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 http://tojde.anadolu.edu.tr/tojde30/pdf/article_2.pdf
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson
The future of distance education. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_3467554_1%26url%3D