Design Principles<br /> There are many principles that guide the design<br />of distance education programs. The following<br />are only three of many that can help build a<br />successful program. Grand Canyon University is one of<br />many universities that has established a successful<br />distance learning platform. The GCU program will be<br />used as an example of the principles presented. <br /><ul><li>Modularizing the Course
Integrating Interaction</li></li></ul><li>Modularizing the Course<br />
Modularizing the Course<br />Modularizing a course means more than just dividing the content into modules or sections. Modules make possible the individualization of the content. <br />Modularization can allow for the content to be divided into sections, within which , the students can quickly pass the information they already know, allowing them to spend more time working on the modules they need to understand.<br />
Modularizing the Course<br />Using modules helps the distance learner pace themselves through the course and helps in time management and planning.<br />As you can see in the previous screen shot, Grand canyon University offers learners information for the courses in modules. Each module is made up of a series of content and requirements that must be fulfilled throughout the course.<br />Many online programs allow <br /> for setup that is modularized.<br />Examples: (Moodle is one example)<br />
Creating Materials with the Learner in Mind<br />
Creating Materials with the Learner in Mind<br />Allowing students opportunities to take advantage of their learning styles while completing the content of the course is vital.<br />Content should be collected and designed keeping multiple intelligences in mind. Ideas and information should be presented in multiple manners.<br />Distance Educators should use all faculties available, audio, video, graphic, etc.<br />
Creating Materials with the Learner in Mind<br />As the previous screen shot shows, Grand Canyon University uses multiple venues with which the instructor shares information with the students, including the university library.<br />Through Canyon Connect, the Instructor has the option of connecting students with audio, video, and other supporting learning methods.<br />Examples : (Teachertube, youtube,<br />kidsknowit, bestedsites, etc)<br />
Integrating Interaction<br />Allowing for student/instructor communication is vital to the success of a course. A substitution or alternate method from the traditional classroom must be provided in Distance Education. <br />Allowing for student/student interaction is also vital for allowing the optimal experience for learners. <br />
Integrating Interaction<br /><ul><li>As the previous screen shot shows, Grand Canyon University uses multiple methods of communication and interaction not only between both the student and instructor, but also among the students themselves.
GCU uses e-mail communication, wall postings, and phone communication if necessary.
The Cyber Café and other postings available allow for asynchronous communication that students can take advantage of from whatever time zone they are participating, at whatever hour is convenient.</li></li></ul><li>Integrating Interaction<br />Video communications are also a possibility that may strengthen interaction in the virtual classroom. <br />A result of the lack of face-to-face contact, instructors are strongly encouraged to develop strategies and instruction that leads to high interaction, such as, communication, participation and feedback.<br />There are many software options that allow for communication through audio, video and text online. <br />Examples:<br />(Skype: audio/video, Twitter: text)<br />
Integrating Interaction<br />Interactivity Theory: there are three types of relations in instructions.<br />1. Learner/Instructor: The interaction between the student and the teacher.<br />2. Learner/Context: The manner how the student obtains the information.<br />3. Learner/Learner: The exchange of ideas between the students. <br />Interaction supports the development of community building and learning.<br />(Uribe, Elisa.)<br />
Design Principles<br />Much research and study exists on creating a successful distance learning platform. <br />Many principles must be used in order to reach the desired outcomes.<br />Constant analysis and evaluation is necessary to keep a distance learning program successful.<br />
References<br />Grand Canyon University. Screenshots taken January 2011 from: http://www.mygcu.edu<br />United States Department of Agriculture Higher Education Challenge Grant<br /> Roadmap to Effective Distance Education Instructional Design. Retrieved January 20, 2011 from:<br /> http://www.umsl.edu/services/ctl/DEID/destination11firsttime/bmps.pdf<br />The National Center for Academic Transformation, 2010. Changing the Equation: Redesigning Developmental Math Six Principles of Successful Developmental Math. Retrieved January 20, 2011 from:<br />http://www.thencat.org/Mathematics/CTE/CTESixPrinDMCrsRed.pdf<br />Uribe, E., 2005. Learner Centered Principles in Distance Education. Retrieved January 20, 2011 from:<br />http://itec.sfsu.edu/wp/860wp/F05_860_uribe.pdf<br />