Online and Distance Learning - University of Washington

Online and Distance Learning - University of Washington

Online and Distance Learning What makes a difference? EDC&I 510 Initial Questions Your experience in taking OL/DL courses: Effective? Well designed? (See any traces of the originating British Open University work in materials, approaches you used?) Static or dynamic? Do it again?

How did your experiences compare with Bernard et als. findings? The Beginnings Correspondence schools late 19th century Post office worked faster then Kind of mania around these; many trade schools opened correspondence courses Radio Education (1920-50) Used in rural US for extension programs

Used in other countries with sparse populations (Australia, right) Televised Education (1950-80) Early high enthusiasm; many universities started programs Difficulty sustaining student motivation and interest Success in UK with Open University (ca. 1970) International Distance Ed (1960- )

Wide use in many developing countries (India, China, USSR, Central & South America) Big needs: large populations with minimal ed service Cost, distance, transportation considerations were primary The Open University (1969- ) First big, coordinated instructional design effort

Texts, video/radio/etc. all prepared to work together (But: video = only about 10% of content) Team model for development Production values were low in early period Particular to social situation in UK, post WW II Now increasingly online Good research programme

Online Learning (1980- ) Quick perception that this could be done cheaply and easily (in a technical sense, anyway!) Early work in text-only settings (videotex & teletext in 1980s UK); WELL/NJIT in US (mid-80s) Web-based programs from about 1995 Today Efforts to move from text-largely formats to

interactive, Web 2.0 approaches Increasing spread to K-12 ed and corporate settings Much wider acceptance and use (50% of UW undergrads!) Major shift in concerns over past 10 years O&DL: Then and Now Now Then(post-2000) (pre-2000) Nearly Big, clunky

omnipresent systems Relative Operationease = difficult of use Contact Student contact can be frequent, = sporadic informal and formal

Design = becoming static, linear more varied Research: How Is it as can good we as? capitalize on? Motivation Student motivation, less an issue

drop-outs = key What Weve Learned Online/distance ed works, in the sense that people can and will learn under all sorts of conditions Technical aspects are often perceived as most complicated BUT Organizational (support) and instructional (design) issues are likely more significant Finally, proof

That Its the design, stupid! Well-designed OL courses really do lead to more/better learning (of some things, under some conditions) Managing the contingencies of instruction = key Learners = now more accustomed to working OL There are likely still some self-selection effects New Tools

New types of interaction emerging Group text/document management Commenting, annotation, feedback Video annotation and tagging systems Learning community approach MOODLE

2003-2011 New Audiences Spread of online K-12 Home schooling, chronically ill, adjudicated 32 state OL schools State-required online HS courses Idaho = latest (11/11; 2 1 synch, 1 asynch)

Others: Michigan, Alabama, Florida Move to require practice in OL teaching as part of teacher preparation ( 17 states now) Current Questions How do we design for effective learning-oriented interaction in a Web 2.0 space? Can we create really individualized learning spaces online?

As barriers to web-based interaction fall, does face-to-face meeting retain critical aspects that cant be duplicated? What detailed design specifics (forms of interaction, use of virtual artifacts, etc.) are most important? More Questions In constrained budget environments, what are the true costs of creating, running and maintaining online programs?

Is there an appropriate mix of online and face-to-face activities for various subjects? What about use of online programs in K12 schools? Who controls, monitors, accredits? Does HS experience really prepare students for 21st c. workplaces? And still more Whats the instructors role? What support do instructors need? In higher ed: How to count OL offerings (in cf. to

traditional courses) in faculty load? Balance between OL & F2F teaching? O/DL responsibilities in union contracts? Faculty satisfaction with OL teaching as regular expectation? An Ideal Model Setting: Professional development and learning among educators Close to real feeling interaction Audio/video; breakouts; notifications; (chat?)

Easy online use of documents and materials Collaborative inspection, sharing, modification, storage, retrieval Real-time updating of records/traces And selective access to/display of same

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