Michael Moore Distance Education
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Michael Moore Distance Education

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Historical perspective.

International Council for Correspondence Education (ICCE) 1972.

.. the universe of instruction consists of two families of teaching behaviors, … "contiguous teaching" and "distance teaching."

distance teaching:
"instructional methods in which the teaching behaviors are executed apart from the learning behaviors,.. so that communication …must be facilitated by print, electronic, mechanical, or other devices."

“… we should direct resources to the macro-factors: describing and defining the field; discriminating between the various components of this field; … building a theoretical framework...”

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Michael Moore Distance Education Michael Moore Distance Education Presentation Transcript

    • Theory and theorists
    • European Distance Education Network.
    • Castelldefels: October 27 th 2006
    • Michael G. Moore
    • Professor of Education
    • The Pennsylvania State University, U.S.A. Editor: The American Journal of Distance Education
    • www.ajde.com
    • 19 Roundham Road, Paignton, Devon, UK. TQ46JA
  • Holmberg, B. (1960). On the methods of teaching by correspondence. Lunds Universitets Årsskrift N. F. Avd. 1 Bd 54: 2. Lund:Gleerup. Peters, O. (1967). Das Fernstudium an Universitäten und Hochschulen. Weinheim: Beltz. Moore, M. G. (1972). Learner autonomy: The second dimension of independent learning. Convergence , 5(2), 76-88. Available online at http://www.ajde.com/Documents/learner_autonomy.pdf Moore, M. G. (1973). Towards a theory of independent learning and teaching. Journal of Higher Education , (44), 661-679. Available online at http://www.ajde.com/Documents/theory.pdf Peters, O. (1973). Die didaktische Struktur des Fernunterrichts. Weinheim: Beltz. Holmberg, B. (1977) Distance education. A survey and bibliography. London: Kogan Page Early publications in distance education theory
  • Historical perspective. International Council for Correspondence Education (ICCE) 1972. .. the universe of instruction consists of two families of teaching behaviors, … "contiguous teaching" and "distance teaching." distance teaching: "instructional methods in which the teaching behaviors are executed apart from the learning behaviors,.. so that communication …must be facilitated by print, electronic, mechanical, or other devices." “… we should direct resources to the macro-factors: describing and defining the field; discriminating between the various components of this field; … building a theoretical framework...” Origin of the term "Distance Education “
  • Evolution of Theory of Transactional Distance (based on Stover, UMUC 2003)
  • First steps
    • Moore started by gathering a large sample of “independent study” programs .
    • These included programs delivered by:
      • TV and radio
      • Correspondence
      • Programmed instruction
      • Computer-assisted instruction
      • Telephone
      • Dial access audio tapes
      • Independent learning on campus
    • He classified them by the extent to which generally the learning program was individualized
      • More individualized programs were usually:
      • Correspondence
      • Programmed instruction
      • Independent learning on campus
      • Less individualized programs were:
      • Computer-assisted instruction
      • TV and radio
      • Telephone groups
      • Dial access audio tapes
    • He then classified whether the programs involved dialog (“constructive interaction”) between teacher and learner
      • Independent learning on campus
      • Individual telephone
      • Individual correspondence
      • Group telephone
      • Group correspondence
      • Computer-assisted instruction
      • Programmed instruction
      • Dial access audio tapes
      • TV
      • Radio
      • Textbook study
    High dialog Low dialog High individualization Low individualization High individualization Low individualization
    • He explained that pedagogical, or “transactional distance” is a function of two sets of variables, dialog (D) and structure (S).
    • These variables indicate four types of programs :
    • 1. Programs with no dialogue and no structure (– D – S)
    • 2. Programs with no dialogue, but with structure (– D + S)
    • 3. Programs with dialogue and structure (+ D + S)
    • 4. Programs with dialogue, but no structure (+D – S)
    • Note:
    • D and S are continuous variables, i.e. every program has more or less D and S.
  • Dialog more less Structure more less Transactional distance increases Capacity for individualization more less How the variables of dialog and structure determine transactional distance can be shown in a simple graph.
  • Typical programs by technology used (Moore, 1972, 1973) Dialog more less Structure more less Transactional distance Capacity for individualization less more 1. independent study on campus correspondence teaching telephone 6. programmed instruction 7. computer-assisted instruction audio tapes 9. TV 4. GROUP 5. GROUP correspondence 3. individualized 2. individualized telephone 8. dial access 10. radio 11. Textbook –self-directed independent reading personal tutorials
