Requirements for the Successful Implementation of Distance Education Programs in the Digital Era: Toward a More Inclusive and Resilient Society

Requirements for the Successful Implementation of Distance Education Programs in the Digital Era: Toward a More Inclusive and Resilient Society

Nikolaos Karipidis, Jim Prentzas
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-5914-0.ch005
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Distance education has become popular during the last decades. It covers needs of individuals, the public and private sectors, and the society in general. Generally speaking, research studies have shown that distance education provides advantages. However, problems or difficulties have also been pointed out in various research studies. Therefore, it is useful to determine the requirements that would enhance the offered advantages of distance education and/or decrease the reported problems or difficulties. The determination of such requirements would provide guidelines for the successful implementation of distance education programs. This is the subject of the chapter. The discussed requirements cover all aspects of distance education such as the education institution, the program of studies, the content, the e-learning platform, learners, tutors, and the development of relations.
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In the context of distance education, the learner’s autonomy is developed as he/she is separated from the teacher (Moore, 2019). Autonomy is a personal characteristic of each learner and corresponds to the ability and desire to determine by himself/herself the way he/she is educated. The learner’s autonomy is enhanced due to his/her participation in the educational processes, the separation from tutors in terms of space and/or time and the development of different types of interaction (Moore, 2019).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Collaborative Learning: A type of learning that is based on collaboration, active interaction, and participation in shared activities. Assessment focuses on group work and the corresponding contribution of each group member.

Community of Inquiry Model: Expansion and application of the concept of the community of inquiry in the context of computer-supported collaborative learning environments. In this context, learning experiences are determined by three factors interacting with each other, that is, cognitive, social, and teaching presence.

Self-Regulated Learning: An active and constructive process in which learners pose learning goals and then monitor, check, and regulate their motives and behavior in order to achieve them.

Learner-Centered Learning: A learning approach in which the roles of learners and tutors differ compared to traditional teacher-centered learning. Learners become more active, engaged, and responsible in the learning process and interaction among learners as well as among learners and tutors increases.

Adult Education: The field of education involving adults. Its goal is to develop skills, enrich knowledge, change attitudes and behavior of adults. It involves the needs of individuals, public and private sector (e.g., professional development) and the society in general.

Learning Management System: A system incorporating a suite of e-learning functionalities addressed to learners, tutors, and system administrators. These functionalities are designed, among other services, to create, deliver and manage learning content, enable interaction and collaboration, and provide centralized control and administration to tutors and system administrators.

Online Learning Community: A learning community is a group of learners that share common learning goals and collaborate to achieve them. The corresponding learners share common values and have a sense of belonging to the community. An online learning community is a learning community whose members exploit Internet technologies to achieve their goals.

E-Learning: The use of any type of ICT in order to facilitate teaching and promote learning.

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