Business Increase Use of Distance Education

By May, Bill | THE JOURNAL RECORD, September 14, 1993 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Business Increase Use of Distance Education


It's been a long time coming, but now it's a buzzword among academicians and business executives alike.

The only problem is, like so much technology that's finally caught up with a decades-old promise, distance education is not for everyone, and those who wish to use it have to learn a whole new skill.

At least teachers who want to conduct education courses at multiple locations simultaneously must learn a whole new way of doing things, according to Dr. Lorne A. Parker, president of the not-for-profit Teletraining Institute of Stillwater.

"It's a lot like buying a brand new video cassette recorder," said Parker who moved to Stillwater a year ago from Madison, Wis., to set up the institute in partnership with Oklahoma State University. "It seems simple to use it for its basic purpose. But if you don't know how to do all the programming and use all the features, you're not getting the full benefit from it.

"That's the way it is with distance education. You can stand up like you're in a classroom and talk directly into a camera and you'll probably reach some of your students. But if you understand all the technology that's available and the best way to teach by long distance, you'll be a much more effective educator."

Distance education is that type of training using video and audio connections for communication between teacher and students over long distances. Class size can vary from one student to as many as a room will hold. There can be as many classrooms linked into a network for the course as finances will allow.

Most popular use in academia is to bring a more varied curriculum to rural areas, allowing isolated students to be in contact with highly trained teachers in major urban areas via communication links.

Many institutes of higher learning started adding distance learning to their offerings in the late 1970s, allowing employees of a particular company to receive college credit courses from their job location.

Private industry also has used distance learning for about 20 years, reducing travel costs while at the same time keeping employees in outlying branches fully trained and aware of the latest information from corporate headquarters.

Now, though, we're entering a new realm of distance education, combining two-way audio and video links with data transmission from personal computers, allowing real-time interactive teaching sessions, Parker said.

"The more active involvement between teacher and students, the better the teaching session will be, just like in a real classroom," he said. "But there are different skills required for distance learning as opposed to teaching in front of a classroom.

"One of the first things the teachers must learn for distance education is to get rid of the talking head syndrome, to use as many teaching aids, films, video and computer text as possible so that they don't have one person talking the entire class. That's boring even if you're face-to-face with your class."

That's where the institute comes in.

At least once a month for the rest of this year, the institute will offer three basic distance education seminars, ranging from two to three days, each costing about $300 per day, to beginning teachers and administrators.

"Our seminar teaches the teachers how to use distance education to its fullest advantage, allowing them to practice with the latest technology so they can understand how to use it," Parker said.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

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.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

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

Cited article

Business Increase Use of Distance Education


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

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?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

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

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.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?