The Design & Management of Effective Distance Learning Programs – Chapter 14

Chapter 14: Using Tutored Video Instruction Methodology to Deliver Management Education at a Distance in China

L. William Murray and Alev M. Efendioglu
University of San Francisco, USA

Copyright © 2002, Idea Group Publishing.

INTRODUCTION

This chapter summarizes a report of a systematic study of distance education programs whose audience was middle- and upper-level managers employed full-time at two Chinese companies. These programs were evaluated in terms of their educational effectiveness; i.e., did these students, and the companies who paid for their education, receive good value for their investment of time and money?

Unfortunately, few studies have attempted to validate benefits or to substantiate the shortcomings of distance education and associated technologies, especially in the area of international management education. The conclusions of two of the earliest systematic studies of distance suggested that using television as a means of delivering instruction to students, regardless of grade levels or subject matter, could result in student performance that was equal to that of “live” classes, (Chu & Schramm, 1967; Schramm, 1967).

In the early 1970s, the engineering school of Stanford University was approached by Hewlett-Packard (HP) to assist them in expanding the educational and training opportunities for employees working in company facilities at some distance from Stanford’s campus (and HP’s corporate headquarters). Based on the early results of Chu and Schramm, Stanford’s engineering program pioneered the development of an experimental distance education methodology—Tutored Video Instruction (TVI)—for the purpose of providing graduate engineering education to Hewlett-Packard engineers located in Santa Rosa, California, approximately 100 miles from Stanford’s campus. The engineering courses required for Master’s degree completion were videotaped and were then sent to HP’s plant in Santa Rosa, where the students met as a group to view and discuss the videotapes once per week. No in-person (i.e., “live”) contact with the faculty was permitted, and Stanford University or HP did not support electronic messaging between the students and the faculty.

A local tutor was hired and trained to direct the students’ learning at the Santa Rosa site. The tutor was charged with three functions: (1) to distribute materials for the instructor and to collect assignments; (2) to answer questions if possible; otherwise, to obtain answers from the instructor; and (3) to encourage discussion. Initially, the tutor was a retired HP engineer.

An evaluation of these initial TVI courses included these observations (Gibbons et al., 1977):

  • TVI student grades were statistically higher than those of the on-campus students (whose “live” class had been taped for subsequent viewing off- campus).

  • Smaller student groups liked TVI more than larger classes.

  • The lower the distance student’s undergraduate grade point average (GPA), the more effective was the TVI experience, as measured by each student’s grade in the TVI classes.

  • Tutors who answered questions directly (i.e., technically proficient) were less effective than those tutors who drew students into discussion (i.e., discussion facilitation).

There have been several studies of the effectiveness of TVI since Stanford’s introductory program. For example, Stone (1990) conducted a cross-sectional analysis of TVI distance education offerings in engineering education. The results of this study directly support those of the pioneering Stanford study. Arentz (1995) conducted a study to compare the effectiveness of various distance education methodologies employed in teaching engineering to students in Norway. In direct comparison to other means of learning at a distance, TVI was clearly the preferred method of learning.

During the 1980s, a study comparing the effectiveness of TVI directly to “live” instruction was undertaken (Appleton et al., 1989). A study of 144 Australian undergraduate students concluded that TVI student performance was at least equal to that of on-campus students enrolled in live classes at their main campus. Further, TVI was found to be more effective as a learning technology when compared to the other forms of distance learning being used by the institution at the same time: correspondence education, audiotaped programs, and videotaped courses.

TUTORED VIDEO INSTRUCTION

In 1988, a senior human resources executive from a company in Hong Kong approached the School of Business and Management (SOBAM) at the University of San Francisco and asked that SOBAM faculty be used to offer an MBA program to selected executives of their company. The company was unable to afford to either pay for such a program if it required “live” instruction by transporting MBA faculty to Hong Kong or to send their executives to San Francisco to attend regular MBA classes. Since China had only recently become “open” to the West, many SOBAM faculty were interested in pursuing this opportunity. Thus, it was evident that to respond to this company’s request would require the use of some form of distance education methodology.

