ERIC Number: ED290013
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Oct
Reference Count: 0
The Feasibility of a Theory of Teaching for Distance Education and a Proposed Theory. ZIFF Papiere 60.
This paper begins by contrasting theories of teaching (which are predictive) to theories of learning (which are descriptive). It justifies the feasibility theory of distance teaching by asserting that methods of distance teaching can affect the pace and direction of learning; therefore, it should be feasible to develop a theory of distance teaching. After a caution that it is impossible to develop a theory of distance teaching that is universally applicable to all students, all conditions, and all subject areas, a prescriptive theory of distance teaching is outlined. The theory asserts that distance teaching will support student motivation and promote learning pleasure and effectiveness if it is provided in such a way that (1) students believe that the subject of study is relevant to their individual needs, (2) students are made to feel a sense of rapport with the distance education institution, (3) access to course content is facilitated, (4) learners are engaged in discussions and decisions, and (5) the program provides for real and simulated communication to and from the learner. Eleven strategies that are favorable to distance teaching and thus facilitative of distance learning are postulated. These include involving students in the selection and evaluation of course goals, using course materials that are characterized by a conversation style and highly readable, selecting instructional media on the basis of individual student needs and the requirements of the subject area being studied, handling assignments quickly, making assignments that require students to solve problems or make decisions, and providing self-checking exercises. The paper concludes with 11 hypotheses that can be tested to assess the validity of the proposed theory. A 40-item reference list concludes the document. (MN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: FernUniversitat, Hagen (West Germany). Zentrales Inst. fur Fernstudienforschung Arbeitsbereich.