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Educational Technology Outreach Distance Learning: A University Perspective


The explosion of the Internet and the expansion of business practices on the web ... 'My favorite quotation about a liberal arts education is it's what's left after ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Educational Technology Outreach Distance Learning: A University Perspective

Educational Technology OutreachDistance
Learning A University Perspective
College of Education
  • 2001 Maryland Technology Showcase
  • Davina Pruitt-Mentle
  • December 6, 2001

Introduction Online Learning
  • The explosion of the Internet and the expansion
    of business practices on the web have brought an
    educational equivalent to the online store the
    on-line school
  • Educators have questioned the effectiveness of
    these programs
  • The on-line model is especially useful for the
    workers who seek to get additional training and
    must fit the course in around their normal workday

The Market
  • The e-learning market (includes Internet and
    Intranet courses)
  • 4 billion in 1998
  • Estimated to be 15 billion in 2002
  • For-profit companies compete against traditional
    educational institutions
  • Forcing new marketing strategies on Universities

Online Distance Learning
  • has been defined as
  • ... an educational philosophy for designing
    interactive, responsive, and valid information
    and learning opportunities to be delivered to
    learners at a time, place, and in appropriate
    forms convenient to the learners.

(Boettcher, 1999) from http//
Why Online?
  • Can learn at your own pace
  • Travel constraints
  • School distant from home/work
  • Satellite schools can offer access at a variety
    of locations
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • More non-traditional students (work, family)
  • Lowers indirect educational costs
  • Travel
  • Babysitter
  • Enables educational opportunities for students
    not otherwise able to attend

Why Students Take Courses
  • Career Advancement
  • Requirements
  • Convenience/Flexibility
  • Fits schedule
  • Student might not want to take the class, but it
    fits their schedule and requirement

Result of Market Forces
  • Continuous need for education and training
  • Quickly
  • Economically
  • On-going
  • Digital Diploma Mill
  • Course quality is not a focus money is the focus

Higher Education Attitudes
  • University System of Georgia, Chancellor Stephen
    Portch (1998)
  • My favorite quotation about a liberal arts
    education is its whats left after youve
    forgotten everything youve been taught. It is
    habits of the mind

What Do the Experts Say?
  • Reeves (1998) .... the WWW does not guarantee
    learning any more than the presence of a library
    on campus guarantees learning.
  • Phipps Merisotis (1999) contend that it seems
    clear that technology cannot replace the human
    factor in higher education.

Moving Online
  • Wholesale conversion of a college lecture course
    for web delivery
  • Formidable task
  • Does not successfully support direct conversion
  • A great lecturer
  • Does not necessarily have the skills to move
    their course on-line
  • Cannot translate their intangible teaching skills
    to the online environment
  • Does not wish to add a new task to their
  • To generate an effective online course in the
    time and resource constraints of higher education
    necessitates a quantum change in teaching and
    learning philosophy, if only for reasons of

  • Internet bandwidth restrictions
  • Teacher
  • Student
  • Access problems
  • Students access from work (firewalls)
  • Application Incompatibilities
  • Browsers
  • Office tools
  • Additional Software (i.e. statistics, web

What Does Online Lose?
  • Most online courses do not measure up to the
    constructivist theories that are proposed
  • More of an online textbook
  • No variety of educational method
  • Teachers vary style throughout a lecture to reach
    all students
  • One type of student may thrive. Is this the
    style of worker we want?
  • Not all courses can be converted to online format
  • faculty are quick to note that online learning
    lacks eye contact, body language, voice
    inflection, a measure of interactivity, and
    adaptability to student feedback ....a majority
    of communication is non verbal

On-line Categories
  • Harmon and Jones (1999) described 5 educational
    levels of web instruction
  • Informational web
  • Supplemental web use provides some course content
  • Essential web use (has to use the web to
    succeed in course)
  • Communal (hybrid) F2F and online
  • Immersive
  • Barron (1998) described 4 categories of
    Internet-delivered instruction
  • Email correspondence courses
  • Web enhanced (web pages and links)
  • Web managed instruction through a structured
    (Internet tools WebCT etc)
  • Web delivered through Internet with Internet tool

Challenge of Higher Education
  • Cannot sacrifice quality of education to move
  • Compete against companies driven by profit, not
  • Faculty lack technical sophistication, time, and
  • Fight inertia

The normative goal of using the Web and group
communications for educational delivery should be
to completely eliminate the need for any
distinction, organizationally or functionally,
between distance students and on-campus
students. (WebNet Journal Jan-March 1999) Is
this possible?
Strengths of Higher Education
  • Faculty
  • Are truly the knowledge experts
  • Access to research
  • Know how to measure whether courses are effective
  • Can stay abreast of new technologies via students
  • Follow best practices but can innovate
  • Companies may be forced to have all courses fit a
  • Draw on experts in educational design
  • Can still be driven by quality
  • Will this be recognized by the marketplace?

Education vs. Training
  • Universities maintain there is a difference
  • University instills more than a transient body of
  • A way of thinking
  • A way of problem solving
  • A way of learning
  • Includes other intangibles
  • Advising
  • Networking
  • Socialization

What is the College of Education Doing?
  • Faculty recognizing that the market is changing
  • Moving more courses online
  • Supported by on-line
  • Hybrids
  • Choose between F2F and on-line
  • Web supported
  • WebCT is University supported platform
  • IT support personnel in place
  • Educational design expertise available
  • Outreach Programs being delivered for
    professionals in the field.

Example Educational Technology Outreach Mode of
  • Face to Face (F2F)
  • F2F with Web enhancement
  • Distance learning labs
  • On-line
  • synchronous
  • asynchronous
  • Many courses supported by County Technology

Cohort Model
  • Group of teachers move through a string of six
    courses over a year
  • Start face-to-face
  • Move to Web-enhanced
  • Evolve to completely online
  • Teachers have the chance to apply course content
    in their classroom, discuss successes and
    failures with their peers and instructors, and
    form networks for the future

Faculty Partnerships
  • Relationships developing across departmental (and
    college) lines
  • Expertise of College of Education staff is being
    leveraged to design courses for a variety of
  • University is uniting behind an online initiative
  • Only want to design the wheel once (or twice)
  • University refuses to sacrifice quality
  • If we are going to do it, do it right
  • Online must be built on our strengths, not
    designed from scratch

  • Individual students should have the choice of the
    mix of media they wish to use for an individual
  • Facilitating and instruction critical for a
    course, not only the course content
  • Successful online teaching can be as personnel
    intensive (if not more so) than face-to-face, but
    allows more access by a variety of nontraditional

Educational Technology Outreach
  • Contact
  • Davina Pruitt-Mentle
  • (301) 405-8202
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