Distance Education

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Application: Blog-Selecting Distance Learning Technology

Application: Blog—Selecting Distance Learning Technologies.

 I chose Example #1:  Collaborative Training Environment
A new automated staff information system was recently purchased by a major corporation and needs to be implemented in six regional offices. Unfortunately, the staff is located throughout all the different offices and cannot meet at the same time or in the same location. As an instructional designer for the corporation, you have been charged with implementing a training workshop for these offices. As part of the training, you were advised how imperative it is that the staff members share information, in the form of screen captures and documents, and participate in ongoing collaboration.

Two distance Learning technologies selected.
1.       Web conferencing
2.        Wiki  

The purpose of this training is to train geographically dispersed employees on “how to use the new automated staff information system”.  The training requires extensive collaboration across the regional offices, with the use of collaborative software. Collaborative software helps facilitate action-oriented teams working together over geographic distances by providing tools that aid communication, collaboration and the process of problem solving. Additionally, collaborative software may support project management functions such as task assignments, time-managing deadlines, and shared calendars.  Wikipedia, 2011.

Judging from the request above, I will conduct a rapid assessment. The purpose of the assessment is to identify the best technology to use in my course delivery. I consider this first step, because of the geographical location of the other regional offices. I want to make sure that whatever technology I chose will be compatible across the board.  It is a fact that web-based training offers companies the ability to reach a mass audience quickly, assess and measure results, and reduces manpower costs.

As I identify  the learner’s, another consideration will be to discuss with other ID professional the communication styles adopted in the past, the success and challenges. I will not like to create a burden to the employees using technology adopted with resentment.   Duarte and Snyder, (2006)” People who lead and work in virtual teams need to have special skills, including an understanding of human dynamics, knowledge of how to manage across functional areas and national cultures, and the ability to use communication technologies as their primary means of communicating and collaborating.”

 Web conferencing system software is a communications tool that allows the user to build community and disseminate information.  Wikipedia, 2011 defines Web conferencing refers to a service that allows conferencing events to be shared with remote locations. Most vendors also provide either a recorded copy of an event or a means for a subscriber to record an event. The service allows information to be shared simultaneously, across geographically dispersed locations in nearly real-time. Applications for web conferencing include meetings, training events, lectures, or short presentations from any computer.

The second technology tool is Wiki. Baldarrain, (2006) described” wiki as a site designed to facilitate the exchange of information within and between teams”. Wiki allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used collaboratively by multiple users. Wikipedia, 2011.

I will design an orientation to the ‘New Automated Staff information system” I assume this is either new to the organization, or a change to the current system. The instruction did not specify.  Using a voice over power point presentation, with visual images of how the new system works. I will upload to a web conference system.  I will identify the key elements of the new automated system, describe how it works, and identify staff expectation and responsibility.  The New Automated staff information system will have a hand-on experience (Simulation) on how it works; this will be done by breaking the functions into a step-by -step process.  This process will assist (designer and learners) in the assessment of areas of difficulty.
I will provide a FAQ session that answers learner’s questions.  I will also provide a discussion forum via wiki for collaboration across the entire region. There will be a link to contact me by phone or email in case there are unresolved issues about the usage or other technical difficulties.

Web Conferencing stories:
Web conferencing according to the resources provided on the “web success story” can be view through this link. http://www.smallbusinesscomputing.com/biztools/article.php/3451951/A-Web-Conferencing-Success-Story.htm.
A practical experience by Papa John Pizza, located across America, and other countries shred their success story. Please read. http://www.business-software.com/web-conferencing/web-conferencing-success-stories.php.

Wiki Success stories:
Wiki is beneficial to a number of organizations, both profit and non-profit in that it enhances the communication, saves time, knowledge sharing, and collaboration amongst any group of people.
Wiki information can be updated without any administrative protocol. Distribution of materials occurs instantly, and wiki pages have the capabilities to, track information, share spreadsheets, PowerPoint slides, videos and much more.
Here is a link to how an organization used wiki to manage work requirements.  http://www.bridging-the-gap.com/wiki-requirements-management-benefits/.

