Week 8 VB

Week 8 video blog

Three resources on best practices for distance education for a specific population (e.g. adult learners, K-12, businesses).

  1. Hart, C. (2012). Factors associated with student persistence in an online program of study: A review of the literature. Journal of Interactive Online Learning11(1), 19-42.
  2. Meyer, K. A. (2014). Quality in Distance Education: Focus on On-Line Learning. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report. Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series.
  3. Simonson, M., Schlosser, C., & Orellana, A. (2011). Distance education research: A review of the literature. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 23(2-3), 124-142. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12528-011-9045-8

Summary of “Distance education research: A review of the literature”

One key to effective distance education is correct instructional design, a systematic process that applies research-based principles to educational practice (Simonson, Schlosser, & Orellana, 2011).  The strategic work that we have created in our ISD projects solidifies this reported best practice. Our attempts at instructional design these past eight weeks have canceled out any ineffective workings within our group projects through collaboration efforts and thorough peer assessments.

The article discussed how successful distant education programs, should be administered via a systems approach. It should be understood that this system should involve the efforts of faculty, staff, administrators, and students, and consisted of eight key components: curriculum, instruction, management and logistics, academic services, strategic alignment, professional development, research and development, and program evaluation (Simonson, Schlosser, & Orellana, 2011).

Proper media selection was also listed as a best practice in distant education.  Specifically, synchronous technologies were at the forefront of the best types of media that will be most effective in the distant education environment. The usefulness of a wide variety of synchronous technologies: chat, telephone conference, Web conferencing and application sharing, voice-over-IP, virtual classrooms, and videoconferencing (Simonson, Schlosser, & Orellana, 2011). Although listed, videoconferencing and chat were described in the article as neither being a top choice for collaborative team work, which was a focus for effective online learning for adult learners. In conclusion, if the design is effective, instruction will also be effective.

Although there is continued interest in the technology, the focus is not on which medium is best, but on what attributes the medium can contribute to a positive, equivalent learning experience (Simonson, Schlosser, & Orellana, 2011). Equivalency theory was the underlying theoretical framework that supported this article of distant education for adult learners. In practice, this article relayed the message that if the proper media is used to deliver content to learners who are both present and distant, it is expected that all learners will produce a similar learning outcome.

My personal theory of learning includes elements of the equivalency theory as discussed in this article and that learning should occur anytime, anywhere. In the distant education environment, it is important that adult learners of various learning styles are provided the proper tools in order to achieve envisioned learning goals. All three articles that I researched seemed to focus in on instructional design being the most important element of the best practices of distant education. It is therefore implied that any examination of best practices should first begin with the examination of the instructional design of the distant education course.

Reference

Simonson, M., Schlosser, C., & Orellana, A. (2011). Distance education research: A review of the literature. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 23(2-3), 124-142. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12528-011-9045-8