7%)

indicated advertising in local publications as the method used to recruit students. When DL

students are in need of academic advising, 52 (92.1%) of the programs specify this occurs

through e-mail, 38 (67.9%) use the telephone, and 30 (53.6%) use face-to-face communication.
                                                                              Distance Learning 10


       Twenty-nine programs (43.9%) contended enrollment had been unaffected since DL

classes were originated. Twenty-six (39.5%) believed enrollment had increased, while one

program noted a decrease in the number of students in their department.

       When programs were asked whether supervision and consultation were conducted for

practicum and internship via DL, 25 (38%) responded affirmatively, and 41 (63%) indicated

clinical supervision and consultation were not offered through DL.

       Forty-nine (79.0%) of those who responded to the DLS reported no ethical or legal issues

because of DL instruction, nine (14.5%) had difficulties with maintaining confidentiality, seven

(11.3%) had cited problems with academic authenticity, and four (6.5%) reported copyright

infringements.

                                             Discussion

       Similarities to past research were found in regards to course delivery software products,

modes of DL informational dissemination, DL course activities and types of assessment (Wantz

et al., 2004). The results of the study also depict a progressive rise in the number of distance

learning courses and programs in counselor education. Some DL programs have CACREP

accreditation and more are in the review cycle. Other examples of this progression include an

increase in the number of course delivery software products, types of student interactions, and

DL course activities.

       Faculty appear to not be well compensated for their efforts to deliver DL courses.

According to the results a faculty member may receive less than $30 per hour. This amount is

based on the assumption 100 clock hours are required to develop a DL course and 150 clock

hours are required to deliver the course, and $4,000 is provided in compensation ($2,000 for

development of a course and $2,000 when the course is offered the first time). Many programs
                                                                             Distance Learning 11


report no additional compensation is provided to develop and deliver DL courses and many

programs reported considerably more than 100 clock hours are required to develop a DL course.

Further research is recommended to examine (a) effective marketing strategies for DL programs,

(b) applicability of DL courses with personality, and (c) the efficacy of DL instruction vs.

traditional instruction.
                                                                           Distance Learning 12


                                            References

Alpert, D. (1986). A preliminary investigation of computer-enhanced counselor training.

       Computers in Human Behavior, 2, 63-70.

Casey, J. A. (1995). Development issues for school counselors using technology.

       Elementary School Guidance & Counseling, 30, 26-34.

Clark, M. A. & Stone, C. B. (2001). Clicking with students: Using online assignments in

       counselor education courses. Journal of Technology in Counseling, 2. Retrieved

       December 19, 2003, from http://colstate.edu/vol2_2/clarkstone.htm

Gerler, E. R., Jr. (1995). Advancing elementary and middle school counseling through

       computer technology. Elementary School Guidance & Counseling, 30, 8-15.

Harris-Bowlsbey, J. (1984). High touch and high technology: The marriage that must

       succeed. Counselor Education and Supervision, 24, 6-16.

Hollis, J. W. & Wantz, R. A. (1993). Counselor preparation. 1993-1995. Volume I

        programs and personnel. (8th Ed.) Muncie, IN: Accelerated Development, Inc.

McFadden, J. (2000). Computer-mediated technology and transcultural counselor

       education. Journal of Technology in Counseling, 1. Retrieved December 19,          2003,

from http://jtc.colstate.edu/vol1_2/transcult.html

Myers, J. E. & Gibson, D. M. (1999). Technology competence of counselor educators

       [Electronic version]. ERIC Counseling and Student Services Clearinghouse.

       Retrieved December 19, 2003, from

       http://www.ericfaility.net/databases/ERIC_Digests/ed435947.html
                                                                           Distance Learning 13


Quinn, A. C., Hohenshil, T., & Fortune, J. (2002). Utilization of technology in CACREP

       approved counselor education programs. Journal of Technology in Counseling, 2.

       Retrieved December 19, 2003, from http://jtc.colstate.edu/Vol2_2/quinn/quinn.htm

Stone, C. B. & Turba, R. (1999). School counselors using technology for advocacy.

       Journal of Technology in Counseling, 1. Retrieved December 19, 2003, from

       http://jtc.colstate.edu/vol1_1/advocacy.htm

Vogel, D. & Klassen, J. (2001). Technology-supported learning: Status, issues, and

       trends. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 17, 104-114.

Wantz, R. A., Tromski, D. M., Mortsolf, C. J., Yoxtheimer, G., Brill, S., & Cole, A.

       (2004). Incorporating distance learning into counselor education programs: A

       research study. In J. W. Bloom, & G. R. Walz (Eds.), Cybercounseling &

       Cyberlearning: An Encore (pp. 327-344). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling

       Association.

Woodford, M. S., Rokutani, L., Gressard, C., & Berg, L. B. (2001). Sharing the course:

       An experience with collaborative distance learning in counseling education.