Program Objectives

At this time, less than one-third of the SOBAM US-born faculty had spent more than three weeks abroad in any foreign country, and only a very few of the entire faculty had ever traveled to Asia for any purpose. None of the faculty had direct experience with distance learning in any form before this experiment.

After some investigation, a faculty committee discovered the aforementioned research on TVI and decided to investigate its use further. Two of the faculty visited Stanford University’s television network where they talked with the retired engineering faculty member who led the initial Hewlett-Packard program and some of the technical personnel who responsible for the videotaping of the classes. They also talked with the initial on-site tutor and two of the faculty who had taught live classes in engineering, TVI classes, and on-campus classes that were being taped “live” to be viewed simultaneously by students at distance locations. From a final review of the research on distance education, SOBAM faculty made a direct comparison of the research on various distance learning methodologies (i.e., acquisition; faculty and staff training; equipment; delivery; student performance) with their benefits, and concluded that TVI offered the best alternative.

SOBAM faculty set these goals for this initial TVI program:

  • To enhance the “international perspectives” of the faculty;

  • To increase the faculty’s experience with executive education;

  • To learn a distance learning technology;

  • To improve the overall “quality” of our graduate students; and

  • To gain experience in developing and delivering an in-house program on a cohort basis (i.e., the same group of students take the same courses throughout their educational program).

Initial Program Characteristics

The first TVI program began in 1990 with China Resources Holding Company (CRC), a private company owned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China and headquartered in Hong Kong. CRC hired a local coordinator who assisted SOBAM faculty in identifying 100 of the CRC mid-career managers who were interested in pursuing a MBA degree, whose English skills were sufficient, who had undergraduate degrees, and whose superiors would support these efforts. Before being admitted into the program, the SOBAM Associate Dean and the Program Coordinator interviewed each applicant. Before admittance, each prospective student was given math and English exams to determine their proficiencies with basic skills. The initial class consisted of thirty-six executives. Each student remained fully employed (i.e., on a full-time basis) during the program.

Two local tutors were hired and trained (by the SOBAM Associate Dean) in discussion-generating techniques. Each was a young executive of the company whose English language skills permitted him or her to lead a discussion in this language. Both tutors had limited management experience and, therefore, would be unable to answer questions on the technical issues included within the specific topical areas covered by the MBA courses.

Accreditation

At this time, the University was conducting its self-study as required for reaccreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Since this program was a substantial deviation from the normal form of educational delivery, the SOBAM dean decided that it would be prudent to file an addendum to the self-study report that focused on the proposed distance education program. Upon consultation, it was decided that:

  1. The CRC MBA program would consist of exactly the same courses and course sequence as that required for on-campus students;

  2. To insure that the CRC students were equally served by the program in Hong Kong, the CRC program coordinator would become a SOBAM faculty member;

  3. SOBAM faculty would be required to use a common final examination in order to evaluate the TVI students directly against those on-campus students whose classes were being videotaped; and

  4. “Live instruction” would be one-third of the total program.

The American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) also accredits the SOBAM. This organization has no specific accreditation issues regarding distance education program. Further, since the average age of the first cohort was 36, it was apparent from the research that the regular MBA admissions “screening” device, the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT), would have limited value.

Program Delivery

CRC students attended two MBA video viewings and discussions on one night per week and on Saturday during a 10-week academic session in a room specially designed for videotape viewing at the company’s training center in Hong Kong. At a typical session, the tutor would start and stop the videotape if questions were raised, and upon completion of that session’s videotaped materials would then conduct a discussion formed around questions supplied by the course’s instructor. Faculty submitted discussion questions for their tutors and required formal weekly feedback from the tutor via fax. Further, a formal faculty “feedback” mechanism was established in the form of a videotaped interview with each of the faculty who taught in the program (thereby permitting faculty who would be teaching in the TVI program for the first time to “get on the learning curve” quickly).

