Distance Education Past and Present
Distance education is comprised of four components. Institutionally based, Separation of teacher and student, Interactive telecommunications, Sharing of data, voice, and video. Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek define distance education as, “An institution based, formal education where the learning group is separated, and where interactive telecommunications systems are used to connect learners, resources, and instructors.”
My definition of distance education prior to this course was, “Teaching and learning that is conducted in a non-face to face manner. Utilization of technology is used to connect the teacher(s) and student(s).
Distance education is becoming a party of every community and organization. With the world becoming more connected, distance education is one of the fastest growing sectors. All educational institutions are designing and implementing distance education systems into their organization. Not only are educational systems implementing distance education into their organization but traditional business are more and more as they are learning that there are a plethora benefits associated with distance learning.
The resources from this week were very informative and offered several variations of the “definition” of distance learning. I have integrated my definition with the information I have read. My new definition of distance education is, “Learning through synchronous and asynchronous methods via multimedia and various connective technologies in a formal learning setting. Typically the instructor and student(s) are separated.” “Institution-based, formal education where the learning group is separated, there interactive telecommunications systems are used to connect learners, resources and instructors”. (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, and Zvacek, 2012, p.32).
As I mentioned earlier, more and more organizations are beginning to invest in distance education programs or continuing to build their distance education infrastructure. Distance education has a tremendous amount of potential but requires a continued investment. Distance education is:
1: Cost effective by off-setting travel, classroom overhead and loss of employee productivity
2: Provides “on demand” learning accessibility
3: Scalable, once developed learners can immediately use it
(Moller, Foshay & Huett, 2008)
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson