Archive for the ‘Distance education’ Category
In this book Distance Education in Transition. New Trends and Challenges, Professor Otto Peters makes a major contribution to this specific domain of knowledge. The fundamental position that Professor Peters adopts is that in preparing our students for life in the knowledge economy, and learning in a digital environment, the aim should be to provide opportunities for autonomous learning not heteronomous learning. We should strive for a pedagogy that is learner centered and interactive, providing an opportunity for learners to be self-directed, self-reliant and self-regulated. He contrasts this with the pedagogy that has been dominant for centuries – that of expository teaching and receptive learning. In the new environment, that many are embracing, Professor Peters suggest we – the teachers – will no longer be the source of all information and content; our role will change to that of guide and facilitator.
This paper describes the dance like relationship between pedagogy and technologies that creates distance education programming. Using a dance metaphor, the paper describes earlier generation of distance education and notes the evolving role of the self-paced learner as a focus of distance education. The paper argues that control of the learning sequence is an important pedagogical issue and that new tools of networked learning can afford opportunities for social interaction, while retaining self-paced programming control. The paper explores and defines connectivism as a pedagogical lens to look at both learning activities and technologies.
Self-paced instruction of the past century challenged older models of education based upon seat time in lectures. In this century self-paced instruction challenges both seat-based lectures and predominate group and cohort based models of distance education. Though disruptive to these older models it promises a model of education that maximizes individual freedoms and choice, supports participative course designs and thus is a an appropriate new dance for the networked era.
This paper looks at how the educational design process changes with technology and provides a few examples of how modern tools and techniques are being used and implemented to design high quality (socio)-constructivist learning environments. It proposes an integrated model for learning design supported by implemented case-studies in the context of learning transformation processes that are ongoing at the University of Mauritius. The aim is to demonstrate how the blending of innovative technologies and pedagogies can result in high quality constructive learning experiences that eliminate the ‘distance’ paradox in so-called distance learning environments.
This paper expands on an earlier work, Three generations of distance education pedagogy, by describing the technologies and the synergetic results of using effective pedagogy in combination with emerging technologies – to create powerful learning opportunities. Unlike earlier classifications of distance education, which were based solely on the technology used, this analysis focuses on the pedagogy that defines the learning experiences encapsulated in the learning and instructional designs. The three generations of technology enhanced teaching are cognitive/behaviourist, social constructivist and connectivist. The paper looks at recent developments in emerging educational technology and discusses the ways in which these tools can be used and optimized to enhance the different types of learning that are the focus of distance education theory and practice.
The community of inquiry (CoI) framework has commonly been used to study teaching and learning in online courses. This paper describes the implementation of the CoI framework in a cohort-based online EdD program, where teaching presence and cognitive presence were easier to foster than social presence. Based on the results of an initial evaluation, suggestions are made to expand the components of the CoI framework when using it at a program level. Lessons learned from the implementation are also shared to assist others wishing to apply the CoI framework to online graduate programs.
With the phenomenal expansion of distance education in Asia during the past three decades, there has been growing public demand for quality and accountability in distance education. This study investigates the national quality assurance systems for distance education at the higher education level in Asia with the aim of contributing to a better understanding of the current level of development of quality assurance in Asian distance education and to offer potential directions for policy makers when developing and elaborating quality assurance systems for distance education. The analysis of the existing quality assurance frameworks in the 11 countries/territories selected reveals that the level of quality assurance policy integration in the overall national quality assurance in higher education policy framework varies considerably. The purpose of quality assurance, policy frameworks, methods, and instruments in place are generally tailored to each country’s particular circumstances. There are, however, obvious commonalities that underpin these different quality assurance efforts.
Examining motivation in online distance learning environments: Complex, multifaceted and situation-dependent
Existing research into motivation in online environments has tended to use one of two approaches. The first adopts a trait-like model that views motivation as a relatively stable, personal characteristic of the learner. Research from this perspective has contributed to the notion that online learners are, on the whole, intrinsically motivated. The alternative view concentrates on the design of online learning environments to encourage optimal learner motivation. Neither approach acknowledges a contemporary view of motivation that emphasises the situated, mutually constitutive relationship of the learner and the learning environment. Using self-determination theory (SDT) as a framework, this paper explores the motivation to learn of preservice teachers in two online distance-learning contexts. In this study, learners were found to be not primarily intrinsically motivated. Instead, student motivation was found to be complex, multifaceted, and sensitive to situational conditions.
Threaded discussion areas in online classes provide an invaluable learning opportunity for students as the literature reviewed reveals. It is the researcher’s hypothesis that the effort that instructors put forth in the threaded discussion is met at least minimally by the majority of the students in class. As a result of this increased interaction, students understand the concepts to a greater depth, develop a firmer foundation in core competencies, as well as earn a higher grade in the course.Recent studies have indicated that instructors should be putting emphasis on the threaded discussion area of online courses, which has often times been neglected. More research needs to be conducted to better determine if the instructors’ participation in the discussion forum truly motivates students. If it is found that it does, then questions about the appropriate amount of time for instructors to participate will need to be researched.Educational institutions are looking to implement best practices to the instructor’s delivery of courses to provide a more quality education for their students. In order to do this, more research needs to be performed especially in the area of instructors’ efforts in the threaded discussions.