Each set of TVI faculty was flown to Hong Kong to spend 12 “live” contact hours with the students over a 6-day period. Visiting faculty used the mornings and afternoons for “live classes,” and held these classes in the same classrooms regularly used by the students to meet and view the videotapes. Each faculty member was encouraged to personally evaluate the work of the students while he/she was engaged in the “live” portion of the course. These “live” sessions were scheduled at the end of each course to permit the faculty to be onsite for the required final exam. (In the later cohorts these “live” sessions were moved to the middle of each course because the students preferred earlier-in-the-course direct contact with the faculty.) On a routine basis, the tutor collected the course assignments and sent them to the instructor for evaluation. The Program Coordinator administered the quizzes, midterm examinations, and case analysis discussions on-site and sent the materials to the instructor for grading.

The on-campus classes that were videotaped for subsequent viewing in Hong Kong were held in a small, windowless room located in the University’s instructional media complex, where no more than 16 MBA students could be wedged into the available space. Two students could use a small video monitor mounted on the table in front of them if they wanted to see what the instructor was writing on a pad (which was being videotaped via on overhead projector). Microphones were placed between each two students so that both the student’s questions and the instructor’s responses were captured on the videotape.

Subsequent Programs

The first CRC cohort graduated in 1993, the second in 1996, and the third class graduated in 1999. For the second and third CRC cohorts, separate classes, both videotape viewing and “live,” were held for executives working in Beijing and Hong Kong. In 1993, the University contracted with a second Hong Kong-based firm, Guangdong Enterprises (GD), to deliver a TVI MBA program to their mid-career executives who were working at three different locations in Guangdong (Canton) Province and in adjacent Hong Kong. The first GD class graduated in 1997, and a second class graduated in 2000. [For purposes of discussion, we have identified these groups as CRC1, CRC2, CRC3, GD1, and GD2.]

An Interim Evaluation

After completing the CRC1 program, an analysis of the student evaluations of the TVI courses was undertaken. Several significant technical problems (e.g., poor quality video; inability to hear student questions or comments) were identified. Further, the Chinese students clearly preferred more “live time” with the faculty. To accommodate these concerns the amount of on-site live instruction time was increased from 12 to 15 hours. New overhead cameras, additional microphones, and more powerful “multidirectional” microphones were installed so that TVI students were better able to see more clearly what the instructor was trying to illustrate and to hear “live” student responses. The videotaping was moved to a much larger classroom. The addition of a third camera permitted coverage of students as they asked questions or responded to the faculty. Faculty were encouraged to post their email addresses on their TVI course syllabi, to supply copies of all materials distributed to the “live” students, to make better use of the tutor, and to prepare separate course schedules to coincide with the videotape viewing schedules of their TVI students.

In 1996, the SOBAM faculty undertook a formal evaluation of the faculty’s experiences with the TVI programs (Murray, 1996). By this time, the first CRC1 cohort had completed the MBA program and both CRC2 and GD1 were in progress. SOBAM faculty:

  • Felt that the TVI technology and the enhanced email-based feedback loop was not working; i.e., the students were not getting full value from their TVI experiences;

  • Desired to have even more “live” time with their TVI students;

  • Had not used a common final examination or any other means that would permit a direct comparison of the academic performances of their TVI and “live” students;

  • Were not using the tutor for feedback purposes or were not providing directions for the tutor

  • Were unhappy with the overall quality of the Hong Kong students efforts, as evidenced by their grades on exams, student projects, papers, case analyses and presentations, and written work in general; e.g., grammar, spelling, and syntax; and

  • Felt that despite these problems the overall TVI experience was a rewarding one for themselves and their Hong Kong students.

TVI student evaluations continued to note both continued technical difficulties and renewed requests for more “live” time in place of TVI (Murray & Efendioglu, 1999).

