Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Elements of Distance Education Diffusion

The element of communication has indeed increased with the use of distance education.  With F2F time reduced with this type of instruction, everyone is forced to communicate in a different way.  Communication is enhanced by the use of blogs, wikis, email, webcams and the use of skype.  Learners have come to use these instruments as well as taking notes in the classroom or listening to a professor lecture on a topic.  Distance education has also helped to enhance communication through forced interaction.  Students are forced to discuss items with others in a forum where they must have a voice.  They are also forced to interact with the instructor which is not necessarily an issue in a face to face classroom. 

According to Siemens(2008), distance education has helped to "increase online communications, give students practical experience with new tools, add to a growing comfort with the online community and offers the ability to communicate with diverse global groups."

There have also been studies that show that communication has been greatly affected for the better due to the online community.  According to Education Connection,(2010) "Webcams Improve Communication in Distance Learning Courses." This study discusses how some students dislike not having face to face discussions so they allow instructors to put their lectures on webcams and podcasts to give that feeling of being in the classroom. According to Eduation Blog, (2010) they are selecting distance learning technologies to enhance classroom learning. The teachers wanted to showcase student work and have them go on virtual tours of museums so they took to using distant learning software to achieve this feat.

Siemens.G.(2008)The Future of Distance Education.Laureate Education, Inc.