Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Next Generation of Distance Education -- EDUC 8842 Module One



To be viable, all education platforms must evolve to meet the needs of the times.  This is no less true of distance education.
Distance education will meet the needs of tomorrow's learners, some of whom are pictured to the left (Thank you Ms. Glenn).

Moller, Foshay, Huett, Coleman, and Simonson would all agree that distance education will experience explosive growth in the future.  Moller, Huett, Foshay, and Coleman (2008) briefly describe that explosive growth in the three arenas of business training, higher education, and K12 education.  

They lament the lack of training for tertiary educators in delivering distance education and they identify three specific areas with which institutions must grapple as distance learning evolves.  Moller et al. (2008) acknowledge there is more work involved in developing an online courses; they acknowledge that online courses are considered easier; and they acknowledge that faculty members do not want to jeopardize consideration of their tenure by teaching online courses. 

At the k-12 level, Moller et al. (2008) also identify the need to train teachers in delivering distance education. They recognize the need to reorganize k-12 education systems to incorporate distance learning into curriculum, state standards, and national initiatives.
Dr. Simonson in the videos predicts that distance learning is at the point in the S-shaped curve (Rogers, 1995) when the platform is about to escalate dramatically.  He further expects that distance education will become ubiquitous, although he cautions that there is a need to design courses that fulfill the same objectives for all learners, whether online or offline.

While the authors speak about the differences between face-to-face education and distance education, it must be pointed out that all education is founded upon learning theory.  If educators are familiar with the theories upon which their curriculum is founded, then these theories will guide the learning activities they choose to include. For example, constructivism does not have an online theory of education and an offline theory of education, it is all constructivism.  The same is true for behaviorism, connectivism, or cognitivism.

References
Huett, J., Moller, L., Foshay, W. R., & Coleman, C. (2008). The Evolution of Distance Education: Implications forInstructional Design on the Potential of the Web. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 52(5), 63-67. doi:10.1007/s11528-008-0199-9 
 
Laureate Education, Inc. (2008). Principles of Distance Education. Baltimore: Author.

Moller, L., Forshay, W. R., & Huett, J. (2008). The Evolution of Distance Education: Implications for InstructionalDesign on the Potential of the Web. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 52(3), 70-75. doi:10.1007/s11528-008-0158-5


Moller, L., Foshay, W. R., & Huett, J. (2008). The Evolution of Distance Education: Implications for InstructionalDesign on the Potential of the Web. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 52(4), 66-70. doi:10.1007/s11528-008-0179-0

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York, NY: Free Press.

6 comments:

jsherman said...

Lisa,

Very nice blog posting. I completely agree with Simonson's (2008) assertion that distance education is at a place on the S-shaped curve that will see exponential growth in the area. I can see this in my organization. Today we offer 12 blended e-learning courses. Three years ago my organization offered zero e-learning courses. My district is also involved in a county wide consortium that is providing distance education in an effort to retain students who would seek alternate online institutions. You make a great point in regards to learning theory in application to distance education. Sound basis in theory will result in quality design in distance education as it will in face-to-face education.

Reference

Laureate Education, Inc. (2008). Principles of Distance Education. Baltimore: Author.

TPowell said...

HI Lisa. Nice Blog site. Be sure to identify each of the blogs for the class by their Module number (for example, Module One) in order for members of the class who will be commenting on it to easily find it.

Tim.

Durff said...

Tim, I corrected the title. Thanks!
Lisa

Durff said...

Where I commented
1. Brandi’s Blog Attack -> http://ballinteach44-atl.blogspot.com/
2. Sue’s Wiki-> http://suebeerblog.wikispaces.com/EDUC-7102-2+Principles+of+Distance+Education
3. Marvin’s Learning from afar -> http://fuller8842.blogspot.com/
4. Lauramae’s Wojo's Techventures in Education -> http://wojoedtech.blogspot.com/
5. Joshua’s Principles of Distance Education -> http://shermansdistanceedblog.blogspot.com/
6. Seane’s The Next Generation of Distance Education -> http://www.learningsquared.blogspot.com/

candice.jones2 said...

Lisa,

Great explanation and analyses of the course reading material. I agree that additional training is needed in the K-12 area. Higher Ed is above the curve and I would like to see K-12 follow the path of Higher Ed. In my district we offer virtual classes for students who have failed face2face courses and it is offered in the presence of a teacher and in the home environment as discussed in the research presented by Huett, Moller, Foshay, and Coleman (2008). I am hoping we will offer more in the venue of enrichment courses for credit but at this time our state is side tracked by implementation of the common core curriculum outlined by the Race to the Top agenda.

References:

Huett, J., Moller, L., Foshay, W. R., & Coleman, C. (2008). The Evolution of Distance Education: Implications forInstructional Design on the Potential of the Web. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 52(5), 63-67. doi:10.1007/s11528-008-0199-9


Moller, L., Forshay, W. R., & Huett, J. (2008). The Evolution of Distance Education: Implications for InstructionalDesign on the Potential of the Web. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 52(3), 70-75. doi:10.1007/s11528-008-0158-5


Moller, L., Foshay, W. R., & Huett, J. (2008). The Evolution of Distance Education: Implications for InstructionalDesign on the Potential of the Web. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 52(4), 66-70. doi:10.1007/s11528-008-0179-0

-M. Fuller said...

Lisa,

I think our technology has opened up some doors (holes?) in pre-existing learning theories. You note there is no division between online and off-line in constructivism. Perhaps this is why none of the learning theories quite fit online education, and that a blended approach seems more applicable.

You note Roger's innovation adoption model, which is highly relevant. Rogers (2003) notes five factors which facilitate diffusion: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability. Many of these factors are already in place with online education, though some factors are more difficult to put in place for an innovation such as online education. I would say that online education has high relative advantage and compatibility (though these are dependent on the student), but would be lower in trialability and observability. I try to show my students what my Walden classes as high school students have great misconceptions of online education.

On a side note, I love the Rogers' book - it is extremely well written, and the many anecdotes and research make his theory clear.

-Marvin

Reference:

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free Press.