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Publisher Description

Increasingly, higher education is moving toward the full-scale usage of distance learning formats. Better information technology, growing demand, and increased education costs have resulted in universities not only offering many courses via distance education but in some cases whole curricula. These institutions can now choose from a variety of distance learning mediums such as online courses, compressed video/interactive television (ITV) and teleconferencing. Even graduate programs that in the past offered curricula exclusively through traditional, residential campus courses are moving toward various new modes of distance education as a way to provide alternative means of delivery to meet the needs of various student populations. One indicator of this trend comes from a poll of American colleges and universities that found over 22% offer distance education courses at the graduate level (National Center for Education Statistics, 2003). Indeed, some graduate programs are now offered exclusively through distance education formats. Regardless of the popularity of distance learning, these educational modes are not without detractors. Studies (Thomerson, 1995; Wheeler & Batchelder, 1996) suggest that weaknesses of distance education courses often stem from a lack of interaction, communication, and feedback between faculty and students (often called "teacher immediacy behaviors") (Mayzer & DeJong, 2003). Even interactive television (ITV), in which students and instructors converse in real time via television, which is thought to most closely mimic a traditional classroom setting (Andersen & Kent, 2000; Freddolino & Sutherland, 2000), has some element of disconnect. This lack of proximate face-to-face interaction is considered to be one of the major hurdles in distance education (Freitas, Myers, & Autegis, 1998; Forster & Washington, 2000). This is especially true where class formats tend to heavily emphasize discussion and seminar style interaction. [A recent (2008) survey conducted by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration revealed that the primary "obstacle" to offering online courses is "lack of face-to-face contact."]

GENRE
Professional & Technical
RELEASED
2009
22 June
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
27
Pages
PUBLISHER
Information Age Publishing, Inc.
SIZE
242.2
KB

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