A Preliminary Exploration of Social Needs in Distance Education

A Preliminary Exploration of Social Needs in Distance Education

William B. Martz Jr., Morgan M. Shepherd
Copyright: © 2002 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-20-4.ch007
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This chapter explores the concern for social needs in distance education. As a foundation, the chapter discusses the evolving learning environment and stakeholder expectations that distance education must address as it grows in prevalence. In addition, technology is a key enabler of any distance learning program. This chapter analyzes several theories that integrate learning and technology for potential insights applicable to distance learning. These insights lead to an exploratory study to compare the “need for affiliation” between students working in groups for distance classes (virtual groups) and students working in groups for on-campus classes (actual groups). The preliminary results of the study indicate that some issues concerning socialization do exist between the two groups. Ultimately, the study points to the need for more formal and definitive measures of the social aspects of group work in distance education.

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