A LONGITUDAL STUDY OF PERFORMANCE AND EFFECTIVENESS

In 1997, a formal survey of current and past CRC and GD students was initiated. Thirteen (36%) of the 36 students enrolled in the CRC1 program, the first TVI MBA cohort, responded to the survey. 13 (39%) of the 33 students enrolled in CRC2, 20 (59%) of the 34 GD1 cohorts, 28 (74%) of the GD2 cohort, and 24 (72%) of the CRC3 cohort, responded to a formal attitudinal survey. By 2000, it was possible to compare the results of the attitudinal surveys, grades, and the means of the student evaluations to see if there were significant differences that were due to the different instructional methodologies across all five TVI cohorts.

Because of the prior research on TVI, we expected these adult learners would perform better when compared to the students taking these same classes on a “live” basis (Moore 1989). Further, we expected that overall the TVI students would judge their educational experiences to be at least comparable to that those who were being educated on a “live” basis (Wilkes and Burnham, 1991). Therefore, we formed the following hypotheses:

  • H1: Student performance in TVI courses would be superior to “live” courses

  • H2: Students rate their TVI experiences as at least as effective as “live” instruction

  • H3: There would be no differences in TVI effectiveness between subject areas.

Student Performance

As shown in Table 1 below, TVI students received slightly lower average grades, 3.37 vs. 3.43 (calculated on a 4-point scale), as compared to the average grade received by the MBA student that participated in the “live” videotaped class. On the average, both the TVI and corresponding “live” students received the highest grades in the environment/law MBA classes and performed least well in economics courses. In performance, “live” students received significantly higher grades in environment/law, communications, MIS, management and marketing while, TVI students out-performed the corresponding “live” students in accounting classes. It was not possible to obtain the grades for the students whose classes were videotaped for CRC1, so that information is not listed in this table.

Table 1: Student GPA for all programs and all courses (by program and teaching area)

Teaching Area

Program

ACC

COMM

DS

ECON

ENV/LAW

FIN

MGMT

MIS

MKT

Overall

CRC2

Average of China GPA

3.34

4.00

3.30

3.13

3.55

3.37

3.28

3.40

3.37

Average of USF GPA

3.39

3.53

3.35

3.21

3.67

3.42

3.52

3.33

3.44

CRC3

Average of China GPA

3.47

3.39

3.47

3.08

3.52

3.39

3.37

3.00

3.46

3.36

Average of USF GPA

3.29

3.55

3.57

3.40

3.96

3.45

3.58

3.38

3.85

3.52

GD1

Average of China GPA

3.37

3.27

3.41

3.15

3.33

3.46

3.06

3.36

3.34

Average of USF GPA

3.21

3.62

3.31

3.20

3.52

3.39

3.51

3.26

3.47

3.39

GD2

Average of China GPA

3.57

3.45

3.45

3.36

3.83

3.33

3.50

3.38

3.29

3.44

Average of USF GPA

3.48

3.51

3.36

3.08

4.00

3.28

3.47

3.24

3.55

3.43

Total Average of China GPA

3.44

3.47

3.42

3.18

3.61

3.36

3.40

3.21

3.34

3.38

Total Average of USF GPA

3.34

3.56

3.38

3.22

3.76

3.40

3.52

3.30

3.57

3.44

Student Course Evaluations

The TVI students were asked to fill out a specially adapted student course evaluation form at the end of each course. The results of these evaluations were then summarized into three categories: course content, technology (tapes and taping process), and the “live” teaching component of the course. The survey asked the students to use a 5-point Likert scale to indicate their agreement with a set of statements about the course that they had just taken (1 = Strongly Disagree to 5 = Strongly Agree).

