Meeting the needs of distance learners

Nicholas Alistair Sampson

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This study draws on the experience of a cohort of 22 multinational and multilingual students enrolled in a Master in Education (MEd) distance learning program administered by a British university. It's purpose is to locate the aims and philosophies of distance learning within the experiences of actual distance learners in order to see if learners' needs were being met by the program and to obtain a fuller understanding of core aspects of distance education. The study found that students were, on the whole, satisfied with the course materials, the choice of modules, assignment feedback, and length of time given to complete the assignments, but significant problems surfaced regarding issues of student support, and access to and provision of resource materials. Arguably, these are issues intrinsic to the successful provision of distance learning courses, and the results both concord with aspects of the research literature (Burge & Howard, 1990; Chen, 1997; Hyland, 2001; Morgan, 1995; Robinson, 1995; Simpson, 2000; Tait, 2000) and raise some interesting questions regarding the provision of distance education and its ability to meet the needs of learners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-118
Number of pages16
JournalLanguage Learning and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Computer Science Applications


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