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Distance education, Distance learning, Online learning, Comparative evaluation, Faculty satisfaction



  1. Cravener, Patricia A. EdD, RN, CS


This article presents a review of the literature summarizing faculty reports of their experiences with computer-mediated distance education compared with their traditional face-to-face teaching experiences. Both challenges and benefits of distance learning programs contrasted with classroom-based teaching are revealed. Specific difficulties and advantages identified by online faculty were categorized into four broad areas of impact on the teaching/learning experience: (a) faculty workload, (b) access to education, (c) adapting to technology, and (d) instructional quality. Challenges appear to be related predominantly to faculty workloads, new technologies, and online course management. Benefits identified by online educators indicate that computer-mediated distance education has high potential for expanding student access to educational resources, for providing individualized instruction, and for promoting active learning among geographically separated members of learning groups.