Table 2 shows the combined results of these three cohorts. On the average, TVI student responses indicated a general level of satisfaction with these courses. The “live” components of the courses were felt to be of greater value than those received via TVI. In general, the course content issues were more highly ranked than those associated with the technical issues involving the videotaping and viewing. By averaging the scores in each of the three categories by subject area, we were able to identify differences in delivery effectiveness. According to the TVI students, the delivery of their accounting classes were significantly superior while the delivery of the management and MIS courses were thought to be significantly inferior, as compared to the average TVI course. In each of the instructional areas, a direct comparison of the average scores indicated that the students felt that the “live” component of their MBA classes were delivered more effectively than were either the TVI course content or videotape components.

Table 2: Average of response means for all off-site programs

AREA

ACC

COM

DS

ECON

ENV/LAW

FIN

MGMT

MIS

MKT

Overall Avg.

COURSE CONTENT:

a. Well defined course objectives

4.597

4.123

4.144

4.077

3.876

4.204

4.027

3.697

4.182

4.141

b. Appropriate difficulty level

4.115

3.863

3.922

3.636

3.783

3.771

3.835

3.353

3.942

3.852

c. Helpful assignments

4.360

4.016

4.152

3.847

3.845

3.854

3.815

3.692

4.030

3.995

d. Helpful to my professional activity

4.231

4.211

3.734

3.822

3.798

3.929

3.786

3.599

3.938

3.892

e. Helpful to my professional goals

4.372

4.265

4.021

3.911

3.952

4.112

4.038

3.722

4.112

4.075

f. Reading assignments helpful & easy

4.147

3.858

3.857

3.720

3.614

3.843

3.799

3.466

4.001

3.849

g. Fair exams

4.166

3.724

4.040

3.547

3.727

3.654

3.717

3.433

3.869

3.818

VIDEO TAPES:

a. Can hear instructor clearly

4.240

4.040

3.868

4.018

4.234

3.977

3.944

3.728

4.170

4.015

b. Can hear students clearly

3.349

2.685

3.252

3.148

3.457

3.304

3.272

3.244

3.499

3.257

c. Can see instructor clearly

4.333

4.152

4.137

3.985

4.155

4.043

4.040

3.860

4.099

4.104

d. Read text and graphs easily

3.925

3.481

3.541

3.522

3.573

3.617

3.608

3.625

3.682

3.622

e. Lectures were well organized

4.275

3.675

3.877

3.817

3.890

3.972

3.850

3.610

3.890

3.898

f. Lectures were easy to follow

4.061

3.662

3.753

3.662

3.734

3.807

3.669

3.471

3.880

3.760

g. Lectures help me understand the material

4.148

3.673

3.877

3.792

3.830

3.859

3.726

3.703

3.855

3.840

ON-LOCATION LIVE TEACHING:

a. Lectures were useful

4.621

4.537

4.577

4.190

4.355

4.403

4.204

4.138

4.310

4.384

b. Discussions with professor were helpful

4.518

4.464

4.447

3.869

4.279

4.352

4.220

4.064

4.287

4.284

c. Class activities with professor were valuable

4.492

4.486

4.430

3.938

4.280

4.320

4.252

4.023

4.157

4.281

(1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree)

By capturing the responses to comparable questions asked in the course evaluations completed by the “live” students, and categorizing these responses in a similar manner, it was possible to compare the evaluations by the TVI students to the evaluations of the “live” students in three of the five cohorts. (University policies regarding the public use of this information made such a comparison impossible for the two other cohorts). As shown in Table 3, course delivery, as evidenced by course evaluations, generally improved for the TVI students over time. Further, the average scores for questions grouped into the three categories were statistically higher for the CRC2 and CRC3 cohorts as compared to the average responses of the GD1 cohort.

Finally, comparing the average TVI student responses in each of these categories against the appropriate average student evaluation by “live” students during two academic terms, Fall 97 and Spring 98, showed that the TVI students, in general, found the quality of their “live” interactions superior to students whose entire MBA experience was conducted on a “live” basis. The analysis also showed that the content of the MBA courses offered on a TVI basis were judged as superior as well. However, the average of the three TVI cohort scores indicates that these students felt that the overall delivery of their instructors’ lectures was statistically inferior to those delivered “live.”

