ERIC Number: EJ779207
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 8
Education at a Distance.
Maffett, Sheryl Price
Community College Journal, v78 n2 p34-39 Oct-Nov 2007
Distance learning has been around since the old "course in a box" correspondence classes, but with the advent of sophisticated online course management systems, learning at a distance is contributing to a major paradigm shift in higher education. That shift includes applying corporate concepts to education--students, for example, are "consumers," and course content is now the "product." The "consumers" are currently demanding that the "product" be delivered when and where they want it. Is distance learning really a good idea for students who need remediation? Do developmental students have access to the proper hardware and software and, if so, do they know how to use that technology? Are their reading comprehension skills sufficient to thrive--or even survive--in a learning environment that is primarily text-based, and are they motivated enough to stick with an online class without the constant monitoring, prodding, and encouragement that a face-to-face teacher provides? The lack of technology access among certain subsets of the population is commonly called the "digital divide." Statistics show that developmental students are more likely to be minorities, lower income, older, and first-generation college students. It follows that access to technology would present a significant challenge for many developmental students. Access is a vital element in taking developmental classes online. This article describes how community colleges implement distance learning to reach developmental learners.
Descriptors: Management Systems, Distance Education, Online Courses, Educational Technology, Educational Environment, Community Colleges, Internet
American Association of Community Colleges. One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 410, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-728-0200; Fax: 202-833-2467; Web site: http://www.aacc.nche.edu/bookstore
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: American Association of Community Colleges, Washington, DC.