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Week One Assignment

I feel the definition of distance learning is always changing because our definitions of “distance” and “learning” are always changing.

For example, air travel, the telephone, and Internet have breached barriers of distance. Additionally, E-learning has continued to evolve with technology to deliver “learning” and “education.” This has taken us from correspondence courses, to closed-circuit television, to the Internet.

ID professionals have managed to ensure institutionally-based formal education can connect learning groups (teacher, student, resources) regardless of geography and time (Simonson, 2012)

I can relate this to my own experience of older relatives taking courses by mail. In my rural community, it was common for the school district to use its television networks to deliver instruction in subjects such as advanced French and physics.

The caveat is that regardless of the situations outlined above, educators need to be proficient in the technologies required to deliver effective instruction. I know veteran educators who say they know the principals of instructional design, but cannot apply them in distance – specifically online – environments. This supports the notion that “Not only is there a pedagogical difference, but also the inclusion of technology often requires new skill sets, new ways of thinking, new time and resource management skills, new ways of communication …” (Moller, Foshay & Huett. 2008. P. 68)

My personal definition of distance education (DE) has always included a model of “one-to-many.” This can mean one instructor off-site delivering content to many learners or one medium (with multiple instructors) delivering content to many learners. However, I do acknowledge that DE can be one-on-one. This week’s readings have confirmed my personal definitions.

I’d like to think distance learning can move away from societal stigmas and faculty fear to large scale adoption and even collective bargaining for its employees. I work for a labor union. Hence, I believe “course development, control of the learning process, collaboration, and intellectual property rights are not the only adjustment issues for faculty. Faculty also have concerns about training, salary, workload, and promotion and tenure.” Everything in the aforementioned-sentence can be addressed by a collective bargaining agreement.  (Moller, Foshay & Huett. 2008. P. 68)

Finally, I was home schooled for a few grades of secondary school. I’d be interested to see what DE can contribute on K-12 levels to home-schooling parents in the United States.

Works Cited:

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, N., &Zvacek, S. (2102). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearosn.

Chapater 2, “Definitions, History, and Theories of Distance Education” (pp. 32-41)

Moller, L, Foshay, W., & Huett, J (2008). The Evolution of distance education:  Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 2: Higher education). TechTrends, 52(4). 66-70

Categories: Walden 6135
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