Table 3: Average of response means for comparable questions for on-site vs. off-site

PROGRAM

CRC2

GD1

CRC3

USF Fall 97

USF Spring 98

COURSE CONTENT:

a. Well defined course objectives

4.16

3.98

4.225

4.00

4.10

b. Appropriate difficulty level

3.83

3.66

3.935

3.50

3.50

c. Helpful assignments

3.99

3.64

4.024

3.50

3.40

d. Helpful to my professional activity

3.85

3.63

4.103

4.30

4.30

e. Helpful to my professional goals

4.11

3.81

4.158

4.00

4.00

f. Reading assignments helpful & easy

3.83

3.58

3.939

3.60

3.60

g. Fair exams

3.83

3.33

3.975

2.40

2.20

VIDEO TAPES:

e. Lectures were well organized

3.86

3.66

3.990

4.00

4.10

f. Lectures were easy to follow

3.68

3.54

3.949

3.90

4.00

g. Lectures help me understand the material

3.80

3.58

3.985

ON-LOCATION LIVE TEACHING:

a. Lectures were useful

4.35

3.82

4.272

3.70

3.80

b. Discussions with professor were helpful

4.22

3.94

4.186

4.10

4.10

c. Class activities with professor were valuable

4.26

3.71

4.238

(Off-site scale: 1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree; On-site scale: 1=Hardly Ever to 5=Almost Always)

Attitudinal Responses

For the purposes of making continuous improvements to the program, an attitudinal survey of the graduates of the CRC1, CRC2, GD1, and GD2 cohorts was conducted to get specific information about the delivery effectiveness of the TVI program and to see if it changed as problems were identified. Each student was asked to mark their degree of agreement with 17 attitudinal questions on a 7-point Likert scale. (A copy of that questionnaire is contained in the Appendix.)

As shown in Table 4, the average scores for each of the questions generally improved with successive cohorts. On an average, these four cohorts evaluated the impact of the program on the students’ awareness of the international aspects of business (question 2) the highest, while the lowest evaluation was given for the attempt at equating the videotaped format with “live” instruction (question 11). As compared to the average evaluation for all 17 questions (5.399), questions 1, 2 (value for career progress), 7 (ROI on the company’s investment), 9 (importance of discussant), and 17 (recommend program) were found to be statistically higher than the average response (p < .02). The responses to questions 11, 15 (investment in library resources), 16 (investment in telecommunications resources), 10 (adequacy of the video format), 13 (top leaders’ support), and 12 (boss’s support) were found to be statistically lower than average.

Table 4: Average of responses to attitudinal questions

QUESTION

Group

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

CRC1

5.92

6.00

5.46

5.38

5.23

5.00

5.62

5.15

5.31

4.77

3.38

5.08

5.69

5.46

5.08

5.08

5.85

CRC2

5.54

6.08

5.85

5.69

5.31

5.69

6.38

5.62

5.85

4.69

3.31

5.54

5.08

4.85

4.46

4.54

5.62

GD1

6.15

6.20

5.50

5.85

5.65

6.30

6.00

5.65

6.10

4.85

3.95

5.20

5.35

5.45

4.25

4.55

6.15

Grand Total

5.91

6.11

5.59

5.67

5.43

5.76

6.00

5.50

5.80

4.78

3.61

5.26

5.37

5.28

4.54

4.70

5.91

(Scale: 1=Strongly Disagree to 7=Strongly Agree; n=46)

From a direct comparison of attitudinal responses across the chronology of programs, we found that the CRC2 cohort (5.69) reported improvement in the delivery of technical skills (question 6) when compared to the earlier cohort, CRC1 (5.00). Similarly, the CRC2 cohort reported a much higher degree of satisfaction (6.38) with the decision by CRC to invest in this program (question 7) as compared to the earlier cohort, CRC1 (5.62). For the two GD cohorts, the only statistically significant improvement across programs occurred in the area of improved communications skills (question 4), while the GD2 cohort reported that they were less satisfied with the return on the company’s investment in the program (question 7) when compared to the responses of GD1.

