List of Questions

ForumDescriptionTotal PostsUnread PostsTotal Participants
Course Documents 
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431
Introductions 
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Please introduce yourself to your classmates.
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D9: International Perspectives (July 31) [Subcluster 4: Cole, Johnson, Marken, and Promseemai] 
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For this discussion, please read Moore, chapters 44, 45, 46, 48, and 49.  

Then, address ONE of the following:

1. In Chapter 44 of the Moore text, author Robin Mason discusses many issues facing the success of distance education in the International environment. What issues do you feel are the most important to resolve for International Distance Education? Have you encountered any solutions for similar problems in your work/educational experience?

2. In Chapter 45 of the Moore text, Gunawardena and LaPointe discuss the importance of culture in Distance Education. Why is culture an important topic for DE practitioners? What experiences have you had as a practitioner with some of the ideas discussed in Chapter 45?

3. Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights essentially states that every person has a right to an education. Think about an experience you have had as a DE practitioner or about a story you may have heard or read where there were problems for a particular population of potential students not being fully able to get all the educational services they needed. What elements of distance education (what particular technologies or media, for example) could have been utilized here to help better serve this population?
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D10: Reflecting on the Course (August 7) 
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Please address the following questions:

1. What went especially well with designing, developing, and sharing your final project?

2. What didn't go quite as well?

3. What would you differently if you had the opportunity?

4. How could the course be modified to make it more useful and interesting, less confusing and irritating?

5. What suggestions would you offer students who will take the course next term?
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D1: Definitions and History of DE (Opens May 29) 
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For this discussion, please read: Moore, chapters 1 and 2; and Simonson, chapters 1 and 2.

Then, please address ONE of the following:

1. A leading definition of distance education is that offered by Simonson/AECT (see p. 32 of the Simonson text). How does this definition  compare with your own, personal definition of the field—and the popular (layman's) definition or understanding of the field? [Something to consider: when you tell people you're studying distance education, do they ask, "What's that"? And if they do, how do you answer them?]

2. Select one person discussed in chapter 1 of the Moore Handbook (“A History of Scholarship,” by Linda M. Black) or chapter 2 of the Simonson text and, using any resources at your disposal, craft a brief profile of that person.  How you structure the biography and what media you employ (text alone is sufficient, but you are free to use others, such as an image, as well) are up to you.  Briefly explain what led you to select this person.

3. Select one organization mentioned in chapter 2 of the Moore Handbook (“A History of National and Regional Organizations and the ICDE,” by Feasley and Bunker) and, using the organization’s Web site and any other resources at your disposal, discuss an aspect/product of the organization not addressed in the chapter.

Be sure to illustrate your posting with passages from the resources you've consulted. Citations should be in APA style.

Our discussion opens on Sunday, May 29, and closes on Saturday, June 4. Responses to the above questions should be posted by Wednesday, June 1, and a follow-up to the posting of at least one classmate should be contributed before the discussion ends, on Saturday evening (the 4th). As a courtesy, please review your discussion thread at the end of the discussion week to ensure that you have addressed any questions that were posed to you, so as not to leave anyone "hanging."

Note that all our weekly discussions will have this pattern: begin on Sunday, main postings by Wednesday, end on Saturday.
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D2: DE Technologies and Media (June 5) 
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For this discussion, please read: Simonson, chapter 4.

Then, address the following:

Simonson describes a wide variety of distance education technologies.

1. With which of these technologies would you be most comfortable as a teacher? Why?
2. Would you be as comfortable with that technology as a student? Why—or why not? 
3. What about your students: what technology is most appropriate for them? Why?

One goal of this discussion is to encourage you to think more deeply about the characteristics of the many technologies available in distance education. Beyond that is the matter of why we are attracted to (or repelled by) technologies as instructors—and how our perceptions and "needs" may differ when we are in the role of learner. Further, we consider the wants and needs of our students, who may have characteristics very unlike our own.

