ERIC Number: ED386578
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Sep
The Sphere of Distance-Education Theory Revisited. ZIFF Papiere 98.
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of distance education (DE) is that it is characterized by noncontiguous communication between the supporting organization and its students. A theory of DE must include phenomena and concerns that are internal to its practice and can also embrace external conditions influencing or being influenced by DE. In view of these facts, a general theory of DE proposed includes the following points: (1) DE serves individual learners who cannot or do not want to make use of face-to-face teaching; (2) society benefits from DE provision of liberal study opportunities for individual learners and professional/occupational training; (3) DE may inspire metacognitive approaches; (4) DE is based on deep learning as an individual activity; (5) DE is open to behaviorist, cognitive, and other modes of learning but also includes an element of industrialization; (6) personal relations, study pleasure, and empathy between students and those supporting them are central to learning in DE; and (7) although it is an effective mode of training, DE runs the risk of leading to mere fact learning and reproduction of accepted "truths." (Appended are summaries of explicit theories and hypotheses regarding distance education published elsewhere. Contains 59 references.) (MN)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Fern Univ., Hagen (Germany). Inst. for Research into Distance Education.