From a direct comparison of the second cohorts of both programs against one another it was noted that, in general, the GD TVI students were more satisfied with the program. Specifically, they rated career development (question 1), communication skill development (question 4), ethical considerations (question 5), technical skills (question 6), and the video format (question 10) more highly than did the students of CRC2. However, this GD cohort was less satisfied with their company’s investment in library resources (question15) when compared to the CRC2 cohort.

Table 5: Statistically significant changes in average of responses to attitudinal questions

GD1 vs. CRC1

GD1 vs. CRC2

CRC1 vs. CRC2

GD vs. CRC

Question 4

GD1 (5.65) vs. CRC1(5.38) p<0.05

Question 6

GD1(6.30) vs. CRC1 (5.00) p<0.001

GD1(6.30) vs. CRC2 (5.69) p<0.02

GD (6.30) vs. CRC (5.35) p<0.01

Question 7

CRC1(5.62) vs. CRC2 (6.38) p<0.04

Question 9

GD1(6.10) vs. CRC1 (5.31) p<0.02

GD (6.10) vs. CRC (5.58) p<0.05

Question 15

GD1(4.25) vs. CRC1 (5.08) p<0.03

Question 17

GD (6.15) vs. CRC (5.73) p<0.04

(GD1 n=20; CRC1 n=13; CRC2 n=13)

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, the SOBAM faculty feel that their experiences with this distance teaching technology have been positive. The alumni of these programs are generally enthusiastic about their experiences. They believe their time and effort have paid off for them. They believe their companies have received good value for their investments in these programs.

The opportunity to teach in this program was also highly valued by SOBAM faculty because it gave them the opportunity to travel to China and be exposed to foreign culture. The logistical demands of the taping also meant that many of their lectures were better prepared, and in some cases this left them with better organized material for subsequent “live” classes on the same topics. In addition, the University became much more aware of the demands of doing this type of training and now has much greater capability to do it successfully.

Contrary to expectations, the average grade for the TVI students was lower than the average grade for the students that attended the “live” classes taped for this program. This is also contrary to the findings of the earlier research studies.

 

Table 6: Summary of student GPAs for all programs and all courses

TEACHING AREA

ACC

COMM

DS

ECON

ENV/LAW

FIN

MGMT

MIS

MKT

Grand Total

Average of USF GPA

3.32

3.56

3.39

3.22

3.70

3.41

3.51

3.30

3.59

3.43

Average of China GPA

3.41

3.47

3.38

3.12

3.54

3.41

3.36

3.15

3.35

3.36

In retrospect, the faculty who taught in these programs have developed several hypotheses as to why program performances and student achievements differed from those expected. Few of the faculty used the tutor as intended. In the later cohorts in both programs, the role of the tutor was functionally downgraded to that of course assistant; e.g., starting the video, mailing the assignments, etc. Further, due to circumstances beyond the direct control of the SOBAM faculty, many of the students ended up watching videotapes individually (without the benefit of the group interaction and active questioning inherent in the TVI model). Specifically,

  • The TVI was not used as designed because the client companies decided not to provide the required level of tutoring (for a majority of the courses that were offered) and would not enforce the group-oriented learning environment that is essential for effective TVI;

  • Many of the SOBAM faculty were not fully aware of the underlying concepts of TVI, and the San Francisco-based program coordinators did not require that the TVI model be followed;

  • Approximately one-third of the class contact hours “live”; and

  • The TVI program did not take full advantage of the learning curve; i.e., the experiences of the faculty teaching in the program were not captured, analyzed, organized, and presented to faculty who were teaching in the program for the first time.

To summarize, the version of the TVI technology that was actually used in China by SOBAM faculty should be more properly labeled “VI” than TVI because the students actually received a “video instruction,” devoid of any in-class discussion. Modifications in the TVI program actually reduced the effectiveness of the technology.

