PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF A DISTANCE LEARNING GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM IN MUSIC EDUCATION: PERSPECTIVES FROM STUDENTS AND PROFESSORS

 

Kimberly C. Walls, kim.walls@auburn.edu, Auburn University

Jeff Gilbreath, gilbrje@auburn.edu, Auburn University

Rick Good, goodric@auburn.edu, Auburn University

Bill Schaffer, schafwr@auburn.edu, Auburn University

Martina Miranda, martina.miranda@colorado.edu, University of Colorado

 

This presentation illustrates the development, implementation, and evaluation of a distance learning graduate degree program that meets a critical need--the professional development of music educators. The partnerships and processes required to design, maintain, and evaluate the program will be described. A full complement of courses has been offered since 2001, with two “classes” of music teachers graduated. Collaboration among faculty in Curriculum & Teaching, Music, and Educational Foundations has been essential. Successful distance learning is a team effort and requires advance planning and ongoing external support.

 

Depictions of learning environments containing asynchronous and synchronous text, audio, and video will be shown. Various models of interaction are used to meet the needs of each music course. Professors can find it a challenge to teach in these modes since most courses include both on-campus and distance learning students and enrollments are greater than before. However, distant learners bring diversity of thought and experience to the community of graduate students and a higher level of scholarly discourse. Continuous revision of courses is based upon the staff’s experiences and data from course evaluations, student questionnaires, and exit interviews. Students have responded favorably to the program’s organization, quality, convenience, practicality, and student camaraderie.