ERIC Number: EJ874950
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: 30
Distance Education: Ready and Willing to Serve the Underserved?
Benson, Angela D.
Quarterly Review of Distance Education, v5 n1 p51-57 2004
In 2003, the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), recognizing the need for a standard definition of distance education, issued a monograph that posed a definition of distance education as "institution-based, formal education where the learning group is separated and where interactive telecommunications systems are used to connect learners, resources, and instructors" (Schlosser & Simonson, 2003, p. 1). Though posing this new definition, the authors acknowledged that different perspectives of distance education result in different definitions and that their "definition is not the only one and certainly not the first offered for distance education" (p. 3). As recently as Spring 2003, members of AECT's Distance Learning Division debated the boundaries of the field. Some held the position that the distance learning term was outmoded in a society characterized primarily by "blended" scenarios in which traditional classroom instruction is supplemented with varying degrees of distance instruction. This article explores the notion that the multiple and changing definitions of distance education can drive the practice and research in the field in a direction that can either disadvantage a large segment of the population or embrace a segment that advanced technologies have traditionally disadvantaged. (Contains 1 table.)
Descriptors: Distance Education, Definitions, Technology Uses in Education, Influence of Technology, Educational Opportunities, Access to Education, Barriers, Postsecondary Education, Disadvantaged, Demography, Educational Development, Educational Practices
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A