Distance Learning: Making Connections Across Virtual Space and Time / Edition 1

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Overview

This text provides a solid theoretical framework as well as practical considerations for planning and implementing distance learning programs. Fundamental concepts of distance learning, planning program development, and the basic technologies used are presented. The author integrates the historical and theoretical background with the most current applications and technologies being used for distance learning in today's educational environment.

Some key features:

  • Emphasis is placed on distance learning application and program development in its entirety, as opposed to focusing on a single component.
  • A foundation is provided from which educators will view distance learning as an appropriate approach for meeting the ever expanding needs of students.
  • One or more case studies per chapter aid in sparking open-ended classroom discussion or serve as material for final written assignments.
  • A guide to designing a web-based distance learning course is provided at the conclusion of the text. Useful as a hands-on workshop activity.
  • Glossary of technical terms.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130809001
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 6/21/2000
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 253
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Read an Excerpt

PREFACE:

Preface

The purpose of this book is to provide the theoretical framework as well as the practical considerations for planning and implementing distance learning programs. Fundamental concepts of distance learning, planning, program development, and the basic technologies used are presented. Emphasis is placed, throughout this book, on the distance learning application and program development in total and not on any single component. Most important, this book is meant to provide a foundation from which educators throughout the world will view distance learning as an appropriate approach for meeting the ever-expanding needs of students. As the information age progresses, as demand for highly skilled workers and professionals grows, and as lifelong learning is routinely accepted, distance learning will proliferate and will eventually become a necessity for meeting these needs.

The material is designed for administrators, managers, teachers, distance learning coordinators, chief information officers, and media specialists who are involved in initiating and supporting distance learning in schools and private businesses. This book is also appropriate as a text in a preservice or in-service course on distance learning.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

The term distance learning will be used throughout this book to refer to any type of instruction in which the teacher and students are physically separated. This appellation is preferred over distance education because of the increased responsibility placed on the learner in most distance learning applications. An extensive definition of the term is provided in Chapter 1.

Theterm virtual is used frequently in this book and means being functional and effective without existing in a traditional mode. Virtual learning, for example, is learning that can functionally and effectively occur in the absence of traditional classroom environments. Other uses of the term virtual, as in virtual systems or virtual space and time, will be defined where appropriate in the text. The adjective traditional, used in this paragraph and throughout this book to describe a classroom setting, refers to the common format of an instructor conducting a lesson, delivering a lecture, or leading a discussion with a number of students physically present.

Organization of This Book

This book is organized into nine chapters, plus a guide. While each chapter can be read independently, the material is presented in a logical sequence. Chapter 1 is an introduction to distance learning. Chapter 2 provides a review of planning and applies a modified social process model to planning for distance learning. Using this planning model, Chapters 3 through 7 explore the components of the model including distance learning technology, instructional development, student perspectives, faculty development, administrative support, facilities, and finances. Chapter 8 brings some of the material in the previous chapters together and explores the evolving Web-based virtual model that relies extensively on digital and computer networking technology. Chapter 9 gives a brief glimpse of the future. While this last chapter reviews some of the material covered in previous chapters, it is not a summary of the book but rather a discussion of the dynamic nature of distance learning, especially with regard to the evolving technologies. Following the chapters is A Guide to Designing a Web-Based Distance Learning Course, which illustrates the features and components of a typical Web-based course. This guide can be used in conjunction with the material in other chapters, especially Chapter 8. A glossary and an appendix, "On-Line Sources of Information on Distance Learning," are also provided.

End-of-Chapter Activities

Each chapter concludes with a summary of the material covered in the previous pages. One or more case studies designed to stimulate thought and discussion on the material are also provided. The case studies reflect situations that exist in many educational environments and allow readers to make decisions about planning or implementing a distance learning program. Each chapter also has its own reference list that facilitates pursuing citations for further reading.

Website

The website provides material designed to assist in using this book for instructional purposes. The website is organized by chapter and includes:

  • a summary of the main concepts of each chapter;
  • additional information and insights for using the end-of-chapter case studies for in-class activities or for student assignments; and
  • links (URLs) for additional on-line resources and materials pertinent to the subject matter.

Other materials will be added in the future as the distance learning technology evolves and changes to keep this book current and up to date.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I gratefully acknowledge the guidance and assistance provided by the staff at Merrill/Prentice Hall, especially Debbie Stollenwerk, Penny Burleson, and Sherry Mitchell, and to Amy Gehl at Carlisle Publishers Services.

