“The Proof is in the Pudding!”
The success of our instructional design, whatever the format – face-to-face, technology based, world-wide- web, disc delivered, computer interactive – is measured by learner performance. Of course, the student variables are probably far more complex and significant than any combination of technologies and delivery formats.
The increasing depth of research in technology-supported teaching and learning is to be commended. The Community of Inquiry ‘technology log’ equivalent to Mark Hopkins’ ideal teaching scenario brings technology learning into a viable global learning arena.
What must be noted, however, are the widely divergent forms of “distance learning”. These vary from highly successful, highly interactive transmissions from live on-campus classrooms especially designed for interactivity and connected to a number of distant receive classrooms. At the other end of the technology spectrum are “correspondence courses” delivered via DVDs or online with asynchronous interaction by web or email instead of via the postman.
When we talk about “distance learning”, we need to be very clear about which end of the elephant we are describing.
|January 2008 Index|