Presentation by Dr. Priscilla Brown Lopez at the 1st Belize National Research Conference, March 2018.
As institutions of higher learning offer Computer Mediated Distance Learning, courses must be well designed and frequently evaluated. Based on data to assess students’ experiences in synchronous distributed courses at the University of Belize, this paper proposed a model for assessing distance learning instruction based on six constructs: The Process of Teaching and Learning, Developing a Community of Learners, Pedagogical Practices, Students’ Needs, Course Delivery, and Technological Use. Using an independent Sample T-test scores for four measures: Perception of Online learning, perceptions about the quality and usefulness of Synchronous Distributed Course, Information Quality and instructor interaction reflected moderate means (3.745; 3.921; 4.129; 3.822) respectively. Scores for items on information quality were the highest while the scores on perception of online learning were the lowest. Perceptions of Synchronous Distributed Courses across the four measure were the same for students enrolled in Teaching Methods for Secondary Level and Professionalism in Education courses (Independent Samples T-test: p=0.587, p=0.537,p=0.369 and p=0.723) respectively. General findings suggest that online instruction must be grounded in sound pedagogical practices and use of empirical findings to guide course development to ensure that students receive high quality instruction and rewarding teaching and learning experiences.
Key words: pedagogy, online courses, student performance, teaching methods, University of Belize