I would also like to thank the following reviewers for their valuable feedback: Andrew J. Brovey, Valdosta State University; David G. Gueulette, Northern Illinois University; Kay Persichitte, University of Northern Colorado; Farah Saba, San Diego State University; and David VanEsselstyn, Teachers College of Columbia University.

In addition, I have benefited significantly from my professional associations with a number of colleagues: the faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Hunter College; Janet Patti and Marcia Knoll in the Administration and Supervision Program; and the faculty fellows, staff, and administration, especially Mike Ribaudo and Colette Wagner of the Open Systems Laboratory at the City University of New York.

I am most appreciative of the support of the Alfred P Sloan Foundation for my work in distance leaning, especially Frank Mayadas who has been gracious in sharing his guidance and insights into this dynamic subject. This work was also funded in part by the generosity of the Hunter College Presidential Scholarship Awards Program, David A. Caputo, President.

Lastly, Michael and Dawn Marie have made me a better person. And what can I say about Elaine, who supports me in everything I do.

Anthony G. Picciano

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction.
The Quest for Virtual Space and Time. Distance Learning Defined. Distance Learning Means Different Things to Different People. The Evolution of Distance Learning. The Current State of Distance Learning. Planning and the Systems Approach. Purpose. Summary.

2. Planning for Distance Learning.
Distance Planning Will Not Work. Common Elements of Educational Planning. The Social Process Model. A Planning Model for Distance Learning. Applying the Planning Model. Evaluation—Critical for Effective Planning. Summary.

3. Distance Learning Hardware Technology and Media.
The Medium versus the Message. Defining Hardware Technology and Media. The Current State of Distance Learning Technologies. Print Technologies. Audio Technologies. Video Technologies. Computer Technologies. Blending Technologies. Summary.

4. Instructional Design for Distance Learning.
Pedagogy and Distance Learning Theory. The Instructional Development Model. Communications and Interactivity in Distance Learning. Applying Instructional Development to Distance Learning. Appropriateness of Distance Learning for all Subject Areas/Disciplines. Tests, Student Assignments, and Grades. Designing Instruction for Students. Summary.

5. The Student Perspective.
Learners at a Distance—Who are They? Adult Learners and Learning Theory. Successful Distance Learners. Profiling a Student Population. Student Feedback and Evaluation. Student Support Services. Access to Technology and Equity Issues. Corporate Clients. Summary.

6. The Faculty Perspective.
The Socratic Method is Alive and Well. Adapting to New Teaching Techniques and the Need for Faculty Development. The StaffDevelopment Planning Model. Designing and Implementing Effective Staff Development Programs. Faculty Personnel Issues. Copyright Issues. Summary.

7. Administrative Support Services, Facilities, and Finances.
Support Staff—The Silent Heroes. Developing Distance Learning Facilities: Start with an Administrative Organization. Administrative Support Services. Technical Services. Building a Technology Infrastructure. Designing Classrooms for Distance Learning. Financial Issues. Budgeting a Distance Learning Program. Revenue and Funding Sources. Summary.

8. Web-Based Distance Learning: The Virtual Model.
Virtual Space and Time. The Main Components of Web-Based Learning. Learner Needs in Virtual Space and Time: A Scenario. A Brief Look at Some Issues. Designing Effective Web-Based Applications. Course Management Systems—To CMS or Not to CMS. Digital Media and Web-Based Distance Learning. Virtual Programs, Schools, and Colleges. Virtual Space and Time with Other Models. Summary.

9. A Glimpse at a Future in the Making.
Shaping Our World: Learning and Living with Technology. Education's Response to Social and Technological Change. New Schools, Structures, and Enterprises. Spanning the Globe. Other Issues to Consider for Distance Learning in the Twenty-First Century. Making Connections Across Virtual Space and Time: A Final Comment. Summary.

A Guide to Designing a Web-Based Distance Learning Course.
Technologically Simple and Pedagogically Powerful. The Course Web Site. Teaching and Learning in Virtual Space and Time. Suggested Activity. A Sample Web-Based Course.

