Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Next Generation of Distance Education - Module 1

Distance education is growing fast in education and in the business sectors.  Moller, Foshay, Huett, and Simonson agree that in order to meet the needs of learnes, distance education must evolve in the next generation.  According to Moller, Foshay, and Huett (2008), in order for distance learning to improve, there is a need for more training for instructors and better instructional designs.  According to Simonson (2008), distance education must provide learning experiences with new technologies equivalent to those in face to face environments to achieve learning outcomes. I agree with both of these positions because distance education is becoming the school of choice for k-12 and higher education for many reasons, to include easy accessiblity, flexibility in course selection, and simply convenience.  As a result, instructors need to be trained to effectively design courses to provide meaningful learning experiences similar to the traditional setting.  Appropriate technologies should also be considered to aid learners in achieving learning outcomes.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008, May/June). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the Web (Part 1: Training and Development). TechTrends, 52(3), 70–75.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008, July/August). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the Web (Part 2: Higher Education). TechTrends, 52(4), 66–70.

Huett, J., Moller, L., Foshay, W. & Coleman, C. (2008, September/October). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the Web (Part 3: K12). TechTrends, 52(5), 63–67.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2008). Equivalency Theory.[Video]. Baltimore, MD: Author.


  1. Hi Tiffany. Do you see the move to online programs for K-12 a good thing or a bad thing? How might it affect the role of teachers currently working in K-12 classrooms?


  2. I agree that training effective instructors is the key to creating an efficient learning environment for k12 students. These instructors should not only be knowledgable in technology but also learning theory as it applies specifically to less mature students.
    Good points,
    Jenny Jarvis

  3. Hi Tiffany:

    I am so excited about this merger of classroom and distance learning. How long do you think the average district will take to hop on board? Do you see those of us who will be trained perhaps creating a means of increasing this opportunity to other states as a group? Would you see the group doing this as an online distance professional development program for districts as a whole? What other means do you see as the route to getting districts to implement this means for student learning in the near future?

  4. Simonson makes two great point about training distance learning instructors and seeking to provide a learning experience equal to those of a traditional classroom. I think those are two distinct areas that need to both play off of each other. While distance learning will never be exactly like a traditional classroom, technology has provided us a medium by which we can provide the same effectiveness. In the process of doing this, distance learning instructors must recognize the differences between traditional and distance learning and be trained accordingly.

  5. Hi Dr. Powell. I think that k-12 online programs are a good thing because they provide flexibility to those who need it outside of the traditional setting. I also think that they will force teachers to use technology and use it more effective because there is no F2F interaction.