ERIC Number: ED460699
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Mar
The Hopeful Marriage of Community Colleges and Distance Education: True Love at Last.
Cohen, Arthur M.
Driven by the inability of traditional higher education institutions to accommodate the increasing number of people demanding postsecondary education, community colleges are implementing new modes of access to their programs. One of the most popular means of access is distance education, which promises education beyond the boundaries of the traditional classroom. This paper questions the use of distance education as a substitute for traditional learning. It discusses employing new technological methods such as telecourses, multimedia conferencing, and interactive video programs, and the potential burdens on faculty as well as the disadvantages to students. The student-teacher relationship and the subtler elements of live teaching, such as voice intonation, nuances of body movement, and cues coming from instructors and other students, are lost in distance education, as is the notion of designed instruction. And since technology currently becomes obsolete much more quickly than buildings and live instructors, the cost-effectiveness of distance education and its required components remains in question, especially since, in higher education overall, distance education students compose only five percent of total enrollment. The author asserts that distance education defined as any type of non-campus learning opportunity will take its place as a parallel form of learning, a supplementary, not primary, instructional form. (EMH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for the Study of Community Colleges, Los Angeles, CA.