Newest technology does not guarantee learning; distance educators beware!

Faculty Perceptions of Technology Distance Education Transactions: Qualitative Outcomes to Inform Teaching Practices.
Marthann Schulte
The Journal of Educators Online, Volume 7, Number 2, July 2010

“Distance education is a very popular and intriguing area in the present realm of education. Institutions of higher learning throughout the United States and around the world are quickly embracing distance education to serve thousands of students. These schools share a desire to reach more students and to serve their education needs using the most recent technology commercially available. These new education environments stress learning outcomes rather than the old gauge of physical presence in a classroom (Munro, 1998; Phipps & Merisotis, 1999).
Although the physical environment of education is changing, the learning aspect remains the same. Education does not exist unless learning has commenced in some way. Therefore, distance education, while being innovative and trendy, must bow to the perennial issue of learning transactions. The best computer programs, multimedia presentations, and finest educational materials in the world do not guarantee that learning has taken place. So, distance educators must conduct learning transactions mindful of the burden of physical separation and technological requirements, as well as the perennial challenge of presenting content to stimulate learning.”

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