Author’s preface, 2008. \ud \ud I wrote this book on my return from Lesotho, Africa, where I worked from 1974 to 1977 for the Lesotho Distance-Teaching Centre. We undertook many, mostly small, research projects to guide our distance teaching, and it was on this aspect of our work that I was asked to write. \ud \ud The book is about doing practical research. It is not a summary of research findings on distance teaching, nor is it a digest of the literature on educational research and evaluation. It is the advice that I would give to someone who wanted to know how to go about doing research in distance teaching, especially in a developing country. \ud \ud The first two chapters and the last are about linking research and action; the rest are about doing research. Chapters 3 to 11 describe methods common to social research in general but I use examples from distance teaching to illustrate them. The remaining chapters look at some of the tasks that research can perform in distance teaching, such as pretesting instructional materials or evaluating a campaign. \ud \ud Most of the advice in this book is still applicable today, but one topic is conspicuously absent - computer technology, which has changed beyond recognition since the book was published. The punched-card technology described briefly on pages 90 to 96 now belongs in a science museum. The book has very little to say about the use of computers for the analysis of research results, and nothing at all about the use of computers and the internet in the delivery of education
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