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Abstract

Quality control measures are needed in distance education. The author examined the strengths and weaknesses of course delivery in distance education and provided recommendations for a successful series of steps that should be followed in course development to assure quality control. Quality control measures can become valuable tools to enhance the educational delivery of distance and online coursework and develop the professional competence of instructors. Measures can range from course oversight by trained personnel, to mandated components that are common within all courses. New technologies especially in rich multimedia and asynchronous communication methods allow for increased learning opportunities. Students can have access to a vast wealth of content available over various media, and if correctly designed and navigated, take control of their own learning. However, quality high-value learning will not take place unless common design elements are put into place for all distance learning courses. These elements include rich multimedia, asynchronous communication, and the mentoring of faculty that teach distance and online courses. Distance learning is gaining momentum in higher education. The student of today would select a distance or online course over a formal class if given the chance to choose. The literature on distance education and online learning is growing and this contribution will add to that body of literature.

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