ERIC Number: ED395214
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Distance Learning, the Internet, and the World Wide Web. ERIC Digest.
Some of the newest methods of distance learning (DL) use the Internet and the World Wide Web. DL on the Internet usually takes one of the following forms: electronic mail; bulletin boards/newsgroups; downloading of course materials or tutorials; interactive tutorials on the Web; real-time, interactive conferencing; "intranets" (internal, limited-access websites); or informatics. Advantages of delivering DL on the Internet include the following: time and place flexibility; potential to reach a global audience; no concern about compatibility of computer equipment and operating systems; quick development time; easy updating of content; and usually lower development and operating costs. Some disadvantages are limited bandwidth and slow modems that hamper delivery of sound, video, and graphics; reliance on learner initiative; information overload; access; and social isolation. Multimedia/hypermedia contexts support constructivist approaches to learning. Computer discussion also requires and facilitates learning-how-to-learn skills. Social isolation can be a drawback, but learning communities are developing in cyberspace. Online courses often feature consensus building and group projects, through which learners can develop skills in collaborating with distant colleagues and cooperating with diverse individuals--skills increasingly needed in the global workplace. To help learners make effective use of DL methods, skilled facilitation by teachers is essential. (Contains 13 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.