       Journal of Technology in Counseling, 2. Retrieved December 19, 2003, from

       http://colstate.edu/vol2_1/Sharing.htm
                                                                                        Distance Learning 14


    Appendix - Distance Learning Survey



    Dear Counselor Educator,

    RE: Distance Learning Survey

            You are invited to complete a survey regarding how counselor education programs are
    utilizing distance learning. Your participation will require a maximum of 20 minutes. If you do not
    feel you are the person best able to complete a distance learning survey about your department,
    please forward this survey to a colleague in your program who is knowledgeable and willing to
    complete this questionnaire. If you have any questions please contact me.

            Your program’s privacy will be honored. An institution’s responses to questions 1 through 18
    will not be published separately from summary data for all respondents.

    Distance Learning Defined
            For the purpose of this study distance learning refers to any type of technology application utilized
    outside of the traditional face-to-face classroom instruction. This definition includes courses that are delivered
    100% via distance learning as well as courses that are technology and web enhanced.

    Purpose of Study

1. Identify counselor education programs that utilize distance learning.
2. Identify the distance learning software delivery products used and the features of products utilized.
3. Survey faculty perceptions related to the importance of distance learning, quality contributions, enrollment
     projections, recruitment practices, development time, supervision, faculty compensation methods, and ethical
     and legal issues.
4. Gather data on counselor education programs that are currently utilizing aspects of distance learning technology
     with the intent of publishing an online directory.

    Thank you for your time,

    Richard A. Wantz, Ed.D., NCC
    Counselor Educator
    Wright State University
    Human Services, M052 CAC
    Dayton, OH 45435-0001
    Phone: (937) 775-3481; Fax (937) 775-2042 Attention: Wantz
    E-mail: rick.wantz@wright.edu
                                                                                 Distance Learning 15


                                       Distance Learning Survey
   Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. Please enter the requested information.

   Name: _______________________________________________________
           First                                             Last


   Phone: ______________________ Email: _______________________

   Name of Institution: ________________________________________

   Name of Department: ________________________________________

   1. Please CHECK only one of the following statements. With regards to your counselor
   education program:

__ 1A. Distance learning is not currently utilized as a form of instruction by our department. (proceed
    to question 2)

__ 1B. Distance learning is currently utilized as a form of instruction by our department. (proceed to
    question 3)


   2. Does your counselor education program have any plans to begin utilizing distance learning as
   a form of instruction? (Please CHECK only one of the following statements.)

__ 2A. No, we have no plans to implement a distance learning program.

__ 2B. Yes, we have discussed it, but have not yet set a time table for implementation.

__ 2C. Yes, we plan to implement a distance learning program within the next two years.

__ 2D. Yes, we plan to implement a distance learning program at some point beyond the next two
    years.

        Thank you for your time. If you have any questions please contact me. Please return the
                                         completed survey to:
                      Richard A. Wantz, Ed.D., NCC, Wright State University
                       Human Services, M052 CAC, Dayton OH 45435-0001
                   Phone (937) 775-3481, Fax (937) 775-2042 Attention: Wantz
                                 E-mail: rick.wantz@wright.edu
                                                                                Distance Learning 16



   3. Please CHECK all of the following statements that apply. One or more courses in our
   department are:

__ 3A. offered 100% using a distance learning technology, i.e., students do not meet face to face with
    instructor during the course.
__ 3B. technology or web enhanced with distance learning, i.e., students meet face to face with
    instructor at some point(s) during the course.

   4. Please CHECK all online course delivery software products utilized:

   __ 4A. Asymetrix Librarian
   __ 4B. Blackboard
   __ 4C. Convene
   __ 4D. eCollege.com
   __ 4E. eduprise.com
   __ 4F. Embanet
   __ 4G. Integrated Virtual Learning Environment (IVLE)
   __ 4H. IMSeries
   __ 4I. IntraLearn
   __ 4J. The Learning Manager
   __ 4K. Lotus Learning Space
   __ 4L. LUVIT
   __ 4M. Milken Educator Virtual Workspace (MEVW)
   __ 4N. Serf
   __ 4O. Softarc FirstClass
   __ 4P. Symposium
   __ 4Q. TopClass
   __ 4R. Virtual-U
   __ 4S. WebCT
   __ 4T. WebMentor
   __ 4U. Other, please list

   5. Which of the following distance learning features are utilized in your department:

   A. Interaction via distance learning. (Please CHECK all utilized in your department.)
   __ 5A1. between faculty and student(s)
   __ 5A2. between teaching assistant (TA) and student(s)
   __ 5A3. between student and student(s)
   __ 5A4. between student and learning material(s)
   __ 5A5. Other, please list

   B. Communication and information dissemination via distance learning. (Please CHECK all
   utilized in your department.)
   __ 5B1. bulletin board / discussion board
   __ 5B2. chat – keyboard
                                                                                   Distance Learning 17


         __ 5B3. chat – voice
         __ 5B4. e-mail
         __ 5B5. listserve
         __ 5B6. video conferencing
         __ 5B7. whiteboard (drawing tool for online discussion)
         __ 5B8. WWW site
         __ 5B9. Other, please specify

