ERIC Number: ED359938
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Sep
Distance Education: Two Modes of Learning Separated by a Common Language.
Swift, D. F.
The meaning of distance education and the two approaches to it that are commonly adapted are discussed. In most American usage, distance education is structured learning where the student and teacher are separated by space. A key distinction in two types of distance education is the definition of teacher. The teacher may be a person who instructs orally, or the teacher may not be a person but a course in which content is made available by other than the spoken word. The term distance education began to be used after 1970 to describe the purpose-built qualification-awarding industrial model institutions. At present, the world of distance education is a bimodal continuum in which one mode is this industrial model based on a predesigned learning environment using fairly mundane technology and the other (a more American approach) is a model that seeks to develop high technology to increase the size of an otherwise conventional classroom with an instructor at its core. Both modes can contribute to the democratization of access to knowledge and open learning. The variants of both modes hold the key to massive expansion in educational opportunity. Those who speak of a third generation of distance education are speaking of the use of electronic information technologies rather than models based on print and broadcasting. A chart presents the two models of distance education. (Contains 6 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Computer Assisted Instruction, Definitions, Distance Education, Educational Environment, Educational Technology, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Learning, Models, Teacher Role, Teaching Methods, Technological Advancement, Telecommunications
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A