ERIC Number: ED290015
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Oct
Reference Count: 0
The Roles of Theory and Generalisation in the Practice of Distance Education. Three Related Systems for Analysing Distance Education. ZIFF Papiere 67.
Distance education can be examined in three ways. It can be analyzed from the standpoint of its teaching, administrative, and assessment systems. The three systems are interrelated, and examining each of them--first in isolation and then in conjunction with the other two--can provide a coherence that is useful in teaching and improving distance education programs. Evaluations of distance education teaching systems should begin with an examination of the general theoretical statements that have been made about distance education. Focus should be on the role of various media in teaching at a distance, the significance of two-way communication, and the effect that presentational devices within texts and a coherent structure of the subject content have on the effectiveness of a distance education program. Although such theoretical statements are too general to be of great practical value, they suggest a way in which narrower (and more useful) dependent theories can be developed from them. When the administrative system of a distance education program is evaluated, generalizations can be drawn from practice that may offer useful heuristics and may thus, in time, serve as the basis for administrative theories. Distance teaching institutions may be classified in terms of their governing structure and functions. The system for assessing a distance education system must include value judgments about educational quality and indicators of that quality. A 46-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.