REFERENCES

Appleton, A., Dekkers, J. and Sharma, R. (1989). Improved teaching excellence by using tutored video instruction: An Australian case study. Presented at the 11th EAIR Forum, Trier, Germany.

Arentz, H. C. (1995). A survey of TVI learners within cost engineering. Cost Engineering, 37(10), 26-35.

Chu, G. and Schramm, W. (1967). Learning from television: What the research says. Stanford University, ERIC Document Reproduction Service, Report No. ED 014 900.

Efendioglu, A. (1989). The problems and opportunities in developing international business programs. Journal of Teaching in International Business, 1(2), Haworth Press.

Gibbons, J. (1977). Tutored videotape instruction. Presented at the Conference on Education Applications of Satellites, Arlington, Virginia.

Gibbons, J., Kincheloe, W. and Down, K. (1977). Tutored videotape instruction: A new use of electronic media in education. Science, March, 1139-1146.

Moore, M. (1989). Effects of Distance Learning: A Summary of the Literature, Washington, DC, Office of Technical Assessment.

Murray, L. (1996). An analysis of the Chinese TVI programs. Executive Council Report to the Faculty, University of San Francisco.

Murray, L. and Efendioglu, A. (1999). Distance education: Delivery systems and student perceptions of business education in China. Proceedings, Decision Sciences Institute Annual Meeting, 281-283.

Schramm, W. (1967). What we know about learning from television. Stanford University, ERIC Document Reproduction Service, Report No. ED 002 561.

Sparkes, J. (1985). On the design of effective distance teaching courses. Presented at the Annual Conference of the International Council on Distance Education, Melbourne, Australia.

Stone, H. (1990). A multi-institutional evaluation of video-based distance engineering education. Presented at the Frontiers in Education Conference, Vienna, Austria.

Thach, E. and Murphy, K. (1995). Training via distance learning. Training & Development, 49(12), 44-47.

Wilkes, C. and Burnham. (1991). Adult learner motivations and electronic distance education. The American Journal of Distance Learning, 5(1), 43-50.

APPENDIX: QUESTIONS FOR THE CHINA EMBA PROGRAM GRADUATES

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

Strongly Agree

Agree

Slightly Agree

No Opinion

Slightly Disagree

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Please enter the appropriate number in the box next to the question.

  1. If I compare my career progress against the peers that I had before I entered the USF-EMBA, overall program was of great value to me.

    Please explain: _______________________________________________________________

  2. The EMBA program helped increase my awareness of international aspects of business.

  3. The EMBA program helped increase my leadership skills.

  4. The EMBA program helped increase my communications skills.

  5. The EMBA program exposed me to consider ethical circumstances in my job and company.

  6. The EMBA program helped increase my technical skills; e.g., use of the computer.

  7. The investment of time and money made by my company in the EMBA program was a wise one as it developed skilled managers that the firm would not have had without the program.

  8. The cohort system (taking the same classes with the same classmates throughout the entire EMBA program) improved my learning.

  9. The use of a discussant, which attended classes with the students, improved my learning in the EMBA program.

  10. The video delivery format used for the EMBA program was adequate.

  11. I found that video delivery format used was not really much different from taking an entire course “live” with the instructor.

  12. My boss during the time that I was taking classes in the EMBA program generally supported my educational efforts and gave me enough time off to complete the work required for the MBA classes.

  13. In general, I feel that the top leaders of my company feel that the MBA program that I attended was a good investment.

  14. In general, I feel that my company’s investment in computer resources were sufficient to support the requirements for student activities in the EMBA program

  15. In general, I feel that my company’s investment in library resources were sufficient to support the requirements for student activities in the EMBA program.

  16. In general, I feel that my company’s investment in telecommunications resources (e.g., e-mail, fax) were sufficient to support the requirements for student activities in the EMBA program.

  17. I would recommend the USF-EMBA program to friends and colleagues.