Faculty attitudes and perceptions of the effectiveness of traditional versus distance course delivery methods in pre-service business education programs
Hall, Susan E.
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The question of whether particular aspects of pre-service business education programs can be effectively delivered using traditional and distance methods of course delivery was examined by investigating faculty attitudes and perceptions. The faculty members selected for this study was the entire population of faculty that have registered programs at their institutions with the National Association for Business Teacher Education (NABTE), which is a branch of the National Business Education Association (NBEA). This research study was a quantitative, survey design using a questionnaire that was developed to measure the degree to which faculty perceive the effectiveness of traditional and distance courses delivery methods when educating pre-service business education students. Prior to distribution of the questionnaire, a pilot study was conducted to ensure internal validity and instrument reliability. The following research questions guided this study: When teaching pre-service business education curriculum using traditional and distance course delivery methods, how effectively do faculty feel that...(a) students can be taught the skills necessary for them to demonstrate proficiency of the key points of the ten national business standards? (b) commonly practiced assessment techniques can be implemented to measure student proficiency in the pre-service business teacher education curriculum? and (c) each of the eight courses commonly found in the pre-service business teacher education curriculum are able to be delivered? The purpose of this study is to investigate faculty attitudes and perceptions of how course delivery methods (traditional and distance) can help to effectively prepare qualified teachers in pre-service business education programs. The overarching, conceptual framework of this study is based on the theoretical underpinnings originated by Ajzen and Fishbein called the theory of reasoned action (1975; 1980), which later was refined and renamed as the theory of planned behavior (1988). Ajzen and Fishbein's theory asserts that a person who believes that performing a behavior will lead to positive outcomes will hold a favorable attitude toward performing that behavior, while a person who believes that performing a behavior will lead to negative outcomes will hold an unfavorable attitude. It is believed that this study is grounded in this theory, which helps to explain and understand why some faculty members may or may not accept or adopt teaching a distance course, especially if they have a choice. After analyzing the findings, it was undoubtedly discovered that the faculty perceive traditional courses as the most effective method of course delivery for all questions asked. Further, it was interesting to discover that although the faculty agreed strongly that traditional course methods were most effective, they also indicated that almost all of the key points of the standards, implementation of assessments, and commonly found courses were able to be delivered through distance course delivery methods. These findings add and contribute to the existing literature and should assist other faculty, chairs of departments, as well as academic affairs administrators (i.e. deans and provosts) when making decisions whether particular courses should be taught traditionally or through distance, as well as understanding how other faculty feel when considering the delivery and implementation of commonly practiced assessments and key points of teacher education standards through these two methods of course delivery.