ERIC Number: EJ799523
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
Where Did Distance Education Go Wrong?
Distance Education, v29 n1 p39-51 May 2008
Distance education (DE) practices around the world use a wide range of audio-visual technologies to overcome the lack of direct contact between teachers and students. These are not universally adopted by DE teachers, however, nor even encouraged by their institutions. This article discusses the organisational attitudes that can lead to outdated methods being maintained and successful ones abandoned, and it suggests that, just as educational television and programmed learning were supplanted in previous decades, so the World Wide Web could be abandoned as a viable education medium in the foreseeable future and replaced by more widely available media such as the cell phone. The article contrasts the learner-centred philosophies underlying current DE approaches with the teacher-centred philosophies of a generation ago. If these two philosophies are not united in a sensible middle ground, the article suggests, history may come to regard today's DE as a Dark Age less enlightened than when Genghis Khan sent his arrow riders to deliver the mail in person across the Mongolian steppes, and when Lenin dispatched educational media experts to deliver DE materials by hand across the post-revolutionary Soviet Union. The main losers in this scenario, the article concludes, will be the students of the developing world.
Descriptors: Distance Education, Educational Media, Educational Technology, Teacher Student Relationship, Internet, Teaching Methods, Technology Integration, Computer Mediated Communication, Educational Philosophy, Educational History, Computer Uses in Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A