ERIC Number: ED325070
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Reference Count: N/A
Distance Education Research: The Rocky Courtship of Scholarship and Practice.
The current challenge in distance education is to determine the ways in which research can assist practice in fostering communication. Research in distance education may be broken down into three approaches: (1) practical and descriptive studies that give little attention to conceptual underpinnings; (2) application of conceptual models from related disciplines; and (3) construction of an independent structure and theory for distance education distinct from other forms of education. Distance education themes such as understanding the learner, independence and autonomy of the learner, and communication media and strategies, are common across all three research approaches. Also common are the practical questions that need to be answered: (1) On what basis are basic decisions made? (2) What are the methods for measurement? (3) What are the general principles involved? and (4) What is the conceptual framework? Researchers work to elucidate the fundamental ideas behind distance education problems and to develop a broader understanding. However, distance education practitioners may need to be convinced of the value of research as a useful contribution to practice. Clarity of presentation of research results, easy access to research, and postgraduate programs for professionals are ways to accomplish that goal. (69 references) (DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the World Conference on Distance Education (14th, Oslo, Norway, August 9-16, 1988).