AND ONE of the following:

A.  pursuing your previous degrees, did you consider or utilize the Internet for distance education? Was there a defining point when you realized that distance education via the Internet would be as effective as face-to-face methods? [Or perhaps you did not come to that conclusion.] Discuss!

B. Use a Venn diagram to compare distance education and face-to-face instruction.

C. How can individuals maximize the use of technologies and media in distance education? 

D. How can collaboration be enhanced in distance education via the different technologies and media?  

E. Differentiated instruction is a trend in traditional classroom instruction. How can differentiated instruction be integrated in distance education?

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D3: ID for DE (June 12) 
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For this discussion, please read: Simonson, chapter 5; Moore, chapters 18, 19, and 20; and Ko & Rossen, chapter 3
  
Then, address ONE of the following:
  
1. In presenting "Issues to Address in the Planning Process," Simonson outlines a straightforward process of planning for instruction at a distance. Briefly summarize the major issues, and how they and the process differ from the issues and process addressed and applied when planning for traditional instruction.
  
2. In chapter 18 of the Moore Handbook, Shearer identifies four "distance education design factors." Very briefly describe each and discuss how they relate to Moore’s theory of transactional distance and how they differ from those of "traditional" education. Be sure to provide examples.
  
3. In chapter 19 of the Moore Handbook, Bonk and Dennen offer five “ frameworks for design and instruction.” While all are valuable, please identify the ONE framework you find most interesting or useful, briefly describe it, explain why it appeals to you, and, finally, how you could apply the framework in your own professional life or how it could be applied by the ITDE program.
  
4. In chapter 20 of the Moore Handbook, Naidu offers four “ instructional designs for optimizing distance learning.” For each, provide a brief summary and describe how you could apply each in your workplace OR ways in which ITDE professors could apply each in our program.

5. Ko & Rossen place their discussion of course design in the context of conversion of traditional, face-to-face courses to distance-delivered courses.  What are the advantages of this approach?  Are there disadvantages, as well?  If so, what might they be?  How does the process outlined by Ko & Rossen resemble (or not) the process you have applied (or observed) in your own instructional environment?
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D4: Course Development (June 19) 
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For this discussion, please read Ko & Rossen, chapters 4 and 6.

Please identify and discuss three items (facts, observations, etc.) drawn from these chapters that you found especially interesting and/or you could apply to your own practice.
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D5: The Distance Learner (June 26) [Subcluster 3: Kathleen Hagen, April Woodley, David Cantor, Mercedes Lipscomb, Valerie Patterson] 
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For this discussion, please read Simonson, chapter 7 and Moore, chapters 9 and 11

Then, address the following:

1. The literature of distance education abounds with admonitions to attend to the needs of the INDIVIDUAL learner. What can distance educators do to better meet the needs of individual learners?  

2. There is also increasing emphasis on the learning GROUP. How can distance educators foster interaction among students and, indeed, encourage the formation of learning communities?

OR the following:

A. Has there ever been a time that you felt that you wanted to quit taking classes via online format? If so, why?

B. Do you agree with the increasing emphasis on learning groups? Based on your experiences in distance education how do you feel you have benefited from group assignments/projects?

C. What makes a successful distance learner? (Determination, superior time management skills, high-speed Internet connection, ability to go without sleep for long periods of time, noise-canceling headphones?)

Be sure to provide specific examples/citations from the chapters and, where possible, from your own workplace/experience.
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D6: Distance Teaching (July 3) [Subcluster 2: Michael Laverty, Laura Meverden, Michelle Frankich, Queen Woodham, Shreill Callahan]
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For this discussion, please read Moore, chapter 24; Simonson, chapter 6; and Ko & Rossen, chapters 10-14.
 