Beldarrain, Y. (2006). Distance education trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student  
           Interaction and collaboration. Distance Education, 27(2), 139–153.
 Duarte, D. L & Snyder, N. T. (2006) Virtual Teams. Strategies, Tools, and Techniques that Succeed. 
           Second Ed. p 2. Retrieved September 22, 2011 from      
 Wikipedia, (2011). Collaborative Software.  Retrieved September 22, 2011 from   
Wikipedia, (2011). Wiki - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.) Retrieved, September, 23, 2011 from    

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Updated mind map

Hello: Please check the updated image of my mind map.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


     Prior to starting this course in Distance Education, I look at Distance education with a narrow mindset.  Unaware, of the variety of combination of how Distance education could be offered.  I recalled during my undergraduate classes, I took English comp 2.  via a combination of f2f class and a television session with community college twice a week at a set time (in the middle of the night). I also recalled that years ago in Nigeria, my father received mail correspondence from Cambridge University seeking admission or taking a course from them. I am fascinated by the different forms of distance learning from the 1800 to date. Moller (2008) suggests, “e-learning allows for learning strategies that may not be possible in a classroom or other traditional environments”   I used to define distance learning as a form of self-study education acquired through the use of internet (as a medium) to impact knowledge, pushing the bulk of the course work on the learners.    

   Teaching and Learning at a Distance,” Simonson states, “as more technology resources are becoming available to educational settings, more students are becoming more involved in learning at a distance” (2009).  This week resources exposed me to a wealth of information, increased my awareness and refresh my long-term memory by associating previous experiences to the ideas on Distance learning. In my view, DL has grown to a critical part of everyday lives in educational and corporate environment. DL now involves the use of annotated video, animation, and social networks with open access to an interactive global community to make learning impactful.

I am a benefactor of DL, and I have learned and grown to embrace the flexible learning opportunities in both time and space (Huett, Moller, Foshay, & Coleman, 2008). My progress depends on my individual efforts, ability and self-motivation. Also, attending a DL course, there is a need to improve my technology skills from a basic user to a more advance user. In the previous courses, there were occasions when I felt that I should put the course on a hold, and take a course in IT to enable me be more successful. 

My organization is currently exploring DL to enable them meet the expansion needs geographically. Decentralization was a major consideration.  I recalled one of my conversions with my supervisor. He carelessly said, “Let’s do it” I laughed because, initiating and conducting courses online in a corporation requires way more than that. Though I discovered that there are some organizations out there marketing a complete package for online learning, I do not believe it could be successful without a person on the ground with the expertise required to run such programs. 

Personal Definition of Distance Learning:
With all these said, I will like to define Distance Learning as all inclusive form of education  that requires collaboration and effective communication between the learners,  institutions and the instructors
( instructional method)  the curriculum experts, with the use of adequate technology required to bring about effective learning. 

Future of Distance Learning:
 In conclusion, we are the future of Distance learning. The changing demographics of students are one of the driving forces behind distance learning. DL is becoming a commonplace for adult learners and technology savvy instructors.   Nowadays, the use of computers, iPods, phone, cell phones, internet and social networking tools such as blogs, wikis and  face book  just to name a few have become a more integrated part of society.  As technology evolves, distance education is changing the approach to learning in all facet of life. Blended learning is becoming the order of the day at almost every educational setting from k1-12 and above. Learners and educators are encouraged to stay on top of their game with the new trend in technology to continue fostering the best education practices across the board.


 Kaufman and Watkins (1997) Assuring the Future for Distance Learning. Retrieved September 9, 2011 from  http://www.megaplanning.com/articles/DEfuture.pdf. P.2-3.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 1: Training and development). TechTrends, 52(3), 70–75.
 Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2009). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (4th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.

Please view my mind map with the link below


Monday, September 5, 2011