  • Moore’s second hypothesis focused on the learner Dialog more less Structure more less Transactional distance Capacity for individualization more less To better understand Moore’s second hypothesis, we must first rotate our 2 dimensional diagram. .
  • Autonomy and transactional distance the level of autonomy required of the learner increases as transactional distance increases. Transactional distance AUTONOMY Dialog more less Structure more less Transactional distance Capacity for individualization more less
  • Determinants of autonomy GOALS EXECUTION EVALUATION 8. NNN (no autonomy) 1. AAA (fully autonomous) 2. AAN (autonomy in setting goals and execution) External certification programs 3. ANA (autonomy in setting goals and in evaluation) Programmed learning 4. ANN (autonomy only in setting goals--uncommon) 6. NNA (autonomy only in evaluation—most rare) 7. NAN (autonomy only in execution--by far the most common situation) 5. NAA (autonomy in execution and evaluation—uncommon)
    • Autonomy itself is a three-dimensional concept. It shows for any program the type of control that the learner is allowed in:
    • establishing goals
    • executing the learning program
    • evaluating progress
  • Examples of hypothesized relationships of autonomy, structure and dialog
    • When autonomy is low the need for structure is high
    • When structure is low the need for autonomy is high
    • Programs with low dialog require a high degree of learner autonomy.
    • Programs with low dialog and low structure require a higher degree of learner autonomy.
    • Learners with high autonomy require less dialog, less structure
    • Etc
    • Highly autonomous learners may engage in auto-dialog
    • Course designers can develop very highly structured courses, with little room for learner autonomy in setting goals, execution or evaluation.
    • Or can develop very unstructured courses, allowing learners to exercise a high degree of autonomy.
      • An autonomous learner could put together a highly structured learning program for him/herself — or could make a loosely structured program.
  • A 3D Model of transactional distance Dialog more less Structure more less Autonomy permitted/ required by the teaching method less more Transactional distance high low Transactional distance can be viewed as a set of tiered platforms. As one steps away from the origin (dialog or structure), the steps also increase in height (autonomy).
  • A 3D Model of Transactional Distance Dialog more less Structure more less Autonomy less more low TD Different teaching programs can be viewed as glasses that are stacked on these tiers according to their degrees of structure and dialog. The height of the glass represents the degree of autonomy that is permitted in an actual program. The height of the liquid within the glass represents the degree of autonomy that is required of the learner. high TD
  • Dialog more less Structure more less Autonomy less more Thus, the manner in which a program is designed and conducted can result in requiring or permitting a higher or lower overall level of autonomy. For instance, a course taught ONLINE – technology allowing a low degree of structure and high dialog, permitting a low degree of learner autonomy -- could be designed with high structure and/or low dialog and require a high degree of autonomy. high TD low TD
  • Dialog more less Structure more less Autonomy less more The final factor to be considered is the capacity of the learner for autonomous learning. The learner’s capacity has a lot to do with personality, learning styles, prior experience, and other factors, including the content to be learned This determines how high the learner can “reach”— and lets us see what teaching strategies are appropriate. high TD low TD
  • Conclusion
    • Using this construct, we can see that we can design courses for different degrees of learner autonomy— by varying dialog and structure ….
    • We can design research to explore and test the many interactions within and between these variables
    • which gets back to the basis of Moore’s original investigations.
  • Elaboration of theory ………. A Systems Approach in Theory Building Farhad Saba Department of Educational Technology, San Diego State University Chapter forthcoming in Handbook of Distance Education, Second Edition, 2007 Saba, F., & Twitchell, D. (1988). Research in distance education. A system modeling approach. The American Journal of Distance Education, 2 (1), 9-24. Saba, F. (1989). Integrated telecommunications systems and instructional transaction. The American Journal of Distance Education, 2 (3), 17-24. Saba, F. (2003). Distance education theory, methodology, and epistemology: A pragmatic paradigm. In M. G. Moore & W. G. Anderson (Eds.), Handbook of distance education (pp. 3-20). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Saba, F., & Shearer, R. L. (1994). Verifying key theoretical concepts in a dynamic model of distance education. The American Journal of Distance Education, 8 (1), 36-59 .
    • Saba’s systems dynamics hypotheses:
      • When structure increases, transactional distance increases and dialog decreases.
