History of Distance Learning Professional Associations

History of Distance Learning Professional Associations

Irene Chen (University of Houston Downtown, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-503-2.ch113

Abstract

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, corporate, and 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 strategy suggested has some measure of support among the professional associations’ 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 arise. 2. Recommending standards of quality 3. Institution promotion under a common logo within the region and beyond 4. Identifying support markets that are currently unserved. 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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Introduction And Background

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, corporate, and 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 strategy suggested has some measure of support among the professional associations’ 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 arise.

  • 2.

    Recommending standards of quality

  • 3.

    Institution promotion under a common logo within the region and beyond

  • 4.

    Identifying support markets that are currently unserved.

  • 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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