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Module I The Next Generation of Distance Education

Module I:  The Next Generation of Distance Education

After reading the three articles by Moller, Huett, Foshay and Coleman, and listening to the Simonson video programs, compare and contrast the reasons these authors believe there is a need to evolve distance education to the next generation. Do you agree with their positions? Why or why not?

Yes, I agree with their position on the need to transform distance education.  According to Simonson, (2000) distance education is growing and will continue at an exponential rate.  As such, the field of distance education may one day be granted the same respect that Face to Face (F2F) learning now receives.  In comparing the two, Simonson contends that in order for distance education to stand up to F2F learning the instructional designers must attempt to achieve “equivalency.”  In essence this means that learners would be offered the same content.  However, different methodologies/technologies would be utilized to meet the diverse needs of learners.  In fact, this reminds me of DI/Differentiated Instruction where learners are offered content via ways they learn best:  VAK:  visually, auditory, kinestetic.  Hence, taking Distance Education to the “next level” would have substantial positive implications.  Huett, Moller, Foshay, & Coleman (2008) also view Distance Education as a resource for continued choice and educational opportunities for the mass of students that will be taking future classes/courses on-line.   Simonson’s (2000) focus is on instructional methodologies used in an on-line environment. While Huett, (2008) and Simonson (2000) both send the same message—-, raise the “Distance Education”  bar but Huett (2008) gives specific ways to improve the quality of distance education which extends beyond “creating a system of equivalency.”  Huett (2008) and the team of researchers recognize that distance education is not a “magic elixir.” But with proper supports for instructors, developmentally appropriate pedagogy rooted in standards based instruction and educator accountability, distance education has great promise for ELLs (English Language Learners), SWDs (Students with disabilities), diverse adult learners, (including high school students making up credits for failed classes or AP courses), either site based or in virtual settings. With the NCLB, the Common Core Standards and the influx of students to the U.S. and not enough infrastructure in place, Distance Education, if planned well and rooted in research based pedagogy could help K-12 learners  make  significant gains.

I agree with their positions. I remember when distance education was frowned upon and people in higher education never equated the college degrees (face to face college degree vs. the online degree).  One of my former professors forewarned me about entering Walden University and stated that, “The doctorate degree will not be legitimate and encouraged me to attend a face to face grad school, which was a legitimate school”).  Somehow she made the assumption that F2F was simply better than DE.

With continued support from professors/instructors/teachers students will have better access to technological tools that when coupled with pre planning, standards based alignment, strong pedagogy would allow us to really move students up the educational ladder and use these tools to ameliorate academic gaps!

I responded to

Alison Parker

References

Laureate Education, Inc. (2008).  Distance Education: The Next Generation. Principles of Distance Education. Baltimore.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008, May/June). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the Web (Part 1: Training and Development). TechTrends, 52(3), 70–75.

Simonson, M. (2000). Making decisions: The use of electronic technology in online classes. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 84, 29–34.

Alison Parker’s Blog

Module I:  The Next Generation of Distance Education

After reading the three articles by Moller, Huett, Foshay and Coleman, and listening to the Simonson video programs, compare and contrast the reasons these authors believe there is a need to evolve distance education to the next generation. Do you agree with their positions? Why or why not?

Yes, I agree with their position on the need to transform distance education.  According to Simonson, (2000) distance education is growing and will continue at an exponential rate.  As such, the field of distance education may one day be granted the same respect that F2F learning now receives.  In comparing the two, Simonson contends that in order for distance education to stand up to F2F learning the instructional designers must attempt to achieve “equivalency.”  In essence this means that learners would be offered the same content.  However, different methodologies/technologies would be utilized to meet the diverse needs of learners.  In fact, this reminds me of DI/Differentiated Instruction where learners are offered content via ways they learn best:  VAK:  visually, auditory, kinestetic.  Hence, taking Distance Education to the “next level” would have substantial positive implications.  Huett, Moller, Foshay, & Coleman (2008) also view Distance Education as a resource for continued choice and educational opportunities for the mass of students that will be taking future classes/courses on-line.   Simonson’s (2000) focus is on instructional methodologies used in an on-line environment. Huett, et el (2008) and Simonson (2000) are both sending the same message, raise the “Distance Education”  bar but Huett et al give specific ways to improve the quality of distance education which extend beyond “creating a system of equivalency.”  Huett (2008) and the team of researchers recognize that distance education is not a “magic elixir” but with proper supports for instructors, developmentally appropriate pedagogy rooted in standards and accountability, it has great promise for ELLs (English Language Learners), SWDs (Students with disabilities) that may be able to access the Internet and use web based solutions to remediate or for our gifted students, enrich esp.our high school students concerned with course choices and making up failed classes either site based or in a virtual settings. With the NCLB and influx of students to the U.S. and not enough infrastructure Distance Education, if planned well, rooted in research based pedagogy could help K-12 learners  make  significant gains.

I agree with their positions. I remember when distance education was frowned upon and people in higher education never equated the college degrees.  Somehow they made the assumption that F2F was simply better than DE.  I contend that with continued support from professors/instructors/teachers students will have better access to technological tools that with pre planning, standards based alignment we could really move students up the educational ladder and use these tools to ameliorate academic gaps!

I responded to

Alison Parker

References

Laureate Education, Inc. (2008).  Distance Education: The Next Generation. Principles of Distance Education. Baltimore.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008, May/June). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the Web (Part 1: Training and Development). TechTrends, 52(3), 70–75.

Simonson, M. (2000). Making decisions: The use of electronic technology in online classes. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 84, 29–34.

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Module II  

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