Sunday, October 27, 2013


     Many people have preconceptions regarding distance learning. Some people think that distance learning is inferior to the traditional learning environment that is done in a physical classroom. Some people feel that are getting their money’s worth by having face-to-face conversations with an instructor and classmates. As noted in the study by Schmidt & Gallegos (2001), interaction with classmates and instructors is an important issue to some learners considering an online environment. Will preconceptions change?
     I think that preconceptions will change. As more and more people become more comfortable with technology I feel that distance education will become more of an option when it comes to education. Siemens (n.d.) noted that distance education will be impacted by:
  • New communication technology
  • Contribution by experts around the world
  • Increased use of multimedia, games, and simulations
     I also feel that distance education will become more appealing since many people are so busy in their work and personal lives, pursuing a degree or a certification for work would be much easier in the comfort of their own home. There are also many things to be considered in today’s distance education arena such as diversity, multiculturality and globalization (Germain-Rutherford & Kerr, 2008).
     To be a positive force for continuous improvement in the field of distance education, I will always strive to present work that is sound and reliable. I must develop my courses with the appropriate learning theory or theories so that the design of the instruction is effective for the learner. When planning and designing a course I will use a systemic process such as ADDIE to ensure my course is effective and the learning objectives achievable.
Germain-Rutherford, A., & Kerr, B. (2008). An inclusive approach to online learning environments:   Models and resources. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education TOJDE, 9(2). Retrieved from
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance:  Foundations of distance education (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Distance Learning Format

     This week we were to consider a scenario where a training manager wants to convert all of his face-to-face training sessions to a blended learning format. With this scenario in mind we were to formulate a best practices guide and a checklist. The guide and checklist are below.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Impact of Open Source

For this week’s assignment we were to choose a course from an Open Course website. Open Course websites allow learners to take quality online courses entirely for free. The Open Course website that I chose was Open Culture and the course I chose was Video Games and Learning which is presented by two instructors from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The URL for the course is: .

Here is the introductory video for the course:

This course stresses that video games can be powerful vehicles for learning.The class workload is 4-6 hrs/week and it is 6 weeks long. The course is targeted for undergraduates, but there is no prerequisite for completing the course. The course has a syllabus which appears to be thorough and appropriate for the course.

Each week video lectures, readings, and one or more assignments, and discussions in the forums. The instructors note that the learners can choose to focus on what interests them. This appears to based on Wedemeyer's Theory of Independent study which is that the essence of education is the independence of the student (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012). Wedemeyer's new guidelines for instruction appear to go hand and hand with the format of this course as seen in the presentation below:

Besides needing the internet, some of the assignments also allow the learner to play games of his or her choice so learners must have access to a computer, console, or portable gaming system. The learner's past experiences with the course content is also valuable to this course. "Newbies" are expected to challenge the instructors and fellow students with any questions or discussion points they may have. The "Experts" are expected to contribute to the dialog and expound on the benefits of games for learning.

In relation to our learning resources this week the course designers appeared to follow the recommendations that was discussed by our class this week. The designers provided a syllabus to go by. Readings and various multimedia was used. Did the designers of the course implement course activities to maximize active learing? Yes, learners are able to use the video games of their choice to see how they are important to educational process. Learners are encouraged to participate in discussion.

Most importantly this course empasizes the fact that the 21st-century learner requires educational oppotunities not bound by time or place, yet allow interaction with the instructor and peers (Beldarrain, 2006).


Beldarrain, Y. (2006). Distance education trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance Education, 27(2), 139–153. Retrieved from

Deutscher. J. (2012). Wedemeyers’s new guidelines for instruction [Video File].  Retrieved from

Steinkuehler,C.& Squire,K. (2013). University of wisconson-madison: video games and learning. Retrieved from