Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology

By David H. Jonassen | Go to book overview

14
DISTANCE EDUCATION
Charlotte Nirmalani Gunawardena
University of New Mexico
Marina Stock McIsaac
Arizona State University

14.1 INTRODUCTION

The field of distance education has changed dramatically in the past ten years. Distance education, structured learning in which the student and instructor are separated by place, and sometimes by time is currently the fastest growing form of domestic and international education. What was once considered a special form of education using nontraditional delivery systems, is now becoming an important concept in mainstream education. Concepts such as networked learning, connected learning spaces, flexible learning and hybrid learning systems have enlarged the scope and changed the nature of earlier distance education models. Web-based and web-enhanced courses are appearing in traditional programs that are now racing to join the “anytime, anyplace” educational feeding frenzy. In a 2002 survey of 75 randomly chosen college distance learning programs, results revealed an astounding rate of growth in the higher education distance learning market (Primary Research Group, 2002). In a time of shrinking budgets, distance learning programs are reporting 41 percent average annual enrollment growth. Thirty percent of the programs are being developed to meet the needs of professional continuing education for adults. Twenty-four percent of distance students have high speed bandwidth at home. These developments signal a drastic redirection of traditional distance education.

With the rise and proliferation of distance learning systems has come the need to critically examine the strengths and weaknesses of various programs. A majority of new programs have been developed to meet the growing needs of higher education in responding to demands for flexible learning environments, continuing education and lifelong learning. David Noble, the Ralph Nader of Distance Education, has written a series of papers examining what he calls the private, commercial hijacking of higher education. He makes the case that the banner touting cheap online education waved in front of administrators has resulted in much higher costs than expected. The promotion of online courses, according to Noble, has resulted in a huge, expensive infrastructure that he describes as a technological tapeworm in the guts of higher education (Noble 1999, November). In a later piece, Noble describes the controversy in 1998 that developed at UCLA over its partnership with a private company, the Home Education Network (THEN). The controversy, over public and private partnerships and great expectation of financial returns, he says, is fueled by extravagant technological fantasies which underly much of today's enthusiasm for distance education. Noble describes this expectation as a pursuit of what appears increasingly to be little more than fool's gold (Noble 2001, March).

Noble is one of a growing group of scholars becoming increasingly disillusioned with the commercialization of distance learning, particularly in the United States. They call for educators to pause and examine the enthusiastic claims of distance educators from a critical perspective. With the recent developments in hybrid combinations of distance learning, flexible learning, distributed learning, web-based and web-enhanced instruction, the questions facing educators are how to examine new learning technologies from a wider perspective than we have in the past, and to examine how distance education fits into the changing educational environment. Scholars are exploring information technologies from the critical perspectives of politics, hidden curriculum, pedagogy, cost effectiveness, and the global impact of information technologies on collective intelligence (Vrasidas, & Glass, 2002).

-355-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 1210

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.