This paper deals with the results obtained by the analysis of a corpus of interviews conducted with students registered in distance education (DE) at the secondary and collegiate levels in the province of Québec, Canada, as part of a research project aimed at analysing the interactions between the actors in DE – students, tutors and program builders – in order to determine support practices and quality factors in the DE process.
Data was obtained by conducting four interviews with students enrolled in a DE program. The interviews were carried out over the duration of their courses. Analysis of the data was carried out by confronting the student's discourse with a grid of interactions and quality indicators in DE elaborated by the GIREFAD, the inter-institutional research group on distance education.
The analysis deals with the perceived influence of support practices on quality. We have attempted to ascertain which aspects seemed to have the greatest impact on the perception of the quality in DE. We examined the relationship with the tutor, the learning material, assignment evaluation and feedback as well as communication tools.
We can ascertain that the concept of quality expresses itself through certain well-determined dimensions, especially to communication tools and interpersonal relations. The students place their relationships with the tutor at the core of their perception of quality. Furthermore, technology is not a determining factor of quality in DE. Technology is considered useful and important only if it facilitates communication between the actors of the learning situation. It is also considered useful as an aid to complete more efficiently assigned tasks. In this regard, technology is not at the core of the student's perception of quality in DE.
|Keywords:||Distance Education, Technology, Support, Quality|
Professor of Humanities, Director of secondary education program, Department of Education, Université du Québec à Rimouski, Rimouski, Québec, Canada
Lecturer, assistant researcher, Department od Education, Université du Québec à Rimouski, Rimouski, Québec, Canada
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