Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Michael R. Simonson


The past few years have seen increased interest in the use of communications satellites for delivering instruction at the postsecondary level. This study was conducted to (1) compile a set of guidelines for the use of course developers in designing, delivering, and evaluating a satellite course; (2) identify those colleges and universities in the United States with experience in using satellites for credit course delivery; and (3) determine the degree to which the actual practices of these institutions conformed with the guidelines;A literature review in the fields of instructional telecommunications, distance education, and adult education was conducted, and twenty-three guidelines were established. The universities that have delivered satellite courses in the decade of the 1980s were then identified. The population included the 24 institutions comprising the National Technological University (NTU) consortium and eleven other universities that have transmitted satellite courses not associated with the NTU. Completed survey forms were received from 21 of the 24 NTU universities and 9 of the 11 non-NTU institutions;The results documented a significant growth in the use of satellites for credit course delivery since 1984. The median number of receiving sites was 8 for the NTU group and 10 for the non-NTU group. Median enrollments were 13 for NTU courses and 68 for non-NTU courses, with a mean average enrollment per site of 2.0 students in NTU courses and 5.5 students for the non-NTU group. Course costs varied significantly;It was apparent that respondents were sincerely interested in maintaining course quality. However, some problem areas were identified. Needs assessments were rarely conducted prior to course development. Interactivity was minimal in NTU classes, due primarily to the practice of uplinking videotaped lectures. The visual component of most courses appeared to be underutilized. Student support services were limited. Training of faculty members was generally limited to the technical aspects of the system. Faculty efforts were largely unrecognized by promotion and tenure committees.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Michael James Albright



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

313 pages