Competencies for distance education professionals

  • Elizabeth C. Thach
  • Karen L. Murphy

DOI: 10.1007/BF02300482

Cite this article as:
Thach, E.C. & Murphy, K.L. ETR&D (1995) 43: 57. doi:10.1007/BF02300482


The purpose of this study was to identify the roles and competencies of distance education professionals within the United States and Canada. A population of 103 distance education experts was identified, and their perceptions regarding this information were sought in a modified two-round Delphi process. The results of the study include a competency model for distance education. It illustrates the final top ten competencies and eleven roles which were identified by the study. In addition, a supplemental table outlining outputs and competencies by individual role was developed. The top ten competencies portray the dual importance of both communication and technical skills in distance education. These ten competencies are: (1) Interpersonal Communication, (2) Planning Skills, (3) Collaboration/Teamwork Skills, (4) English Proficiency, (5) Writing Skills, (6) Organizational Skills, (7) Feedback Skills, (8) Knowledge of Distance Education Field, (9) Basic Technology Knowledge, and (10) Technology Access Knowledge. The resulting competency model will be useful in serving as a research foundation for development training and certification programs for distance education professionals.

Copyright information

© the Association for Educational Communications and Technology 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth C. Thach
    • 1
  • Karen L. Murphy
    • 2
  1. 1.the Organizational Capability Group of Amoco Corporation at Houston
  2. 2.Educational Curriculum & Instruction at Texas A&M UniversityCollege Station

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