Interaction in Distance Education: The Critical Conversation
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Parker, A. (1999). Interaction in Distance Education: The Critical Conversation. AACE Journal, 1(12), 13-17. Charlottesville, VA: AACE.
Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/8117.
Volume 1, Issue 12, 1999
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) Charlottesville, VA
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In 1897, with a series of shorthand lessons delivered by postal service, Anna Tickner changed the way instruction was presented forever. The early days of distance education witnessed the inclusion of the old passive/lecture para- digm, which was even more deadly from a distance than in person. Today™s students who consistently iosurf the worldlt with the Internet will not tolerate this non-interactive style of instruction and will quickly search for a more ioHollywood stylely course that provides active conversation with the instructors, experts, and other students. Interactivity has been defined in numerous ways ranging from irpressing the remoteli to activate the VCR to iCtwo-way conversationlv provided by satellite up links. Regardless of how interaction is defined, history has shown it to be an essential component in the learning process. Research has supported this inclusion but stops short of application due to the mediation between instructor and student provided by a wide range of technologies. Distance education is made up of a network of learners and teachers who travel electronic highways and meet in virtual classrooms. The new media for delivery brings with it a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge lies in the refocusing of the instruction to embody a component of lively interaction. The opportunity lies in the access to education for a worldwide coalition of students.
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