Distance Education Associations

Distance Education Associations

Irene Chen (University of Houston Downtown, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-935-9.ch048
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Most of the distance learning professional associations were founded in the 1990s, at a time when most Internet backbone speeds were T1 or slower. Although scientists in universities, corporations, and the military used the Internet for supercomputing capabilities, the predominant academic application was electronic mail. The public was generally unaware of the Internet’s existence. The explosive growth of information and telecommunications has combined to strengthen and diversify the options for school, skills development, technical and professional training, postsecondary credit courses, and special interests. New associations are established everyday to promote innovative educational strategies, as well as ways to leverage technology to provide new ways of learning online. Each of the strategies suggested below have some measure of support amongst the professional association participants and represents a way to improve opportunities for distance education and training. 1. Developing strategic alliances to support and encourage project-oriented coalitions amongst members as the need and opportunity arises 2. Recommending standards of quality 3. Institution promotion under a common logo within the region and beyond marketing 4. Identifying and supporting markets that are currently underserved 5. Sharing technological and human resources for development and delivery 6. Conducting applied research and development of distance education technology and instructional design 7. Developing and maintaining a system to provide a central source of current and relevant information on courses and programs, the credit-transfer system, and student-assistance programs

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