ERIC Number: ED421644
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Feb-17
The Organization of Courses via the Internet, Academic Aspects, Interaction, Evaluation, and Accreditation.
Edelson, Paul Jay
Electronic teaching via the Internet has its rewards and frustrations. In asynchronous distance learning, students have their own passwords to reach the course site on the Internet. An interactive software program allows them to post messages to one another and follow the thread of conversation. Unlike a traditional class that meets once or twice a week, students in electronic courses participate many times in a week. The biggest intellectual and behavioral hurdle for faculty and students is overcoming the anxiety caused by the disunities of time, space, and action. Benefits are as follows: forum for participation at convenient times and places; time for students to read and craft responses; improved student writing and research skills; more student participation; and written records. Problems include the following: an initial steep learning curve; difficulty in discussion closure; faculty adjustment to more student comments; heavier student workload; importance of literacy and writing skills; and no face-to-face contact. Support issues are help for faculty in course development; technical reliability; and student frustrations with Internet providers and equipment limitations. Graduate student participants cite benefits of electronic teaching. The widespread worldwide availability and demand for electronic courses and degrees and the importance of recognized educational credentials will propel the establishment of international standards. (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Mexico City, Mexico, February 17, 1998).