Then, address ONE of the following:
  
1. In chapter 24 of Moore’s Handbook, Anderson and Kuskis (2007) discuss the six modes of interactions that occur in distance education. The first interaction is the Learner-Learner interaction. Citing numerous sources, the authors provide a large number of benefits that are gained through learner-learner interactions. Discuss a number of these benefits and how you have (or have not) seen them to be valid in your education. Is the learner-learner interaction different in distance education compared to when students come together in traditional school settings?


2. The Ko & Rossen readings are immensely practical and cover a great deal of territory. Please identify and discuss five items (one from each of the chapters) that you found especially interesting. How you go about this is up to you, but some directions to consider: How could you use this information in your own classroom? How do the suggested practices conform with--or not--your experiences in distance education--as learner or teacher?

3. Drawing from Simonson's chapter 6 (as well as other sources of your choice), identify the differences and commonalities of teaching at a distance versus teaching face-to-face. Approach this critically. What are common assumptions of teachers and teaching in each environment? How do these conform with practice--with "reality"?

4. In his summary of Chapter 7, Simonson notes that "learning experiences for learners should be equivalent, not necessarily equal." What is meant by this statement? Provide an example.
 
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D7: Management and Policy Issues (July 10) 
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For this discussion, please read Simonson chapters 10 and 11; and Moore, chapters 28, 29, 31, and 35.

Then, address the following: 

1. After reviewing the guidelines presented by Lipinski (chapter 35 of the Moore Handbook) and Simonson (chapter 11 of his text), how confident are you that you and your institution are copyright-compliant? If you are copyright-compliant, how did that come about? Beyond the obvious reasons for copyright infringements, such as funding, what are some issues that create the general failure to comply, and if your institution was in complete compliance how would that affect your ability to deliver instruction? As always, be sure to provide examples and, where appropriate, citations to the readings. 

OR

2. Please read the following article on copyright infringement and provide a brief summary.
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2008/04/prof-sues-note/

As an educator, would your approach have been different? And how about a student's perspective?


AND ONE of the following:

3. Moore Chapter 28: Institutional Policy Issues, by Simonson 
Simonson identifies seven distance education “policy areas.” Select one of the areas and discuss how policies in that area have (or have the potential) to affect you or your institution. 

4. Moore chapter 29: Strategic Planning, by Watkins & Kaufman 
Identify three items (facts, observations, etc.) presented by Watkins & Kaufman and explain how you could apply them in your work or personal environment.

5. Moore Chapter 31: Institutional Leadership, by Beaudoin 
Identify three items (facts, observations, etc.) presented by Beaudoin and explain how you could apply them in your work or personal environment.
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D8: Theory and Research in DE (July 24) 
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For this discussion, read Simonson, pp. 40-58 and chapter 3; and Moore, chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8.

Then, address ONE of the following:

1. Regarding Moore, Chapter 5: The Most Industrialized Form of Education, by Peters
Peters' chapter is valuable for two reasons: first, because it explicates his theory of distance education while describing the context within which it was introduced. Second, it discusses the theory in relation to two other theories--one developed by Holmberg, the other by Moore. Peters' theory was originally proposed more than 30 years ago, when distance education was characterized primarily by print-based correspondence. Given your reading of the Peters chapter and your understanding of distance education as practiced today, does the theory continue to have explanatory value? If so, how? If not, why?

2. Regarding Moore, Chapter 6: A Theory of Teaching-Learning Conversations, by Holmberg
A. Identify two items (facts, observations, etc.) presented by Holmberg and explain how you could apply them in your own work or school environment.
B. Why are teaching-learning conversations relevant in your work or school environment?
C. What would be the expected results of applying the two items you selected? What are the primary variables that would likely influence the outcome?

3. Regarding Moore, Chapter 7: A Theory of Community of Inquiry, by Garrison and Archer
Identify two items (facts, observations, etc.) presented by Garrison and Archer and explain how you could apply them in your own work or school environment.

4. Regarding Moore, Chapter 8: The Theory of Transactional Distance, by Moore
Briefly explain the theory of transactional distance and discuss how you have experienced transactional distance as a student or instructor.
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