Class Session 8 Distance Learning


The lecture focuses on a survey about distance learning.  The updated link is here

A note about the importance of encouraging collaboration with peers.

I find that it is often AFTER the course is over that I want to reach out to one of my peers... and since we aren't in Blackboard together, I don' thave easy access to the xxx@nova.edu address or an off-university email address.  

I am particularly noting the slide where you obvservced that "students who submit assignments early are more likely to succeed as distance learners."  
Ouch.  

The slide which talks about "what causes students to be dissatisfied" has some crossover onto the talk about Distance Teaching, where teachers who aren't skilled in using the technology have difficulties (where technology can help students get closer to the content) and teachers who stick to procedures that are more appropriate for face-to-face situations.  Your point about some professors who are excellent students, get their doctorates and then are assumed to be good teachers (who might need additional training). Presentations like the one given 24 August would be helpful for those professors.


In sum, when I have a class of students who are largely new to distance learning, it makes sense to present a summary of this slide's contents because the issues raised here will surely be on the minds of many of the students in that hypothetical future class.  It's another reason why taking screen shots of a presentation and posting those shots on a webpage might be helpful for guiding future students.



You asked in the presentation, "Why did I show you these surveys if in fact Hall (2009) points out that these surveys fail to predict with reliability the success of the respondents?"

a)  it's a cautionary tale:   we can't always believe that a survey (that was based on research) actually delivers what it says it will (predicting when students will fail or succeed when they actually sign up, or that people who reject distance learning based on this survey, might have actually done well in DE)

b)  it's an example of a good research topic that is right in front of our noses.  







The point is to think about where these questions came from.  What theory of distance education generates these questions?

Holmberg  
Moore and Kiersley (early submission of work)


Is distance learning right for you? To find out, answer the questions below. When you are finished, select the "Score Test" button at the bottom of the page to tally your score.

1. My need to take this course now is: 
 a) High. I need it immediately for degree, job or other important reason. 
 b) Moderate. I can take the class on campus later or substitute another course. 
 c) Low. It's a personal interest that can be postponed.

2. Feeling that I am part of a class is: 
 a) Not particularly necessary to me. 
 b) Somewhat important to me. 
 c) Very important to me.

3. I would classify myself as someone who: 
 a) Often gets things done ahead of time. 
 b) Needs reminding to get things done on time. 
 c) Puts things off until the last minute.

4. Classroom discussions are: 
 a) Rarely helpful to me. 
 b) Sometimes helpful to me. 
 c) Almost always helpful to me.

5. When an instructor hands out directions for an assignment, I prefer: 
 a) Figuring out the instructions myself. 
 b) Trying to follow the directions on my own, then asking for help as needed. 
 c) Having the instructions explained to me.

6. I need faculty comments on my assignments: 
 a) Within a few weeks, so I can review what I did. 
 b) Within a few days, or I forget what I did. 
 c) Right away, or I get very frustrated.

7. Considering my professional and personal schedule, the amount of time I have to work on distance learning courses is: 
 a) More than enough for a campus class or a distance learning course. 
 b) The same as the amount of time I have to work on an on-campus class. 
 c) Less than the amount of time I have to work on an on-campus class.

8. When I am asked to use VCRs, computers, voice mail or other technologies that are new to me: 
 a) I look forward to learning new skills. 
 b) I feel apprehensive but try it anyway. 
 c) I put it off and try to avoid it.

9. As a reader, I would classify myself as: 
 a) Good. I usually understand the text without help. 
 b) Average. I sometimes need help understanding the text. 
 c) Slower than average.

10. If I have to go to the campus to take exams or complete work: 
 a) I can go to campus anytime. 
 b) I may miss some lab assignments or exam deadlines if campus labs are not open evenings or weekends. 
 c) I will have difficulty going to the campus, even during evenings and on weekends.



You asked in the presentation, "Why did I show you these surveys if in fact Hall (2009) points out that these surveys fail to predict with reliability the success of the respondents?"

a)  it's a cautionary tale:   we can't always believe that a survey (that was based on research) actually delivers what it says it will (predicting when students will fail or succeed when they actually sign up, or that people who reject distance learning based on this survey, might have actually done well in DE)

b)  it's an example of a good research topic that is right in front of our noses.  


I was ready to start surveying my students with similar "valid on the face of it" surveys... until I heard about Hall's 2009 report.  
That's an EXCELLENT reason to show how we can be led to a conclusion ("I need to use that kind of survey") if we don't step back to think about the "Predictive validity" of a survey that appears valid on the face.  

The presentation closed by looking at another survey...


As seen on the Distance Learning video.


Now see the website:




In the development of the profession of "Distance Educator," the professor or teacher will have to assume some of the role of motivator (which is currently left for student guidance departments).
We can see that some students who have shown POSITIVE answers in the surveys may in fact be in danger of dropping out, so for professional survival, the teacher and professor of the future needs to have weblinks to pages like the Distance Learning (Cost) Calculator.  This one page may be the most important slide in this presentation because it will help my future students (who are on the fence about the value of all of this typing) to realize that a bit more spellchecking is worth it to be able to study asynchronously.   As universities move toward shrinking the amount of face-to-face time and push more courses into blended or pure online formats, teachers will need to put a positive face and highlight the advantages of the online experience -- and this calculator is a clever way to reveal benefits that some students have not yet quantified.







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