Monitoring the experiences of graduates in distance education

Lawless, Clive and Richardson, John T. E. (2004). Monitoring the experiences of graduates in distance education. Studies in Higher Education, 29(3) pp. 353–374.



The Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) and an 'in-house' questionnaire, the Personal and Educational Development Inventory (PEDI), were administered in a postal survey of graduates who had been awarded the first BA/BSc (Hons) named degrees of the Open University and comparison samples of graduates awarded the pre-existing 'unnamed' degrees. The two instruments proved to be highly robust and significantly correlated with each other. The PEDI showed the greater capacity for differentiating amongst the different degrees, which was attributed to intrinsic features of the curriculum in different disciplines. The CEQ showed greater consistency amongst the different degrees, and this was ascribed to the University's uniform 'house style' and system of quality assurance. Conversely, the CEQ showed a somewhat greater capacity than the PEDI for differentiating amongst students who had been awarded different classes of degree. The use of the CEQ and the PEDI can be recommended for monitoring the experiences of students and graduates in both campus-based and distance-learning institutions.

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