ERIC Number: ED418853
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr-21
Reference Count: N/A
Looking at Distance Learning through Both Ends of the Camera.
Whitworth, Joan M.
This investigation chronicled the experiences of an instructor and her students as they first experienced a distance course that utilized various technologies. Both the instructor and the students had limited or no experience with e-mail, use of the Internet, or the supporting software. The students were 33 elementary school teachers taking a graduate level science education course at Morehead State University. The challenge was to utilize the technology without reducing course content. Each class had to be well planned and organized, especially since the instructor had students participate in hands-on elementary science activities. There were fewer impromptu discussions and the instructor felt it took longer to do things by distance learning. Students were generally pleased with their experiences, citing such reasons as accessibility of courses previously unavailable, the opportunity to learn new technologies, the opportunity to share and learn from students at different locations, and the feeling of being more actively involved in their own learning. Problems encountered included technology problems, particularly sound quality; time wasted while setting up student presentations; and less teacher contact. The number of students expressing concern about the amount of teacher-student contact declined as the semester progressed. Students who used e-mail to send assignments and correspond with the instructor indicated that they felt they had more interaction and feedback on assignments than in traditional classes. (PVD)
Descriptors: Active Learning, Computer Mediated Communication, Distance Education, Elementary Education, Hands on Science, Higher Education, Inservice Teacher Education, Science Education, Sensory Deprivation, Student Participation, Teacher Response, Technology, Technology Education, Telecommunications
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Morehead State University KY
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (71st, San Diego, CA, April 19-22, 1998).