T. Vasiljeva, G. Lapina, J. Novinkina

RISEBA University (LATVIA)
Distance learning nowadays is experiencing extremely fast growth due to high interest in society for life-long learning and accessional usage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in all fields of interest. A number of studies shows increasing interest and necessity for various models, e-platforms and methodologies for distance and blended learning as well as presents serious concern about the content and quality of the relevant curricula. The main aim of this research is to understand and measure the students’ and faculty expectations, perception and attitude towards the effectiveness and improvement of distance learning, particularly in the delivery of video lessons.

The authors of the given research paper have analysed the situation in six higher education institutions in Latvia in May 2015. A survey amongst students and faculty has been conducted to assess the necessity of video lessons, which could essentially implicate the success of distance learning. This paper reports on the results of a survey of the 179 students and 37 faculty about their attitude and perception to the use of video lessons in higher education. The quantitative analysis of the survey findings is presented focusing on the content, format of video lessons, study fields where students prefer having video lessons, as well as financial aspects of introducing video lessons in distance learning. Interpretation of the data allowed carry out several recommendations that are useful for universities’ faculty and management while introducing various pedagogical methods and tools like video lessons for distance and blended learning.

Research questions and objectives:
1) Study the pedagogic aspects of delivering the video lessons in the distance learning process,
2) Summarize and analyse the perception of the main stakeholders of university distance learning about the video lessons as part of the learning process.
3) Identify the key factors of video lessons that impact the quality of distance learning process in higher education.

Critical analysis of literature sources, quantitative analysis and interpretation of the data gathered by the survey from the students and faculty, semi-structured interviews and discussions with the top management of RISEBA University Distance Learning Centre.

Practical implications:
The research results will impact the behaviour of Universities’ top management and stakeholders for improvements in distance learning education quality.

JEL codes: I21, I23, O35.