Anticipating the future of distance learning
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Anticipating the Future of Distance Learning. The 21st Century. James L. Morrison Professor of Educational Leadership UNC-Chapel Hill. TODAY. The 21st Century. Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century. The changing environment Technology and learning Where are we? What are the issues?.

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Anticipating the Future of Distance Learning

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Anticipating the Future of Distance Learning

The 21st Century

James L. Morrison

Professor of Educational Leadership

UNC-Chapel Hill

TODAY

The 21st Century


Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century

  • The changing environment

  • Technology and learning

  • Where are we?

  • What are the issues?


Students can no longer prepare bark to calculate problems. They depend instead on expensive slates. What will they do when the slate is dropped and breaks?

Teacher’s Conference, 1703


Students depend on paper too much. They no longer know how to write on a slate without getting dust all over themselves. What will happen when they run out of paper?

Principal’s Association Meeting, 1815


Students depend too much upon ink. They no longer know how to use a knife to sharpen a pencil.

National Association of Teachers, 1907


Students depend too much on store bought ink. They don’t know how to make their own. What will happen when they run out?

Rural American Teacher, 1928


The Changing Environment

  • Globalization

  • Economic restructuring

  • Need for up-to-date, college trained, workforce; for continuous retraining

  • Exploding clientele

  • Changing clientele

    • Older, working, raising children

    • Takes longer to get degree

    • Concern for cost


Percent of Firms Downsizing by Business Category

Source: Chicago Tribune, August 21, 1995


From 1980 to 1994, the U.S. contingent workforce—temps, self-employed, consultants—increased 57%


Today, 65% of all workers use some type of information technology in their jobs. By 2000, this will increase to 95%.


Constant training, retraining, job-hopping, and even career-hopping will become the norm.


The Enrollment Pipeline

High School Graduates, 1979-2004

(millions of students)

3.0

2.8

We Are Here!

2.6

2.4

2.2

2.0

2004

'79

'82

'85

'88

'91

'94

'97

'00

source: WICHE


An Aging Clientele for Higher Education


Projections

  • Tomorrow (2000)

  • 672 new campuses

  • 20 million new learners

  • $235b to build

  • $217b/year to operate

  • Today

  • 3,613 institutions

  • 16 million students

  • $156b in operations

  • Workforce Statistics

  • 141 million workers

  • 1/7 require 7 credit equivalents/year

Source: Michael Dolence AACRAO 1997


Supply and Demand

Demand for Education

L

e

a

r

n

e

r

s

Resources Available

Time


The Changing Environment

  • Self Service and Convenience

  • No longer school - work - retire model

  • Massive Expansion of Potential Students

    • Immigration continues to exceed births

    • Older Citizens

    • Continuing professional/occupational education


The Changing Environment

  • New competition in higher education

    • Old-line institutions have discovered satellites and the Internet

    • Traditional “service areas” fair game for all

    • New for-profit educational providers

  • Certification monopoly at risk

    • employers concerned about competency

    • employers relying less on diplomas

  • Outcomes assessment coming on line--Western Governors University

  • College costs exceeding inflation--concern for ROI


Signals

  • Cyber-Universities

    • 1993: 93

    • 1997: 762


Examples

  • Magellan University

  • College Connection

  • Education Network of Maine

  • Colorado Electronic Community College

  • Coastline Community College

  • University College of Maryland

  • California Virtual University

  • Western Governors University


Technological Tools

  • The Internet/e-mail

  • WWW

  • Productivity tools (e.g., Microsoft Office)

  • Videodisks

  • CD ROM

  • Video-conferencing


Learning: Children Are

  • learning machines

  • excited by learning, exploring

  • eager to try new things

  • not self-conscious about failure

  • not depressed about how they are progressing

  • willing to experiment, to reflect


Children

  • are trying to do something rather than to know something

  • are learning by doing

  • control their learning by using an adult to guide them through new areas of investigation—one-on-one assistance, as-needed basis


Natural Learning

  • occurs when the person really wants to know something

  • not compatible with lockstep classrooms, rigid curricula, or measurable by multiple choice tests

  • When information enters memory that in no way relates to goals that the possessor of the information may want to accomplish, it is quickly forgotten because there is no meaningful place for it to reside.


Principles

  • Learning is driven by the natural need to do

  • Knowing is driven by doing

  • Children learn facts because they have the need to know them, because these facts will help them do something they want to do


Public School

  • learn what someone else wants them to learn—teacher and curriculum goals

  • no longer learn because they want to

  • emphasis on rote learning, standardized curriculum

  • success: not being able to do, but being able to function within the system

  • In school, knowing becomes uncoupled from doing


“Your instructional system is driven by teaching rather than by learning, by the needs of professors rather than students.”Sir John S. Daniel, 1997


“…with good learning materials, effective networks, and proper support, students can learn better at home than in class.”

Sir John Daniel, 1997


What are the issuesin distance learning?


Which Approach?

  • Individual learning primarily via asynchronous communication

  • Group teaching via synchronous communication


Issues

  • Role of professor

  • Time

    • From course topic

    • From students

    • From teachers

  • Plagiarism

  • Unreliable sources


Does distance learning technology facilitate access, lower costs, and maintain quality?


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