         C. Distance Learning Activities. (Please CHECK all utilized in your department.)
         __ 5C1. case studies
         __ 5C2. discussion sessions
         __ 5C3. e-lectures
         __ 5C4. group projects
         __ 5C5. problem solving assignments
         __ 5C6. reading assignments
         __ 5C7. research assignments
         __ 5C8. role-play assignments
         __ 5C9. Other, please specify

         D. Assessment via distance learning. (Please CHECK all utilized in your department.)
         __ 5D1. examinations
         __ 5D2. papers
         __ 5D3. participation
         __ 5D4. e-presentations (individual and group)
         __ 5D5. e-projects (individual and group)
                 __ 5D6. Other, please specify

         6. Estimate the number of clock hours required to develop a 100% distance learning course.
         (Please CHECK only one of the following.)
         __ 6A. Less than 100 hours
         __ 6B.        Between 100 to 300 hours
         __ 6C.        Between 300 to 500 hours
         __ 6D.        Between 500 to 700 hours
         __ 6E.        Between 700 to 900 hours
         __ 6F.        Between 900 to 1100 hours
         __ 6G.        Between 1100 to 1300 hours
         __ 6H.        Between 1300 to 1500 hours
         __ 6I.        More than 1500 hours
__ 6J.   Not Applicable (I have never developed a distance learning course nor converted an existing
         course.)
         7. How are faculty compensated for developing and delivering distance learning courses?
         (Please CHECK all that apply.)

         __ 7A. No compensation is provided
         __ 7B. Released time from teaching
         __ 7C. Monetary compensation
                                                                                       Distance Learning 18


          __ 7D. Other, please specify

          8. Please CHECK only one of the following. The majority of faculty in our department regard
          distance learning as:

          __ 8A. more important than traditional methods of instruction.
__ 8B. equally important as traditional methods of instruction.
          __ 8C. less important than traditional methods of instruction.

          9. In your opinion, what impact has distance learning had on the quality of instruction in your
          department? (Please CHECK only one of the following.)

__ 9A. Distance learning has greatly increased the quality of instruction.
__ 9B. Distance learning has somewhat increased the quality of instruction.
__ 9C. Distance learning has neither increased nor decreased the quality of instruction.
__ 9D. Distance learning has somewhat decreased the quality of instruction.
__ 9E. Distance learning has greatly decreased the quality of instruction.

          10. What impact has distance learning had on the number of students enrolled in your
          department? (Please CHECK only one of the following.)

          __ 10A. Student enrollment has increased.
          __ 10B. Student enrollment has not changed.
          __ 10C. Student enrollment has decreased.
          __ 10D. I do not know.

          11. How does your department recruit distance learning students? (Please CHECK all that
          apply).

__ 11A. No special effort is made to recruit distance learning students.
           __ 11B. Announcements in Local publications
           __ 11C. Announcements in State publications
           __ 11D. Announcements in Regional publications
           __ 11E. Announcements in National publications
           __ 11F. Announcements in International publications
           __ 11G. ACA publications
           __ 11H. Brochures
           __ 11I. Mass Mailings
__ 11J. Faculty interaction and exchanges with other higher education institutions
           __ 11K. Email Announcements
           __ 11L. WWW Site
           __ 11M. Posters and Flyers
           __ 11N. Radio advertisement
           __ 11O. Television advertisements
           __ 11P. Recruitment fairs
           __ 11Q. Other, please specify
                                                                             Distance Learning 19



12. Do faculty conduct supervision and consultation with practicum and internship trainees via
distance learning? (Please CHECK only one of the following.)

__ 12A. No
__ 12B. Yes (please explain)

13. How is academic advising being conducted with distance learning students? (Please
CHECK all that apply.)

__ 13A. Via e-mail
__ 13B. Via face to face conference
__ 13C. Via live audio chat
__ 13D. Via live video chat
__ 13E. Via telephone
__ 13F. Other, please specify


14. Have ethical and/or legal issues surfaced as a result of utilizing distance learning?

__ 14A. No
__ 14B. Yes (Please specify which of the following.)
__ 14C. Verifying student’s work (cheating)
__ 14D. Confidentiality
__ 14E. Copyright infringements
__ 14F. Other, please specify


15. What are your personal concerns, reactions, and perceptions about distance learning?




   Thank you for your time. If you have any questions please contact me. Please return the
                                    completed survey to:
Richard A. Wantz, Ed.D., NCC, Wright State University, Human Services, M052 CAC, Dayton
                                      OH 45435-0001
             Phone (937) 775-3481, Fax (937) 775-2042 Attention: Wantz,
                            E-mail: rick.wantz@wright.edu
                                                                            Distance Learning 20


About the Authors

Tina M. Schneider is employed by Bethany Lutheran Social Services of Mid-America in Dayton,

Ohio and is a research associate at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. Richard A. Wantz is

an associate professor of counselor education at Wright State University. Tabitha Rice is a

graduate assistant at Wright State University. Jennifer A. Long is a research associate at Wright

State University.

								
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