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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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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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