Ethics in the Ambit of Distance Education

Ethics in the Ambit of Distance Education

J. S. Dorothy (Indira Gandhi National Open University, India), Ugur Demiray (Anadola University, Turkey), Ramesh C. Sharma (Indira Gandhi National Open University, India) and Ashwini Kumar (Indira Gandhi National Open University, India)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-867-3.ch004
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In an era when the distance teaching institution, irrespective of their type, namely single mode, dual mode, mixed mode and consortium, is involved in distance education, for the benefit of the aspirants targeted for each programme of study, which are on offer, this chapter discusses the ethics in the ambit of distance education. After citing reasons for adopting ethics in distance education, the chapter discusses about eight spheres of concern for ethics in distance education, namely Student Support Services (Administration, Admission, Eligibility Criteria/Calibre, Academic counselling and Medium of Instruction); Collaboration (Learner Support Centre, How, why they are selected); Credibility (Employability vs. Continuing Education); Duplication of Efforts (Material Production, Launch of Programmes, Course Writing); Provision of intersystem transfer (Lack for interface to aim transfer); Expertise (Academic activity and Administrative activity); and Resources and Research (Who does, How it is done). Genuineness, originality, copyright/patent, Memorandum of understanding kept, and causative agent made predominant are the advantages of facilitating ethics in distance education. The disadvantages of facilitating ethics in distance education are the rules viewed as hindrances, human elements given a preference over the credibility, and lack of buffer time. Distance education laid in the foundation of ethics, as viewed from the optimistic person, is that it will become more accommodative without diluting the standards. Irrespective of any comments from the critics, for any distance educator, ethics should be the signpost beyond which things should not go wrong at any cost. Ethics coupled with the scientific method of doing things will spin off the effectiveness of quality maintenance.
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The education systems globally improved during the mid-1990s, when the services were introduced and adopted information, communication and educational technologies in order to develop teaching and learning processes with an aim of providing world-class or an excellent “on-click” education on demand to the learners. With the growth of the technologies, online delivery of programmes became more popular worldwide. Format of online delivery of programmes through this was quite effective for learners placed geographically at distant places.

Distance education has become one of the most effective, economical, and productive ways of delivering instruction by the corporations, institutions, colleges and universities, when properly and timely used. Historically, distance education has continuously evolved as technology has improved. From the early 1800s to present day, educators have utilized this method of instruction to reach those unable to interact face to face due to various circumstances.

In other words, distance education and its related educational components are a media of teaching and learning that have grown significantly in the past decade. This is indicated by the amount of higher education institutions that offer courses or full degree programs via distance learning methods. According to the National Center for Education Statistics-NCES (1999), the number of degree-granting higher education institutions offering distance education courses increased from 33% in 1995 to 44% in 1997-1998. More specifically, the use of computer-based technologies has increased from 22% in 1995 to 60% in 1997-1998 and more than 80% in 2000s. The growing dimension and ratio and the rate of increase in the delivery of distance education should be carefully examined under contemporary circumstances.

The Open and Distance Learning System (ODLS) has emerged as an alternative to the number of aspirants of education, specifically higher education that overloads the delivery system of education in the South Asian part as a conventional system. Different distance education theorists like Börje Holmberg, Charles A. Wedemeyer and Michael G. Moore have essentially identified the centrality of the learner in ODL. Otto Peters and Desmond Keegan have been concerned with organizational aspects. The emergence of ODL has thus affected the use of technology to reach mass audience, typology of distance teaching systems, emergence of post-industrial education, learner autonomy and organizational structures. The numbers in ODL have also increased many folds over a short span of 2 decades. The emergence and developments in ODL methodologies have brought certain theoretical and pragmatic approaches to the field. The numbers in ODL have also indicated many faults in applications over a short span of 2 decades. The emergence and developments in ODL methodologies have brought certain theoretical and pragmatic approaches to the field.

Distance education has been a fair option of not only the aspirants of education but also education managers/administrators in the government/private and non-government sector. The main reason for this is that education is being considered as an investment and the consumption involved for education by means of the money spent, the time utilised for studying and the efforts involved in channelising the resources are viewed in the angle of the spin off benefits reaped after the successful completion of the programme of study. The distance teaching institution, irrespective of their type, namely single mode, dual mode, mixed mode and consortium, is involved in distance education, for the benefit of the aspirants targeted for each programme of study, which are on offer.

