An Alternative Technology: Distance Education through Transnational Partnerships

An Alternative Technology: Distance Education through Transnational Partnerships

Joanna Cullinane
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5162-3.ch019
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Recent years have seen massive growth in transnational education, and this appears to have arisen from strategies of risk mitigation among traditional educational institutions (Adam, 2001). The results of this process have been for universities from the UK, Australia, and America, in particular, to enter into partnerships with providers around the world who then deliver the universities' programmes at a distance. A consequence of these developments has been a trend in parts of Higher Education for pursuit of growth in non-traditional market segments to change in focus from distance education and to transnational partner-based modes of delivery. However, rather than taking the view that transnationalisation is displacing distance education, the central argument of the chapter is that this process of transnationalisation could actually be understood as a developing form of distance education itself, and it may be time to widen prevailing definitions of distance education.
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Defining ‘Distance’ In Learning And Education

It has often been observed that within the field of education research, the terminology in respect ‘distance’ forms of education and learning have been imprecise and sometimes confused (Bates, 2005; King, Young, Drivere-Richmond, & Schrader, 2001; Phipps & Merisotis, 1999). Indeed, within the phenomenon there are a range of inter-locking terms: distance learning/ education, online learning/ education, e-learning, mediated learning, and supported open learning/ education, and most of these are treated as similar, if not synonyms. But, as King, Young, Drivere-Richmond and Schrader (2001) observe, tighter definition of the terms related to the field of distance education might be necessary “…so that these terms can better form a common basis for the exchange of ideas and information, particularly for research and development” (p. 1) (also see Moore, 2012).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Franchise Education: An arrangement where an organisation is vetted and given permission to teach another organisation (usually a University’s) module.

Off-Shoring: A form of transnational education in which an educational intuition outsources the delivery of its programme/s to a partner institution.

Massification: The process of bringing a good or service (in this instance education) to a mass audience.

Technology: The application of knowledge to generate a solution to a problem.

Transnational Education: Education in which learners are located in a different country from the awarding institution.

Distance Education: A form of education in which there is a separation between teacher and student and technology is used to bridge the gap.

Andragogical: An educational style and belief in which education or learning is based on the belief that learners are self-motivated and self-directed and should be treated as adults.

Constructivist: An educational style and belief which has at its core an understanding that learning is a socially constructed process and students or learners should be facilitated rather than directed in their learning.

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