Appendix: On-Line Sources of Information on Distance Learning.
Glossary.
Index.
Read More Show Less

Preface

PREFACE:

Preface

The purpose of this book is to provide the theoretical framework as well as the practical considerations for planning and implementing distance learning programs. Fundamental concepts of distance learning, planning, program development, and the basic technologies used are presented. Emphasis is placed, throughout this book, on the distance learning application and program development in total and not on any single component. Most important, this book is meant to provide a foundation from which educators throughout the world will view distance learning as an appropriate approach for meeting the ever-expanding needs of students. As the information age progresses, as demand for highly skilled workers and professionals grows, and as lifelong learning is routinely accepted, distance learning will proliferate and will eventually become a necessity for meeting these needs.

The material is designed for administrators, managers, teachers, distance learning coordinators, chief information officers, and media specialists who are involved in initiating and supporting distance learning in schools and private businesses. This book is also appropriate as a text in a preservice or in-service course on distance learning.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

The term distance learning will be used throughout this book to refer to any type of instruction in which the teacher and students are physically separated. This appellation is preferred over distance education because of the increased responsibility placed on the learner in most distance learning applications. An extensive definition of the term is provided in Chapter 1.

Theterm virtual is used frequently in this book and means being functional and effective without existing in a traditional mode. Virtual learning, for example, is learning that can functionally and effectively occur in the absence of traditional classroom environments. Other uses of the term virtual, as in virtual systems or virtual space and time, will be defined where appropriate in the text. The adjective traditional, used in this paragraph and throughout this book to describe a classroom setting, refers to the common format of an instructor conducting a lesson, delivering a lecture, or leading a discussion with a number of students physically present.

Organization of This Book

This book is organized into nine chapters, plus a guide. While each chapter can be read independently, the material is presented in a logical sequence. Chapter 1 is an introduction to distance learning. Chapter 2 provides a review of planning and applies a modified social process model to planning for distance learning. Using this planning model, Chapters 3 through 7 explore the components of the model including distance learning technology, instructional development, student perspectives, faculty development, administrative support, facilities, and finances. Chapter 8 brings some of the material in the previous chapters together and explores the evolving Web-based virtual model that relies extensively on digital and computer networking technology. Chapter 9 gives a brief glimpse of the future. While this last chapter reviews some of the material covered in previous chapters, it is not a summary of the book but rather a discussion of the dynamic nature of distance learning, especially with regard to the evolving technologies. Following the chapters is A Guide to Designing a Web-Based Distance Learning Course, which illustrates the features and components of a typical Web-based course. This guide can be used in conjunction with the material in other chapters, especially Chapter 8. A glossary and an appendix, "On-Line Sources of Information on Distance Learning," are also provided.

End-of-Chapter Activities

Each chapter concludes with a summary of the material covered in the previous pages. One or more case studies designed to stimulate thought and discussion on the material are also provided. The case studies reflect situations that exist in many educational environments and allow readers to make decisions about planning or implementing a distance learning program. Each chapter also has its own reference list that facilitates pursuing citations for further reading.

Website

The website provides material designed to assist in using this book for instructional purposes. The website is organized by chapter and includes:

  • a summary of the main concepts of each chapter;
  • additional information and insights for using the end-of-chapter case studies for in-class activities or for student assignments; and
  • links (URLs) for additional on-line resources and materials pertinent to the subject matter.

Other materials will be added in the future as the distance learning technology evolves and changes to keep this book current and up to date.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I gratefully acknowledge the guidance and assistance provided by the staff at Merrill/Prentice Hall, especially Debbie Stollenwerk, Penny Burleson, and Sherry Mitchell, and to Amy Gehl at Carlisle Publishers Services.

I would also like to thank the following reviewers for their valuable feedback: Andrew J. Brovey, Valdosta State University; David G. Gueulette, Northern Illinois University; Kay Persichitte, University of Northern Colorado; Farah Saba, San Diego State University; and David VanEsselstyn, Teachers College of Columbia University.

In addition, I have benefited significantly from my professional associations with a number of colleagues: the faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Hunter College; Janet Patti and Marcia Knoll in the Administration and Supervision Program; and the faculty fellows, staff, and administration, especially Mike Ribaudo and Colette Wagner of the Open Systems Laboratory at the City University of New York.

I am most appreciative of the support of the Alfred P Sloan Foundation for my work in distance leaning, especially Frank Mayadas who has been gracious in sharing his guidance and insights into this dynamic subject. This work was also funded in part by the generosity of the Hunter College Presidential Scholarship Awards Program, David A. Caputo, President.

Lastly, Michael and Dawn Marie have made me a better person. And what can I say about Elaine, who supports me in everything I do.

Anthony G. Picciano

Read More Show Less

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