New Media & Distance Learning


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New Media & Distance Learning

  1. 1. New Media & Distance Learning Explaining the term ‘new media’ and how it might relate to distance learning . Steve Mackenzie Distance Learning Design Team Leader Postgraduate and CPD Office 16th June 2009
  2. 2. Overview • • • • • • • Brief History of Distance Learning New Media – A Definition New Media - its Relationship to Distance Learning New Media – Applications to Learning The Significance of New Media Implications for Distance Learning Conclusion - Transitional Strategies
  3. 3. History of Distance Learning Independent Study • First Generation (late 19th, early 20th century) Print based correspondence courses. • Second Generation (1960’s through to the 1980’s) Radio and TV broadcast technology. • Third generation (1980’s to early 90’s) Computer based learning, teleconferencing, videoconferencing, audio/video tapes, multimedia CD-ROM’s. • Fourth Generation (early 90’s to late 90’s) Interactive multimedia, Access to Internet resources and computer mediated communications (e.g. asynchronous discussions). • Fifth Generation (late 90’s to mid 2000’s) In addition to fourth generation delivery technologies, this generation includes the use of automated response systems (e.g. email, online tests) and Virtual Learning Environments to access institutional processes and resources. • Sixth Generation (mid 2000’s – current) Web 2.0, Mobile and Synchronous technology: Much improved communications. A diverse set of tools to facilitate more active, participatory and collaborative learning. Connectivity Active Participation
  4. 4. New Media – A Definition PCMAG.COM (2008) define new media as: “A generic term for the many different forms of electronic [digital] communication that are made possible through the use of computer technology. The term is in relation to “old” media forms, such as print newspapers and magazines, that are static representations of text and graphics.” PCMAG.COM (2008) Content Communication – Multimedia, Interactive Multimedia Human Communication – Interaction, collaboration, co-operation Cutting Edge New Media – Web 2.0, Social Software
  5. 5. New Media -its Relationship to Distance Learning New Media facilitates Active Learning - Active Learning is preferable to isolated independent study. Palloff and Pratt (1999) suggest that: “for distance learning that an active learning model is the model of choice especially given the separation between teacher and student. They suggest also that the teacher’s role is to devise learning activities that promote interaction and collaboration, facilitate active discussion, promote the development of critical thinking and research skills”
  6. 6. New Media – Applications to Learning Social Bookmarking Blogs Connections to useful websites and other online resources Social Networking Connections to people and resources Reflection Wikis Online Media Collaboration Web 2.0 Interaction with multimedia content . Examples include youtube (video), flickr (photos), itunes (podcasts) plus self produced media Social Software Read/ Write Web
  7. 7. The Significance of New Media! Can improve studentstudent, student-staff and staff-staff communication Can promote participation, collaboration and active learning Can enhance student motivation, enjoyment and learning A combination of synchronous or asynchronous strategies
  8. 8. Implications for Distance Learning There is still a place for ‘old’ media. Opportunity to Build on current good practices. Great opportunities, but it is a time for transition. There is a need to experiment in order to progress. New media needs to be introduced gradually. For students more emphasis on active learning, participating and collaborating could be scary – guidance and time to orientate to a new approach is essential. For teachers – it’s new too, they will need support to decide how best to use ‘new media’ and how to change teaching strategies. Cutting edge ‘New media’ technology is not controlled by the institution, this could be an issue at times. Best alternatives within current institutional online spaces may need to be found.
  9. 9. Conclusion - Transitional Strategies • Consideration of economic, logistical, instructional, technological, historical and political factors. • Consideration of each particular student cohort and their needs. Strong explanation as to why new online ways of learning (contributing, participating) are beneficial Clear Expectations and Ground Rules Teacher Facilitation, Encouragement and Leading by example Staff Training Good Quality Student Inductions Introductory tasks for students
  10. 10. Extra 1: Explanations, Ideas and examples • Campus Based Programmes – Normal face to face teaching – Blackboard for additional support • Distance Learning Programmes – – – – – – • Blended Learning Programmes – – – – – • Minimal face to face contact Block teaching Weeks Blackboard for core support Additional Postal Correspondence Additional Administrative phone support Additional Teacher Phone Support in theory 25-50% delivered via e-learning technology Block teaching weeks Blackboard for additional/core support May include additional Administrative phone support May include additional Teacher Phone Support E-Learning – Different needs for different programmes