ERIC Number: ED222150
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Credibility of Distance Education. DERG Papers, Number 1.
Arguments commonly made against distance education systems and the merits of these contentions are considered. It is suggested that when plans to establish a distance teaching university are announced, a common reaction is the view that it will never work. The conduct of distance teaching, which is visible in printed materials and audible in broadcasting, is open for all to examine and to judge. It is noted that opportunities for students to undertake practical work can be provided by distance teaching systems. Distance teaching universities have recognized the limitations of the distance system by concentrating their efforts primarily on generalist rather than specialist degree programs. Although the notion that learning at a distance is easier than learning by conventional methods is popular, the courses studied at a distance are not easier; they differ essentially in the means by which they are taught. The course standards for distance education are comparable with those in the conventional system. Advisory bodies monitor academic standards and teaching staff and evaluators for distance education. The structured learning materials of distance education systems facilitate the assimilation of content. It is suggested that at the time of graduation, distance learning students can achieve levels of attainment the same as or higher than their peers who have studied full-time on campus. What is unique about students in distance teaching universities is that they are typically adults already in full-time employment, and many distance students study for reasons unrelated to employment. Contrary to popular belief, distance education is not cheap. (SW)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Adult Students, College Students, Experiential Learning, Extension Education, General Education, Higher Education, Nontraditional Education, Nontraditional Students, Student Experience, Teaching Methods
Distance Education Research Group, The Open University, Walton Hall, (Rm. Q229 M Block), MK7 6AA, United Kingdom (1.00 pound Brit., including postage).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Open Univ., Walton, Bletchley (England). Distance Education Research Group.
Identifiers: Distance Education