Monday, December 5, 2016

Distance Education (DE)

Arwa Alhamed
ETE 501
Distance Education
InstructorDr. Aries Cobb
Cleveland State University

Rovai, Ponton, Wighting & Baker (2007) have shown that more than 1.2 million students in the U.S. were enrolled in e-learning courses in 2006. Beccaria, Rogers, Burton & Beccaria (2016) have shown that the average age of students who use distance education in the USA about 37 years, 55% of students were male and 45% female.

A.   What is Distance Education (DE)?
Distance education is the most renowned term used when referring distance learning. According to Moore, Dickson-Deane and Galyen (2011), distance education utilizes emerging media and experiences to generate distributed learning opportunities. According to UNESCO, distance education is “an educational process and system in which all or a significant proportion of the teaching is carried out by someone or something removed in space and time from the learner.” The requirements of distance education are structured arrangement, well-designed courses, special instructional mechanisms, procedures of communication by electronic and other technologies (Burns, 2011). Students can study without face-to-face contact with their teacher. Distance courses are beneficial, particularly, for students who are not able to be physically at a school, so distance education allows them to learn in their own time and at any place they preferred. The Online Report Card conducted a survey in 2015. They have shown that “more than one in four students (28 percent) now take at least one distance education course.” (CLEARY-ESTEP, 2016).

B.    Approximately, how many people in North East Ohio use Distance Education in the K 12 classrooms? Why is the number of persons using DE in schools increasing?
Revenaugh (2005) stated that Ohio has some of the largest “cyber charters”. According to Dealer (2012), more than 30,000 Ohio students are enrolled exclusively in distance education courses. She found that each of the 97 school districts in Northeast Ohio had enrolled in distance education. The number of students who use distance education is increasing because the flexibility of distance education and they can use their smartphones and apps to access the classes. Students can save their time through using distance education because they just logging into their personal device and access the course material.

C. What is the requirement for a teacher to become an educator that performs teaching using DE?
The teacher should be familiar with technology and use hard and soft wares. He/she should know how to transmit information digitally to learners. Also, He/she should know how to use audio, television, and computers. The teacher should be aware of organizing certain arrangements for materials to be uploaded to the classroom site. He/she is responsible for ensuring that learners are able to access the materials essential for learning. Therefore, he/she should contact the school library media specialist frequently to ensure all students are doing well. Additionally, the teacher should be aware of copyright issues and work directly with the school library media specialist to help him/her access to resources and materials. Smaldino, Lowther, & Russell (2012) confirmed that teachers should treat copyrighted resources from the internet like they do print formats. The best way is to get permission because the copyright law is still muddled. Educators should be flexible, innovative, and creative, as treating the distance student presents challenges different from that of a traditional course.

 D. List two schools in Northeast Ohio that have a Distance Education curricula?  What is the name of the school(s)? Approximately, how many students are enrolled in the school(s)?  What is the student to teacher ratio? What are the results on the school report?  Is the school a high performing school? Why or Why not?
Ohio Virtual Academy and Virtual Community School of Ohio are the two schools that have a Distance Education curricula. The number of students who are enrolled in Ohio Virtual Academy approximately 12,920 students. The student to teacher ratio is 42.08. This school is an online public school for grades K-12, full-time, and tuition-free. It is a high performing school because the teachers are qualified and licensed teachers. Also, it provides planning curriculum and various tools for students to help them success. The total students in Virtual Community School of Ohio are 830. The student to teacher ratio is 20.40. The school is a high performing school because it uses the latest technology, and courses are provided and accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

E. List and describe the course management system (CMS) or the Learning Management System (LMS) used at the school(s).
A learning management system (LMS) is a software application that teachers can use it to plan, implement, and assess a certain learning process. For example, blackboard which is virtual learning environment and developed by Blackboard Inc. It allows teachers to create and deliver contents and assess students’ performance. Students would be able to interact through threaded discussions and discussion forums. Another Learning Management System (LMS) that can be used at the school is Canvas, developed by Instructure. It was established in order to make teaching and learning convenient and help the continued development of a modern learning management system. Canvas provides parents greater visibility into their children's learning progress.

F. Which model does the teaching professionals use to create a course that requires DE?  What are the major components of the course?
The ASSURE Model is an effective model that can be used in distance education. This model incorporates six components which are; analyze learners, state learning objectives (or outcomes), select media and material, utilize media, require learner participation, evaluate and revise. There are other types of distance educations that can be used. For example, audio-based models such as broadcast: IRI, narrowcast: IAI (via audio tape or CDs), two-way radio, audio conferencing and telephone, and broadcast radio. Televisual models such as video, broadcast television (educational and instructional), and videoconferencing. Web-based models, for example; computer mediated communication, internet-based access to World Wide Web resources, online courses (e-learning), online conferences (webcasts and webinars), virtual classes/schools (cyber schools) and universities. Mobile models such as hand-held tools, portable media players (podcasting), cell phones and smartphones, tablets, e-readers.

