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Welcome to Introduction to Distance Education

This course will provide an overview of distance education, especially within higher education. The course is designed for higher education faculty, instructional designers, trainers, distance education practitioners, and administrators who are currently involved in, or considering implementing distance education programs in their institutions. I look forward to interacting with you as we explore distance education together in this online classroom.

The digital revolution is having a major impact on traditional higher educational systems - once a peripheral offering in higher education, online and distance education is becoming essential to the missions of many colleges and universities. Traditional universities and new dot-com companies are jumping on the distance education bandwagon, competing to develop distance education programs that take advantage of new and improved methods of distance education delivery.

This course will explore distance education in higher education, from its origins in text-based correspondence courses, to its current foundations in digital technologies. The course will use the Internet to enable participants to experience and learn about distance education while participating in an online course. The course is designed to provide a blended learning approach to distance education delivery; students will experience distance education delivery firsthand.

The course will incorporate proven examples of web-based teaching strategies specifically designed for the online education environment. Students are expected to participate in online discussions and collaborate with fellow students in the course on group projects. The course applies the basic principles of adult learning theory, and focuses on student-centered activities. Communication and collaboration will be a critical part of this course.

You can navigate through the course web site by clicking on the menu bars on the left or bottom menu of almost every page. Start by reading the Orientation for the course. The orientation includes information on course navigation, technical requirements for taking this course, links to required plug-ins, policy information, and tips for taking an online course.

© Copyright 2003 by Kathy Keairns

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