Susan Harmon

Module 2, Analysis, Section A


A.  Defining distance education: present your personal definition of distance education. Compare and contrast yours with the definitions presented in your text and on the resource pages below. Will your definition stand the test of time? Why or why not? (word count: 500 - 800)


Defining distance education: present your personal definition of distance education.

My personal definition of distance education is the teaching of an entire academic course through an online Learning management system like: Canvas or Blackboard .However that being said, to expand on that definition would include the following:

  • Interaction of Instructor with individual and entire class is very important through telecommunications such as a computer or television and synchronous or asynchronous.
  • Instructional resources need to be identified such as textbooks, videos, online work sheets.
  • Clarity of assessments and rubrics need to be made clear
  • Interaction between students in group assignments is also important


Compare and contrast yours with the definitions presented in your text

The text defines Distance learning, as that learning method which encompasses not only academic teaching of an academic course online as I said, but it includes giving medical advice to those who cannot get to a physical facility.

The idea of open leaning as mentioned by Edwards (1995) page36 uses this term of open learning, where the emphasis is placed on the individual and local needs not the needs of the mass consumption.

There are always changing terms it seems, that in describing distance learning as the term virtual, is discussed on page 37 versus an actual classroom, however, the learning in  a virtual classroom is the same or should be the same value as the content taught in an actual school.

One similarity between all the definitions presented in the book is technology, the use of technology is essential to this definition.

Mostly, distance education, according to the book, has many meanings which include physical distance and intellectual distance and some programs use print and electronic media.

and on the resource pages below.


This is directly copied and pasted from Wikipedia to use as a resource to compare my personal definition with a resource from the list.

Distance education

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Distance education or long-distance learning is the education of students who may not always be physically present at a school.[1][2] Traditionally, this usually involved correspondence courses wherein the student corresponded with the school via post. Today it involves online education. Courses that are conducted (51 percent or more)[3] are either hybrid,[4] blended[5] or 100% distance learning. Massive open online courses (MOOCs), offering large-scale interactive participation and open access through the World Wide Web or other network technologies, are recent developments in distance education.[1] A number of other terms (distributed learning, e-learning, online learning, etc.) are used roughly synonymously with distance education.



Will your definition stand the test of time?

My definition most likely will not stand the test of time because technology is always changing and so is teaching methods and venues of teaching. New terms are constantly being used when discussing and defining distance education and as technology advances, distance education is going to continue to reach other places beside teaching in colleges  in private and public elementary and high schools and to teach medicine and help people who cannot get to a physical medical center for aid as in telemedicine, scientists can work and communicate through distance education, and  even physical classrooms can access resources and be exposed to resources through telecommunications they would otherwise not have access to.






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