Theory and Practice for Distance Education: A Heuristic Model for the Virtual Classroom

Theory and Practice for Distance Education: A Heuristic Model for the Virtual Classroom

Charles E. Beck (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, USA) and Gary R. Schornack (University of Colorado at Denver, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-178-0.ch006
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Abstract

A new world of distance education demands new thinking. Key components to completing the distance educational system requires that institutions determine how the process is designed, delivered, integrated, and supported. Unfortunately, educational administrators tend to view distance education merely as a process of taking existing readings, exercises, handouts, and posting them to the Web. While this approach may seem cost effective, such an approach is not educationally effective. Although the meaningful transition to e-education has just begun, determining measures of effectiveness and efficiency requires innovations in social and political thought beyond the advances in technology. The educational process requires feedback from the professor, from the student, and from the wider community, especially businesses who hire the graduates. As e-learning and higher education reach new heights, they are changing the functions of the university. E-learning changes all the ground rules, including time, distance, and pedagogy. We now have new ways to reach and interact with students, present rich content in courses, and deliver the technologies of the smart classroom to students, wherever they are in the world.

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