Distance Education at University Settings

Distance Education at University Settings

Harun Yilmaz
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-068-2.ch043
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Distance education has become a feasible alternative to traditional face-to-face education especially in support of new technology advancement. In order to see the current status of distance education, it is important to look at how distance education has evolved since its inception in the 1830s. Distance education has also affected the pedagogical paradigm throughout the years in parallel with its evolution. Therefore, when designing and developing a distance education course, a systematic approach needs to be employed using instructional design model, focusing on interactions provided by several technologies and collaboration techniques, as well as assessment methods. Specific emphasis is given to Web 2.0 technologies and how these technologies improve the collaboration in web-based courses.
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Moore and Kearsley (2005) define distance education as “…planned learning that normally occurs in a different place from teaching, requiring special course design and instruction techniques, communication through various technologies, and special organizational and administrative arrangements” (p.2). Distance education is not as easy to offer as traditional courses and training, so when designing and developing a new distance course, there are many factors to be considered, such as instructional design and technological infrastructure. Regarding distance education, Moore and Kearsley (2005) ask some key questions, such as: “…who decides what is to be learned, when and how it is to be learned, and when learning has been satisfactorily completed? If such decisions are not made in a classroom, this is not distance education. If they are made, and communicated from instructor to the learner by means of a technology, the program is distance education” (p.3). Since learners and instructors are in different places, the shape of distance education depends on how courses are instructionally designed and the type of technologies used to create interactions among learners, instructors, and content.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Synchronous: In online courses, synchronous term refers to communication that occurs in real time even though participants located at different places.

Summative Evaluation: Summative evaluation refers to the evaluation that determines the worth of a course at the end of the course implementation.

Web-Based Instruction: In web-based instruction, the World-Wide-Web is used as the main medium to support a teaching and learning environment.

Instructional Design: Instructional design is a systematic approach to maximize the effectiveness of learning through conducting the main components of instructional design models including needs assessment, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of instruction.

Interaction: Interaction is a communication that takes place between and among learners and instructors, as well as content. It includes learner-instructor interaction, learner-learner interaction, and learner-content interaction.

Distance Education: Distance education is a method of teaching and learning in which learning takes place in a different/the same time and/or place from teaching time and place.

Formative Evaluation: Formative evaluation is conducted to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the course and its components while the course is being implemented.

Asynchronous: In online courses, asynchronous term refers to communication that occurs with delay when participants are separated by distance.

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