Academic journal article Quarterly Review of Distance Education

ON THE HORIZON: Introduction to the Special Issue

Academic journal article Quarterly Review of Distance Education

ON THE HORIZON: Introduction to the Special Issue

Article excerpt

This special issue is dedicated to ideas about future trends in distance education. The articles are conceptual, convergent, and have applicability anytime, anywhere. The complex relationship between emerging learning theories and educational technologies has inspired the authors to think deeply about strategies for designing online environments supported by computers.

Dabbaugh's article explores the interaction between pedagogy, technology and design, while Kim and Hannifin specifically target design strategies for learning scientific inquiry online. It is difficult to imagine distance education without reusable objects, and Schaffer and Douglas present a framework for the development of object-oriented systems that support knowledge, performance and learning in organizations. Duncan and Sheerer also discuss objects from the point of view of government policy and strategy as it relates to the "No Child Left Behind." This article explores the deployment of distance education or online learning strategies to engage traditionally underrepresented populations in learning, as does Benson's discussion of the importance of conducting future research with such populations. These articles explore aspects of the widening "digital divide" between members of our society who have quite divergent goals and levels of access with regard to distance education. …

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