Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
This paper presents a communication perspective on the areas of definition, philosophy, pedagogy, and evaluation in distance education. Much of the debate in these areas centers around concern with autonomy and control, the purpose of education, and especially transmissional vs. dialogical conceptualizations of the educational process. These issues are not unique to distance education. Rather, they form the basis of debate in modern western society for educational and social philosophy generally. Based on a critical review of the research literature, the paper concludes that distance education is most productively conceived of in terms of a further development of and complement to traditional educational approaches, rather than in terms of a radical break. Finally, the paper notes that the philosophical debates are concerned with what are fundamentally communication theory issues. Thus the paper suggests that distance education offers a fruitful area of research not only in communication technology, but also in communication theory, and one in which scholars may make useful contributions. Contains 5 notes and 32 references. (Author/RS)
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (45th, Albuquerque, NM, May 25-29, 1995).