      • When dialog increases, transactional distance decreases and structure decreases
      • Transactional Distance (t)= Transactional Distance (t-dt) + (structure-dialog) x dt .
  • TD vis a vis Peters and Holmberg “ transactional distance is an open system residing in a larger environment in the instructional systems level which is in turn part of a larger system in the hierarchical model” (Saba 2007) TD is only a pedagogical theory … a theory about teaching and learning Some theorists deal with larger systems, (Peters) others with smaller systems (Holmberg)
  • Instructional-learning system Instructional program structure (content, objectives, strategies, evaluation) learner teacher dialogue teacher empathy learner autonomy Autonomy is one component of the learner system; empathy is one component of teacher system LEARNING GROUPS With new interactive technology we have potential for dialog between learners and a new form of learner-learner autonomy reducing the transactional distance for each student .
  • “ concluding comment on how you view the interpretations of and the debate(s) about your theory” I have very little to comment …… One thing I would like to point out is that transactional distance theory was/is no more than that, --- a summary of knowledge in one part of the field … the teaching-learning process. As such, it is purely descriptive …. It is not prescriptive …… some authors think I am an advocate for more or less learner autonomy, more or less dialogue, more or less structure ……. This is NOT so. I am happy that transactional distance theory has served at least one purpose successfully which is to ensure that distance education is taken seriously as a field of study in the United States, which was not the case before 1972. It has proven useful in encouraging others to write about theory and it has proven useful as a foundation for research; examples are shown in the Handbook chapter.
  • (recent) opinions of scholars and researchers “ by showing the transactional distance not as a fixed quantity but as a variable, which results from the respective changing interplay between dialogue, the structured nature of the teaching program being presented, and the autonomy of the students, it (the transactional distance theory) provides a convincing explanation of the enormous flexibility of this form of academic teaching. It also provides an insight into the pedagogical complexity of distance education “…. (Peters, 1998, 42) what “in essence (is) changed by the revolution in media we have undergone over the last decade?” … “Moore's theory remains, in my view, the crucial framework of ideas against which such assertions as represented here can be tested” (Tait, 2003: 5). “ transactional distance …….. subsumes concepts that are based on physical attributes, such as electronics in e-Learning, blendedness in blended learning, and wired or wireless telecommunication in online learning. Furthermore the theory of transactional distance extends well beyond these lower level system components and includes fundamentals of psychology, sociology and education and other related areas of educational science. (Saba 2005: 4)
  • Examples of empirical studies (mostly doctoral) based on transactional distance Saba (1988) Saba and Twitchell (1988) Shinkle (2001) Braxton (1999) Zhang (2003) Gallo (2001) Bischoff (1993) Bischoff et al. (1996) Gayol (1996) Bunker, Gayol, Nti, and Reidell (1996) Walker Fernandez (1999) Moore, M.H. (1999) Vrasidas and MacIsaac (1999) Anderson (1999) Atkinson (1999) Hopper (2000) Rovai (2000) Chen Y. (1997) Chen and Willits (1998, 1999) Chen, Y. (2001) Clouse (2001) Williams (2003) Edstrom (2002) Wheeler (2002) Lee and Gibson (2003) Witte and Wolf (2003) Lowell (2004) Stein, Wanstreet, et al (2005) Dupin-Bryant (2004) Avive, Erlich, Ravid, and Gava (2003) Gorsky, Caspi, and Trumper (2004) Gorsky, Caspi, and Tuvi-Arid (2004) Ofir et al 2004 Wikeley and Muschamp (2004) Munro (1991) Brenner (1996) Richardson (1998) Thompson, (1998) Huang (2000) Kanuka, Collett, and Caswell (2002) Dron (2002, 2004) Stein, Wanstreet, et al (2005) Lemone (2005)
  • Conclusion and future directions Jung (2001): "WBI research showed little resemblance to established pedagogical theory in general or distance education theory in particular. While some studies raised their research question and discussed the findings in theoretical frameworks, other studies had little relationship to established learning theories." I fear: further proliferation of non-theoretical grabbing at data, conceptual confusion and thus mis-directed research resources I hope: More research connected to theory through study of educational theory, including foundations of educational psychology, philosophy, curriculum design, instruction as requirement for higher education practice and research I expect more attention to l earner-to-learner dialogue stimulated by constructivist philosophy and methodology, leading to more understanding of learner autonomy, what is appropriate dialog with teacher and what are appropriate course structures
  • Thank you.. Michael G. Moore www.ajde.com Forthcoming HANDBOOK OF DISTANCE EDUCATION. SECOND EDITION by Michael G. Moore (ed.) ISBN/ISSN: 0-8058-5847-4 Pub. Date: March 2007 http://www.erlbaum.com