G. Compare and contrast the traditional classroom and the DE classroom?
In the traditional classroom, students meet at specific time and place to participate in class discussion, labs, exams, and work in groups. Students have more opportunities to contact their peers and teachers face to face through traditional learning environments. Distance education classroom uses media to deliver the course contents and materials. Therefore, it can be less expensive than the traditional classroom because courses are typically taken online. Also, materials are available online, so it is cheaper than textbooks. Distance learners should be provided the same level of assistance as campus students. Learner services for the distance student are typically provided through a system-wide library or “help-desk functionality”. It is often placed in a clearly visible and accessible place on the home page of the distance education site.

H. What are the advantages and limitations of DE?
Katane, Kristovska & Katans (2015) stated some advantages of distance education. Students of different ages and health conditions, such as students with disabilities, can study. There is no need to go to school every day. Students in any place of the world can study through join in a distance education classroom. Students feel freedom and less stress because they are not worried about making mistakes. They have opportunities to study independently. Distance education allows students to have opportunities for career progression. Also, it meets the needs of students, and it is convenience and 24- hour accessibility.
Regarding limitations of distance education, Smaldino, Lowther & Russell (2012) stated that some topics on the internet are not suitable for students such as tobacco and alcohol. Some of these topics appear through ads along with games and music. Another limitation is related to copyright. Students might download a file and turn it into a paper or project which is not their own work; they just cut and pasted from the internet. Also, finding information might be difficult for students because many new websites are added to the internet nowadays. Teachers have to assist students to learn effective search strategies to find a credible information. Another limitation is the lack of quality control. Students might not know who to evaluate data, so they may post untruthful or erroneous information. In addition, some teachers and students have limited experience using the systems and they do not know how to deal with interactive learning systems.

I.     What are the advantages and limitations of the traditional classroom?
The traditional classroom is a great choice for students who are unfamiliar with technology. Also, some students do not own a computer or cannot access the internet, so they select the traditional classroom or campus because it has several resources such as libraries or computer labs. The traditional classroom allows students to have better interactions face to face with their teachers or professors. They can have chances to join clubs and associations while taking courses on campus. Traditional classrooms contribute to promote lifelong contacts, memories and experiences that are difficult to enhance in an online environment.
Regarding limitations, teacher-centered environments have a huge role on autonomy, motivation, and learning. (Grolnick & Ryan, 1987; Miserandino, 1996 as cited in Rovai, Ponton, Wighting & Baker, 2007). Those researchers have shown that teacher-centered environments “reduce a student’s sense of autonomy, decrease intrinsic motivation, and result in poorer attitudes and performance in the classroom.” Lastly, the traditional classroom might consume time and money for some students who do not live close to their school, so they have to travel and spend their time on roads instead of staying with their families.

J. What type of student would benefit from DE?  What type of student would benefit from traditional education settings?
Students with disabilities would benefit from distance education because it is easier for them to study online instead of attending classrooms physically. Also, students how have jobs would take online classes because they can study at any time and in any place. Some students have responsibilities such as children or disabled people, so they would prefer distance education. Distance education is beneficial for students who experience challenges in adapting to a new learning environment with its own social and cultural features, such as interacting with learners from different backgrounds and classroom socialization. Also, some students have negative experiences with the traditional education, so they would prefer distance education. Students who are unfamiliar with technology would benefit from traditional education. Some students need direct interactions with their teachers to do well on their assignments, so the traditional classroom is a better choice for them. 

Works Cited

Beccaria, L., Rogers, C., Burton, L., & Beccaria, G. (2016). Role of health-promoting behaviours for on-campus and distance education students. Distance Education.
Burns, M. (2011). Distance education for teacher training: Modes, models and methods. Burns. Washington: Education Development Center Inc.
CLEARY-ESTEP, A. (2016). DISTANCE LEARNING IS FOR EVERYONE. Christianity Today, 60(4), 66-74.
Dealer, P. O. (2012). Online schools enroll thousands of Ohio students (photo gallery). Retrieved November 06, 2016, from
Katane, I., Kristovska, I., & Katans, E. (2015). EVALUATION OF DISTANCE EDUCATION ENVIRONMENTAL ADVANTAGES. Engineering for Rural Development - International Scientific Conference, 14720-728.
Moore, J. L., Dickson-Deane, C., & Galyen, K. (2011). e-Learning, online learning, and distance learning environments: Are they the same? The Internet and Higher Education, 14(2), 129-135.
Revenaugh, M. (2005). K-8 virtual schools: A glimpse into the future. Educational Leadership, 63(4), 60.
Rovai, A. P., Ponton, M. K., Wighting, M. J., & Baker, J. D. (2007). A comparative analysis of student motivation in traditional classroom and e-learning courses. International Journal on ELearning, 6(3), 413.

Smaldino, S. E., Lowther, D. L., & Russell, J. D. (2012). Instructional technology and media for learning. Boston: Pearson, c2012.

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