The Future of Curriculum Development in Distance Education

The Future of Curriculum Development in Distance Education

Figen Kılıc
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5162-3.ch018
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Today, extremely fast developments take place in science and technology. These changes and developments reflect upon all systems and give rise to changes in some concepts and processes. Lifelong learning is one of the concepts affected by these changes. Educational institutions are considered to be responsible for spreading knowledge through e-learning, virtual university, Web-based education, distance education, which offer professional development. Therefore, distance education institutions have an important place in the education system of the future. However, innovations and developments have to be followed closely and operationally used for adaptation to the education system of the future within the distance education system as well. A scientific and realistic way of adapting to these developments is possible only if program development efforts are constant. Looking from this framework, teaching design, internationalization, entrepreneurship have given rise to differentiation in the program development of distance education. This is explored in this chapter.
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With rapid advance of information and technology in today’s world, learning-teaching environments, methods and techniques have begun to differ. Learning is an inherently social activity and requires a well arranged, strong content. Learning experiences can be possible not only through content but also online communities and networks. Besides, difference in space and time, rapid increase in population and differing needs of the increasing population, rapid change in the knowledge learnt are among the realities of today. Therefore curriculum development efforts are advanced in line with these new developments and curriculum development concept has started to be frequently used in the distance education practices. Program development studies are processes which continue constantly and have an interaction between the items. Thus, it can be said that program development process is a study addressing those principles and activities utilized in order to realize the objectives covered by the program in a sound, effective and realistic manner in a manner that has been put into practice (Varış, 1996). Since there is a positive correlation between realization of the education objectives designed and carrying out the education activities within scope of a program, elements that affect the result should be considered within wholeness of a system and should be developed consistently with one another in order for changes in behavior expected by way of education to take place (Sezgin, 2000). Practices in the distance education which began with learning by mail and continued with radio, video conference, teleconference, computer and Internet use have changed with the advances and developments in the advances and developments at mass communication means. On other words, education programs will constantly renew themselves and develop.

This part has focused on how program development studies can be shaped within framework of lifelong learning under the light of the new knowledge and technological developments.

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