Learner-Centered Theory and Practice in Distance Education: Cases from Higher Education

Learner-Centered Theory and Practice in Distance Education: Cases from Higher Education

Learner-Centered Theory and Practice in Distance Education: Cases from Higher Education

Learner-Centered Theory and Practice in Distance Education: Cases from Higher Education

Synopsis

Learner-Centered Theory and Practice in Distance Education: Cases From Higher Education brings the voice of the learning sciences to the study and design of distance learning. The contributors examine critical issues in the design of theoretically and pedagogically based distance education programs. Eight distance education programs are described in enough detail to allow readers with different interests to understand the pedagogical approaches and the implications of implementing those approaches. Issues of theory, pedagogy, design, assessment, communities of practice, collaboration, and faculty development are discussed. Each section of the book includes: a primary chapter written by an author or authors involved with a distance education program that reflects learner-centered principles; a formal reaction to the chapter by a specialist from the learning sciences, educational evaluation and policy, administration, or the corporate sector with expertise in issues of distance learning; and an edited transcript of the authors' discussion of the primary chapter held at a symposium at the Asilomar Conference Center. A final "summing up" section offers two perspectives-from leading scholars outside the fields of instructional design, evaluation, and the learning sciences-on the approaches and thinking reflected in the rest of the book. This book is essential for researchers, as well as all those engaged in delivering, supporting, or administrating distance education programs at the post-secondary level. The descriptions, strategies, and principles will inform the design of continuing education, as well as degree-based education and corporate education and training, and distance education programs for adults.

Excerpt

In this volume, we have focused on two objectives. First, we want to bring the voice of the learning sciences to the study and design of distance education. Over the past 2 decades, we have learned a tremendous amount about how people learn and how to engage them in the learning process (see, e.g., National Academy of Science, 2000). However, we find little of that work applied to the design of distance learning environments. It is not that the principles of teaching and learning change when we look at distance education—it is that the context for learning results in markedly different constraints and affordances when compared to face-to-face teaching. How do we promote engaged learning when students are distributed around the world? What should it mean pedagogically to put a course on the web?

In seeking to meet this goal, we invited individuals who were a part of distance education programs that reflected the principles for engaged learning and asked them to describe their programs from the perspective of the pedagogical design but also focus on issues of assessment, retention, and workload. These programs are from business, education, library science, and bioengineering, as well as campus- and system-wide efforts.

Our second goal was to assure that the programs are presented in enough detail so that readers with different interests will have the detail they need to understand the pedagogical approaches and the implications of implementing those approaches. Of course, fully achieving this goal was quite impossible without supporting an ongoing dialogue. So we tried to approach the goal by bringing together a diverse group of specialists working in distance education to comment on and discuss the chapters. We invited those from the learning sciences, professionals in educational evaluation and policy, administrators, and professionals from the corporate sector, all with expertise in issues of distance learning, to review, discuss, and write reactant chapters on each of the programs. The group met at a symposium held at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California, to discuss these chapters, as well as larger issues in the design of distance learning environments. In fact, key elements of the discussion at Asilomar were captured and are included in this book. The result of this effort is an edited volume that describes eight distinct distance education programs. For each program, there is a chapter describing the program with a focus on the pedagogy, a formal reactant to the chapter, and an edited transcript of the group discussion of the chapter. This is our attempt to provide the level of detail and the perspective taking that is too often missed in many program and course descriptions.

This book is intended for a wide audience of those engaged in delivering, supporting, or administrating distance education programs at the postsecondary level. The descriptions, strategies, and principles will inform the design of continuing education, as well as degree-based education and corporate education and training. This book also has relevance to the broad audience engaged in distance education for adults.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.