Barriers to Learning in Distance Education.
Distance learning is an excellent method of teaching adult learners because they need flexibility to contend with competing priorities. Adult learning is not without problems, however, such as loss of motivation because of lack of face-to-face contact with teachers and peers, potentially prohibitive start-up costs, and lack of faculty support. In addition to these barriers to distance learning, a literature review found that learners involved in distance education are more likely to have insecurities about the following: learning, self-evaluation problems, lack of support services such as tutors and technical assistance, feelings of isolation, and inexperience with this mode of learning, which leads to academic problems. Faculty barriers to distance learning include lack of training in course development and technology, lack of support for distance learning, and inadequate faculty selection for distance learning courses. Organizational barriers include infrastructure, lack of technology, course curriculum, and student evaluation. Research aimed at countering these problems should be undertaken so that distance learning, which can be a valuable learning method, can be carried on more effectively. (Contains