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The truth about distance education in college


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The truth about distance education in college

  1. 1. Distance Education Can we debunk some of the myths?
  2. 2. What is Distance Education? <ul><li>Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of facts. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Henry Adams </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. History <ul><li>Historically known as correspondence courses </li></ul><ul><li>matchbook courses </li></ul><ul><li>Rapid Results College </li></ul>
  4. 4. Distance Education Defined <ul><li>Trying to define distance education is rather like trying to define art or science….we all have a sense of what it is when we see it but we would be hard pressed to accurately define it. </li></ul><ul><li>Learners and teachers are separated by geography and/or time. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Distance Education Myths <ul><li>Distance education is about technology </li></ul><ul><li>Distance education is about replacing professors </li></ul><ul><li>Distance education is about saving/making money </li></ul><ul><li>Distance education is about administration </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  6. 6. So what is distance learning about? <ul><li>Distance learning is more about teaching and learning than about technology </li></ul><ul><li>Distance learning is about access and equality for learners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The first ATM was located inside a bank and was available only during regular banking hours </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Benefits of distance education - student <ul><li>Flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive </li></ul><ul><li>Responsive </li></ul><ul><li>Supportive </li></ul><ul><li>Technological </li></ul>
  8. 8. Benefits - Professor <ul><li>A new way of looking at his/her course material </li></ul><ul><li>A chance to work with more mature students </li></ul><ul><li>A learning opportunity </li></ul>
  9. 9. Challenges - students <ul><li>Resistance to change </li></ul><ul><li>Technological challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Self-discipline </li></ul><ul><li>Feelings of remoteness / resentment </li></ul>
  10. 10. Challenges - Professors <ul><li>All preparation work is “up front” </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational problems </li></ul><ul><li>Feelings of outside interference </li></ul><ul><li>Worries about technology being “rammed down their throats” </li></ul>
  11. 11. Regular department channels still govern: <ul><li>Course/program approval </li></ul><ul><li>Tuition fees </li></ul><ul><li>Registration </li></ul><ul><li>Accreditation </li></ul>
  12. 12. Which technology is Best? <ul><li>52 research reports over 80 years say “No significant difference” in learning </li></ul>
  13. 13. Sacred cows <ul><li>We’ve invested $ in distance education and we haven’t made any money yet. What’s wrong? </li></ul><ul><li>Distance education is ok for other people, but, it will never work in my faculty/department/subject/class. </li></ul>
  14. 14. More sacred cows <ul><li>The old technology worked just fine in the past. I don’t see why we should change it. </li></ul><ul><li>Make this as easy as possible because I don’t want to learn anything new. </li></ul><ul><li>This technology isn’t working. Why bother having it if it never works? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Concluding remarks…. <ul><li>Distance education is not for everyone, but, it works and it works well </li></ul><ul><li>Distance education is not a panacea, but, it does solve problems in education and training </li></ul><ul><li>Distance education is not all things to all people, but, it provides access to those who otherwise would be denied </li></ul>
  16. 16. Discussion…..