The concept of virtual learning includes the perspective of study in a virtual medium. The virtual learning environment is seen as an environment for the teacher and learner’s activities within which learning is seen as an active process in multi-informational, cooperational network environment. The concept of virtual is associated with telematics networks, as well as with flexibility in study situations, learner mobility and possible independence from time and place as it can be exemplified through the glass of modern information and communication technologies. Virtual study is often associated with open and distance learning, but especially with flexible study and learning.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Alan Tait
Ugur Demiray, Ramesh C. Sharma
Ugur Demiray, Ramesh C. Sharma
Chapter 1
Ugur Demiray, Ramesh C. Sharma
Education is intimately connected with ethics, because holistically speaking education is more than simply passing examinations and acquiring... Sample PDF
Ethical Practices and Implications in Distance Education: An Introduction
Chapter 2
Michael F. Beaudoin
Launching and sustaining innovative new academic programs is typically a complex enterprise, especially distance education projects, and more... Sample PDF
Ethical Conundrums in Distance Education Partnerships
Chapter 3
Paul Kawachi
This chapter presents the desirable interactions involved in teaching and learning at a distance. In these interactions, there are considerable... Sample PDF
Ethics in Interactions in Distance Education
Chapter 4
J. S. Dorothy, Ugur Demiray, Ramesh C. Sharma, Ashwini Kumar
In an era when the distance teaching institution, irrespective of their type, namely single mode, dual mode, mixed mode and consortium, is involved... Sample PDF
Ethics in the Ambit of Distance Education
Chapter 5
Dele Braimoh, Jonathan Ohiorenuan Osiki
The current process of democratizing education has inevitably led to the explosive demands by the citizens of the different countries for... Sample PDF
Creating a Firewall Against Unethical Behaviours in Open and Distance Education Practice
Chapter 6
Glenn Russell
Some of the more important ethical concerns associated with open and distance learning are not those that may be faced by learners. Instead, the... Sample PDF
Ethical Concerns with Open and Distance Learning
Chapter 7
Deb Gearhart
Are our students prepared to use technology ethically? This is a question of concern to this author and addressed in this chapter. Experience as the... Sample PDF
Preparing Students for Ethical Use of Technology: A Case Study for Distance Education
Chapter 8
Rocci Luppicini
There is growing recognition of the important role of conversation ethics in open and distance learning systems, particularly within online learning... Sample PDF
Conversation Ethics for Online Learning Communities
Chapter 9
Terry D. Anderson, Heather P. Kanuka
The emergent world of network-based education creates challenges for researchers who wish to further our understanding of the opportunities and... Sample PDF
Ethical Conflicts in Research on Networked Education Contexts
Chapter 10
Michael Sankey, Rod St. Hill
The changing nature of distance education in the higher education context is investigated in this chapter, particularly in relation to... Sample PDF
The Ethics of Designing for Multimodality: Empowering Nontraditional Learners
Chapter 11
Shalin Hai-Jew
This chapter examines the importance of cultural sensitivity and localization in the delivery of global e-learning. The branding, course ecology... Sample PDF
Why "Cultural Sensitivities" and "Localizations" in Global E-Learning?
Chapter 12
Ormond Simpson
The increasing multiculturalism in its society has recently encouraged the study of ethical dimensions in higher education in the UK. Distance and... Sample PDF
Open to People, Open with People: Ethical Issues in Open Learning
Chapter 13
Chi Lo Lim
Open and distance learning systems (ODLS) brought about immeasurable advancement in the delivery of education. Albeit all the benefits ODLS offers... Sample PDF
An American Perspective of Ethical Misconduct in ODLS: Who's to Blame?
Chapter 14
Patrick J. Fahy
Ethics review of research involving humans is intended to protect human dignity by balancing harms and benefits. The foci and methods used in... Sample PDF
Ethics Review Concerns of Canada's Distance Researchers
Chapter 15
Judy Nagy
This chapter discusses the globalisation of education and the challenges and opportunities arising from technologies that can impact cheating... Sample PDF
Market Forces in Higher Education: Cheating and the Student-Centred Learning Paradigm
Chapter 16
Leslie Farmer
Case studies provide an authentic way to teach ethical behavior through critical analysis and decisionmaking because it reveals nuanced factors in... Sample PDF
Using Real Case Studies to Teach Ethics Collaboratively to Library Media Teachers
Chapter 17
Tina J. Parscal, Peter Bemski
This qualitative case study was designed to determine the extent to which a framework for exploring ethical principles for online facilitation is... Sample PDF
Preparing Faculty to Integrate Ethics into Online Facilitation
Chapter 18
Yavuz Akbulut, H. Ferhan Odabasi, Abdullah Kuzu
This chapter focuses on academic work on computer ethics conducted at a computer education department in Turkey. The chapter starts with the... Sample PDF
Computer Ethics: Scenes from a Computer Education Department in Turkey
Chapter 19
Donna Harper, Petra Luck
The aim of this chapter is to investigate ethical issues such as individual integrity and rights affecting online students who are Early Years... Sample PDF
Ethical Practice and Online Learning—A Contradiction? A Case Study
Chapter 20
Carmel McNaught, David M. Kennedy
This chapter is an essay about a new ethical problem that has become apparent to us in recent years. Bilingual plagiarism is the act of passing off... Sample PDF
Bilingual Plagiarism in the Academic World
Chapter 21
Ugur Demiray, Ramesh C. Sharma
The changing dimensions of distance education methodologies, new roles of distance teachers, and learners and use of modern communication... Sample PDF
Ethical Practices and Implications in Distance Education: Lessons Learned
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